Summer Time Brain Games!

By: Shelly Moore, COTA/L

Summer vacation can feel like a long time away from school, but there are lots of fun ways that kids can continue to exercise their brains while on break. Activities that promote memory, attention, focus, recall and concentration will help keep brains active and sharp for daily life and the coming school year.

  • Make your own game of Concentration
    • How to make – Find 6 pairs of objects or pictures throughout the house and then adhere one picture or object to the top of one paper plate (food side). Do this for all of the objects/pictures so you have 12 plates (6 pairs of objects/pictures).
    • How to play – Make it an outdoor activity by mixing up the plates and laying them upside down (hiding the object) in the yard or the driveway. The first player flips over 2 random plates, all players see the objects. If there is a match the player takes those plates out of play and has another turn. If they are not a match, the second player gets to go. Repeat until all matches have been made.
    • Ideas for pairs of objects or pictures- same color sticky note, same color small lego, crayon, pom pom or other craft item, have child draw a picture (same on both plates), cut identical pictures out of magazine, stickers, etc.
  • Keep a Journal
    • Story time before bed is so important, but how about a little time for journal writing? Have your child recall the events of their day out loud and write a sentence or two about it. Smaller kids can draw a picture about something fun they did. Kids can make their own journal by stacking several sheets of 8 x 11 paper together, folding the top down to meet the bottom edge and stapling at the outside edge of the fold to create a book. Makes for a great keepsake to look back through at the end of the summer.
  • Memory games on the move
    • Heading to the store – give kids 3 items on your list to remember (milk, eggs, bread…). Short trip in the car- say three words or numbers when you leave, see if they can recall 3, 5, 10 minutes later. Long trip – show child 5 objects (toys, sunscreen, hairbrush), now take one away and see if they can tell you what’s missing.

Have fun with these ideas and use them as inspiration to make up some more of your own!  We’d love to hear about any other ideas you’ve come up with to share with other families!

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