Brain teasers have been a staple of gifted education programs for many years because students in gifted programs usually had a handle on the core curriculum and were deemed to have the time to spend with such "games." Modern educational thought, however, tends to appreciate the value that such educational games have in teaching thinking skills to students at all developmental levels. Though the public school system may not be ready to embrace it, many educators are.
Brain teasers teach kids to think about problems or riddles from many different angles, to evaluate all of the information given, and to produce informed hypotheses in order to find solutions. By using this higher order thinking, also called critical thinking, students are able to apply those lessons to their other subjects. Critical thinking is not Buddhist contemplation: it is thoughtful contemplation in the context of core content.
The Critical Thinking Co. develops and markets products that are designed to teach kids how to think in order to learn. Critical thinking fosters increased comprehension of subject matter which fosters increased retention which fosters better test scores and better grades. When education is fun and engaging, kids want to learn. It is usually when they are bored or patronized that education becomes a chore.
The Critical Thinking Co. products are designed for use in the home with parents and children working together. The educational tools are simple enough that kids can use them alone but parental interest and interaction is almost always better than the lack thereof. The Critical Thinking Co. can also provide an entire homeschool curriculum for your child if you are considering such a decision.
Games and Description of Free Brain Games:
Sharp Brains: An award winning top 50 collection. This site is more intellectual in nature, it’s better for adult-child discussion or for use with older kids and adults.
Puzzles: They say they are the best resource for puzzling on the internet. Can be played online or downloaded in a paper version. Can choose by difficulty level and type, such as interactive. This is great site brought to you by Think Fun the company who produces the Rush Hour logic game.
Brain Food: Made to be read, lateral thinking puzzles. Choose between “realistic” and “tricky”.
Mensa for Kids: The high IQ society has put together a fun site of puzzles and games designed just for kids.
Creativity Games: With a focus on creative thinking.
Math Playground: Great logic games, word problems, and can generate worksheets
Cool Math:They say they are the world’s most popular educational game site.
Fun Brain:They say they are the internet’s #1 educational site. Offers reading and math games.
NASA Kids Club: Choose skill level. Space and memory games. Good graphics.
PBS Games:By educational topic. Good Graphics.
Cyberchase Games Central: Lots and lots of games. Can be sorted by most popular but not subject.
Online Thinking Games: Brain teasers, puzzles and more. Many choices. However, an ad pops up which says “play” and if you click that before the actual game loads, then you’ll find yourself in the middle of an advertisement.
BrainBashers: Tons of brain games. Many Japanese puzzles too.
Brainteasers and Puzzles: from the United Kingdom.
Grin Riddles: Choose from riddles for kids, hard riddles, funny riddles, and more.
Brain Boosters: We like how these puzzles are categorized by logic, lateral thinking, reasoning, spatial, numbers, etc. These, however, are not games but Q an A puzzles.
*Controlling the sites your kids go to for games is important. Some game sites appear “fun” and “cute” but will actually load malware onto your computer. These free brain games have been kid tested and teacher approved, although we cannot be responsible for external links off these sites.