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Amy Williams

Professional Education Expert

Best Puzzle Games & Best Brain Teasers

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The brain needs exercise just like the body so get set to get mentally fit with this brain sharpening collection of games and puzzles. Research shows that providing complex, challenging experiences like playing games and solving problems enriches the brain. One of Eric Jensen’s principles of brain research says that the brain continues to grow connections at any age. What a great excuse for parents and teachers to join the younger minds in a motivating mental boot camp. Have fun tapping into a multitude of brain functions while stimulating learning, creativity, and imagination.

For the best puzzle games and teasers, turn to our experts who find the best brain games to keep mentally fit. Always the best price, our brain teasers recommendations make working out the brain fun.

Best Brain Games and Puzzles by Amy Williams

The Best You Can Get

  • Bananagrams

    Amy says: GO BANANAS with this portable award-winning crossword-like game. The banana pouch is packed with a “bunch” of 144 letter tiles used to form collections of connecting and intersecting words. Bananagrams is loaded with fun whether playing alone or with up to eight players or with similar or mixed age groups. Word building becomes addictive as players try to keep from becoming the rotten banana. Peel open the pouch for a variety of challenges anywhere most anytime.

    • Ages 7 and up
    • Anagram word game
  • Make ‘n Break Extreme

    Amy says: On your mark, get set, go! Whichever player builds the largest number of vertical structures, based on eighty leveled building cards and a set amount of time, wins the game. You’ll hear grunts and hoorahs as players build speed and dexterity in arranging the pentomino-style geometric shapes. Extend the challenge to your visual and spatial skills by playing extreme cards for extra points. Play for five minutes or an hour. It’s intense; it’s fun.

    • Ages 8 and up
    • Visual memory
  • In a Pickle

    Amy says: The juice is in a pickle, which is in a jar, which is in a store, and so it goes. A super brain stretcher for thinking outside the box will have players creating outrageous scenarios. Each scene is based on a string of nouns related in some way, whether conceptually or logically. Use the 320 playing cards for either of two sets of easy to follow rules. Start a debate, challenge a teammate, or start a Pickle Round. An ingenious challenge for getting the mind out of a pickle.

    • Ages 10 and up
    • Creative thinking
    • 2 to 6 players
  • Qwirkle

    Amy says: Qwirkle earned the 2007 Mensa Select distinction and is also a Parent’s Choice Gold Award Winner. Families or cooperative classroom groups of two to four will get hooked on matching attributes in rows or columns. A great game for logical thinking and planning strategically as points are earned for matching up colors and shapes. Earn maximum points by making multiple-tile moves. The 108-block game has easy to follow directions for challenging thinking. Players will find themselves playing this one over and over again.

    • Ages 6 and up
    • Strategic, visual thinking
  • Blokus

    Amy says: Plan tactical moves as you block your opponent and take over territory square by square. The rules are simple, but the thinking in depth. Beginners and experts will all get an exercise in brain strategy and can play along together as they use their 21 pieces to try and conquer the board. Blokus is a worldwide award winner and will enliven classroom groups and families alike.

    • Ages 5 to adult
    • Strategy
    • 2 to 4 players

You will be happy with any of these

  • Spectrangle

    Amy says: Have fun and build math skills at the same time with this triangular tile game of abstract, strategic thinking. Spectrangle is based on the work of a British mathematician and challenges players to stock up on the most points possible. Points rack up for a piece’s, or trang’s, face value in addition to touching bonuses based on where the tile is placed and the sides of other trangs it touches.

    • Ages 8 and up
    • 2-4 players
    • Logic and number skill
  • Rush Hour

    Amy says: Escape Rush Hour! Maneuver the red car through fifteen other cars and trucks along a sliding block grid to get out of traffic. Set up the puzzle based on one of the forty challenge cards ranging from beginner to expert. Rush Hour has the feel of the sliding number puzzles where you wish you could just pick up that one piece and be done with it, but the sliding challenge keeps you there minute after minute. Work at it alone or talk it over with a buddy. Either way, this multiple-award winner will tease your brain. Try the other related challenges of Rush Hour from Railroad to Safari along with several expansion sets.

    • Ages 8 and up
    • Sequential thinking skills
  • IZZI

    Amy says: IZZI goes beyond the one-note-Charlie puzzle by fascinatingchallengers with an unimaginable number of solutions. Work alone or with friends to match the 64-black and white puzzle tiles into a square. For a variation, try creating a square by matching the colored tiles in diamond, V, diagonal, or border patterns while following the only rule of matching edges, black touches black and white touches white. For a quick twist, challenge a buddy to see who can build the first 5 X 5 grid. Get absorbed in this smart, creative, interactive match-up.

    • Ages 8 and up
    • Designed by Frank Nichols
    • Symmetry and spatial visualization
  • Shape by Shape

    Amy says: Students will want to play hours and hours with Shape by Shape’s fresh take on the ancient game of tangram. Stretch your creative and spatial thinking when combining the fourteen red and yellow puzzle pieces to match one of sixty challenge cards. Solve without peeking at the solution on the back of each card, or take a quick look then try to rebuild the pattern without looking again. Packed in a sturdy frame with the challenge cards neatly tucked in a sliding tray, this award winner kicks the brain into gear.

    • Ages 8 and up
    • Created by Nob Yoshigahara
    • Creative pattern puzzle
  • 75 Number Puzzles: Mensa for Kids

    Amy says: Want to expand the intelligence potential of your student or child? Grab the compact box of brain baffling grid puzzles, magic squares, dot games, and more. Pull a card or two when it’s time for some brain exercise or you want to break up the day. Choose from six levels of difficulty topping out at “super genius”. Check out Mensa’s 75 Word Puzzles, too.

    • Ages 7 and up
    • Mind benders

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With the best puzzle games, you'll ensure your kids' growing brains get plenty of exercise. Our brain teasers recommendations feature fun games and puzzles that help brain synapses make new connections for superior brain workouts. Always the best price, our brain games and puzzles suggestions save you time searching the Web.