I love when I find cool new games for my kids to play. Especially when they check off all my boxes: unplugged, develops brain skills, encourages problem-solving, can be played alone if needed. SmartGames does all of these with their amazing line up of board games that boost brain power! We received three of the Smart Games’ new 2016 line of board games to review recently and have fallen in love with these clever and creative games. Each one is a puzzle game where kids have to use many brain skills:
- Cognitive skills
- Spatial relationships
- Pattern Recognition
- Cooperative play (if playing together)
Our first game was the newest addition to the Smart games Original Series. Dinosaurs Mystic Islands (ages 6-adult, $19.99) lets kids play at separating carnivores from herbivores (see, right there, kids learn vocab words!). By manipulating the green islands (each with their own dino) on the blue surface of the playing board, kids save the three plant-eaters from the three meat-eaters. My son loves to create islands with a “hole” in the middle so the dinosaurs can drink!
My four year old adored the Little Red Riding Hood game (Ages 4+, 24.99). Included in the set is a hard-bound wordless book that illustrates the popular fairy tale story of Little Red and her Granny. We enjoyed reading this before playing, and having to explain each picture to me really worked on my son’s literacy skills! The game is played using the challenge book to situation Granny’s house, Little Red Riding Hood, and the three trees on the game board. Then, players have to lay down the path pieces so Red Riding Hood can walk to Granny’s house. In higher challenges, the wolf with his path is also added into play, so as the child grows, they get increasingly difficult playing levels.Penguins Pool Party (ages 6-adult, 14.99), is a smaller puzzle game with similar concepts. Follow the challenge book to place penguins in the pool. Then surround them with the icebergs in the correct position to fill the game board completely. Though small, there are 60 unique challenges in this game that will keep my boys occupied for hours.
More than just board games that boost brain power, these games are awesome!
What I love about these games is how they kept my boys absorbed for hours. Even my four year old played the older level games, by simply trying to move the pieces around to his liking. He’s getting the hang of the game even without using the specific game challenges. The boys like to take these games up to their bunk bed to play during quiet time too now, which is a huge win for me, because they used to always ask “when are we done!” Now, I have to tell them to clean up the game and come down for dinner!
Another bonus? For the most part, these are very quiet games. There are no loud buzzers or complicated pieces. The pieces are few and a good size so they aren’t getting lost in the shuffle. The challenges are visual so I don’t have to read instructions to them. Truly, it’s independent play we all enjoy (I have completed a few challenges myself!).
And, these game pieces are built to last from sturdy plastic kids will love to hold and manipulate. The toddler game pieces have tactile appeal with softer edges and even somewhat rubbery rubbery feeling to some of the pieces.
With board games that boost brain power for kids from 3-103, these are the games to get for after school fun, quiet time, birthday presents, and more!
Want to win a board game!?
One reader wins one of the SmartGames board games I have featured here in this post:
- Dinosaurs Mystic Islands
- Red Riding Hood
- Penguins Pool Party
Enter in the form below for your chance to win! US only. 18+
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Thanks to Smart Games and Kids Stuff PR for sending us these amazing fun board games that boost brain power for use and review! All opinions are my own.