Brain Games that are Actually Fun!

Brain games for kids are a great way to improve cognitive function and enhance the development of essential skills in children.


Our brain games expert is Lisa Lefrak Newby, M.Ed is an elementary educator and coach with 24 years of experience in the classroom teaching grades TK through 5th.


One of the many ways I keep learning meaningful, fun, and engaging is to use brain games in the classroom, and at home with my children. By regularly engaging in brain games I’ve found that little ones develop important skills such as problem-solving, critical thinking, concentration, memory, and creativity. These skills are critical for growth both in and out of the classroom. My favorite thing about brain games for kids is that they aren’t difficult to learn, screen-free and so much fun!


My earliest memories of playing brain games at school are when my first grade teacher would play “I Spy.” She would shout out “I spy with my little eye… something that is purple, or something that rhymes with pair, or something that starts with the sh sound.”

My classmates and I would take turns and get extremely excited to search for the item that she was actively “spying.” Her well-thought-out clues made us think, helped us to notice our surroundings, improved our vocabulary, and allowed us to practice simple skills like learning colors, patterns, numbers, rhyming, and more!

From a very young age I also remember games that my parents would play with us to keep us on our toes, engaged in learning, and busy on long car rides. From the license plate game, to car bingo and our family favorite - “20 Questions.” These games certainly helped pass the time.

As a parent, I have carried on the tradition of brain games for kids with both my family and my students. Even though my sons are older, they still request these games and enjoy the challenge. Just as my parents did - we play games in the car, waiting for our food at a restaurant, waiting in line, and even at the dinner table.

As a teacher, I use brain games for kids in similar situations such as waiting in line or for an assembly to start, outside on a recess break, on a field trip, during learning center time, on a bus ride, or during an indoor rainy day recess.

Girl playing brain games with Skillmatics Product
Introducing Four Brain Games for Kids

Skillmatics has games that are the perfect match for home, school or travel! 

Girl placing Piece & Play pieces and playing

Find Piece & Play in Skillmatics online shop

A great game for your little learners is Piece & Play. This game can be used in several ways to build upon skills while having fun. Children can put together the giant floor puzzle while learning about outer space, a construction site or life underwater.  Once the jumbo puzzle is put together, you can use the 30 double sided game cards to explore other ways to learn. One side of the cards can be played to match the pictures on the game tiles to the puzzle. The other side has clues that can be read by a child or an adult for a different challenge. 

Found It is a fun brain game to play at home, outside or while traveling. It reminds me of my days of playing “I Spy,” but with an innovative new twist.  Found It is great when school is out for a holiday break or over the summer to keep the learning going. Found It is perfect for exercising your child’s critical thinking skills while searching for items around your home, outside or even while traveling. Kids can practice logical reasoning, creative thinking, and communication skills as they search for something that starts with the letter A (and locate an apple), or find something that is round (as they point to the mirror), or something green (as they pick up a leaf) and many more fun challenges. 

For highly engaging brain building activities everything you need is included in the Skillmatics Brain Games box. Each card has different activities including solving equations, decoding patterns, mental math, writing, problem solving and more. Many of the activities on the reusable activity mats resemble games that we play as adults that involve number patterns, mental math and thinking outside of the box. 

This brain game for kids is great to take on a trip, use at grandma's house, or to integrate in your child’s day a few times a week.  In the classroom Brain Games is perfect for learning center time.  My students rotate to different learning centers on a daily basis. The Skillmatics Brain Games box (which comes with the pens, the cleaning cloth and the activity mats) works for my classroom center time for partners or independent work time. My students love the challenges on each card. 

Kids playing rapid rumble in a game night

Find Rapid Rumble in Skillmatics online shop

Rapid Rumble is a brain game that is fast, fun and easy to learn. This clever game is phenomenal for building upon children’s problem solving, creative thinking and communication skills while also making quick decisions that keep kids on their toes!  Rapid Rumble is the perfect combination of cognitive development, fast thinking and laughter! It reminds me of games we would play in school or at camp that developed communication and memory skills while also including silliness and belly laughs. 

Game time that develops the brain can be a great way to help children with important skills they will need later on in life. Brain games offer a wide range of benefits for children, from improving academic performance to boosting self-confidence and reducing stress. Brain games can be used as an essential tool for parents and educators to support the development of our children. 

Thanks to Lisa Lefrak Newby, M.Ed for these game ideas. She is the mother of two boys ages 15 and 11. Lisa is the oldest of five daughters and the organizer of all family game nights!

Back to blog