Author- Kathy Martin
Hi, I am Kathy. I manage the Brooks Clubhouse at Brooks Rehabilitation. At the Clubhouse, we are always looking for new ways to improve function and continue recovery while making it fun for our members. You probably don’t realize it, but games you played as a kid actually help with brain functions such as: reasoning, memory, decision making, turn taking, information processing and more. Here is a list of games that help improve brain function (cognitive function) and how they can help with certain deficits.
- Win, Lose or Draw– works on word retrieval, perceptual-motor coordination and cognitive flexibility. You can modify it by: deleting the time limit, allowing verbal prompts to change approach and choosing the easiest items.
- Battleship– helps with visual discrimination, planning and responding to feedback. To modify it, try working in teams and providing verbal cues.
- Boggle– works on visual scanning, sequencing, speed of information processing, word retrieval and cognitive flexibility. You can modify this one by allowing two or three letter words and eliminating time limits.
- Checkers– helps with visual scanning, attention, planning and cognitive flexibility. A great modification is to eliminate the kinging rule.
- Concentration– helps with attention, spatial organization and memory. To make this game easier decrease the number of pairs or provide cues for rehearsal and association.
- Connect Four– helps with visual scanning, planning and cognitive flexibility. To modify, omit the diagonal series.
- Gridlock– great for visual discrimination, spatial organization, planning, cognitive flexibility, and error recognition. Possible modifications include putting several key pieces in place, verbal cues regarding stimulus aspects
- Guess Who?– works on visual discrimination, categorization, visual scanning, low level reasoning and initiation. Possible modifications include providing a list of appropriate questions, increasing difficulty by choosing two targets and asking “and/or” questions.
- Jenga– helps with visual discrimination, perceptual-motor coordination, cognitive flexibility, response to tactile feedback and error correction. You can modify it by decreasing the number of levels or providing verbal prompts (like: take your time)
- Poker– helps with visual discrimination, decision making, cognitive flexibility, categorization and sequencing. Possible modifications include providing written explanations of scoring, providing reminders regarding factors to consider when planning their hand.
- Scattergories– works on word retrieval, organization, perspective taking, cognitive flexibility and categorization. Possible modifications include deleting the time limit, deleting the multiple credits rule, omitting limitation on repeated use of same word or provide a dictionary for reference.
What is your favorite brain game?