Exercising your mind, can help your brain be at its best now, as well as protect against future cognitive decline. Brain exercises can improve memory, mood, focus, concentration, motivation, productivity, creativity, reaction time, and self-confidence. They can also reduce stress and help you think faster. I will choose one a class a semester where we “work out our brain.”. You can give students mazes, sudoku puzzles, riddles, and brain teasers – rebus puzzles are usually quite popular. Sometimes we will work on our own, and other times we will work with a partner or in a group. You can even make it a race. For free printable worksheets, check out the Puzzles to Print website.
We will also play board games and card games. These have many of the mental health benefits as brain exercises, with the additional benefits of socializing and having fun. Some games, like Twister, also have a physical component. Choose games that don’t take too long to play – “Spot it!”, “Dutch Blitz”, and “Sushi Go!” have been popular with my classes. Let students know when your brain workout day will be so that they can bring some of their favourite games from home.
Visiting an escape room, completing a scavenger hunt that requires thought, or playing certain Team Building Games that focus on problem-solving can be other fun ways to work out the brain as well. Please email me or comment if you have any other ideas on how we can get students to work out their brain in PE class.