I thought, “Yes! Of course! And, why not some brain training for all of us, including the kids!”
Plenty of Options
Since it sounded like a blog post to me I got to work researching some of these apps and found plenty. I thought it would be quick and easy to pick out some good ones. Just try a few, pick some out and, voila. But, I discovered more than I expected I would!
I don’t own the world’s largest collection of brain training apps yet, but I did investigate many. The time paid off because I found good ones based on neuroscience principles or designed by neuroscientists. And there are those with challenge levels masquerading as the good stuff. Don’t get me wrong. Those have merit, too, except I was looking for apps with an edge. However, before we get to the good stuff…..
A Few Points
1. We are not talking about raising IQ. Sorry. That’s not what these apps offer and not what they do. If you have an interested in this check out IQ Mindware. I didn’t try it, mainly because it’s not designed for younger children, however, it does have impressive reviews.
2. Even though there is actual research on many of these brain training apps, results are inconclusive. Some researchers found measurable improvements in functions like fluency, memory, and processing speed. Others didn’t. Lumosity has been the subject of much research with mild cognitive impairment, chemotherapy patients, TBI, and more, all of it interesting.
3. Last, these activities are a blast! If nothing else they motivate you/your children to focus on intriguing activities and challenges that will wake you up. And doesn’t that alone sound good?
1. Lumosity – Mobile and web based versions available. IOS and Android. The basic version of both is free and gives you a good feel for what Lumosity is like. Individuals or family groups can purchase subscriptions for a month or longer, but kids under 13 need a parent in charge of their account (details on the site). Reviews are good, with the usual exceptions which is why the free version is so great! The activities are designed to be different each time you do them so you don’t have to worry about getting bored or memorizing the patterns. Ah hah! The mobile and web versions both run smoothly, making for great experience.
2. Fit Brains for Kids: Sparky’s Adventures – Ages 2-8. $9.99 for a year. IOS only as far as I can tell. Rosetta Stone. Designed by Dr. Paul Nussbaum, neuroscientist. Sparky’s Adventures has many, many “games” in it and and Fit Brains for Kids apps also come with a single focus, such as memory. After entering your child’s name etc. you can track progress. Most users rate this app high, but as always, not everyone agrees so you will have to decide for yourself. The low cost makes it reasonable to try for a year, or you can just get the free version of adult Fit Brains, either web based or mobile, for your older child. I like both.
3. Twinoo – $.99 Available for IOS, and Android through Amazon – at least it was the last time I looked. The developers, Slovenian game designers, put a twist in this app and set it up to challenge each side of the brain at the same time. Two activities, two timers. Whoa! Fun and different. Twinoo is a simple, but it does have this unique design feature and is actually quite challenging – I even froze up a couple of times!
4. Brain Training Unotan – $2.99 IOS. Developed by a Japanese group, BB Softservice Corp, and built around the brain training concepts of professor Makoto Shichida. This app probably works best for older children, but don’t rule out anyone who wants to try it or who can understand the concepts. Each section, memory, concentration and intuition, has 5 options for a total of 15 activities, and, even better, it presents fresh arrangements every time you play! Unotan has a clean looking colorful interface that works without glitches. Try Find the Goal!
5. Cut the Rope – $2.99 IOS, $4.99 Mac app store (and worth it), FREE for Android. Cut the Rope requires no reading or math, just logic and problem solving with intuition stimulation. With several hundred thousand five star ratings, you can tell this is a winner. An upgrade to the full IOS version does improve the experience, and this app company offers spin offs like Cut the Rope Experiments, and others. Good for a wide age range!
6. Personal Zen -A free mobile app with a gentle relaxing effect which some people find boring and others will love. At first it seems like a race of sorts but as soon as you let go of that concept and just go with the waving grass paths, you have it. Calm and soothing with nothing really to accomplish. Try it out and let us know what you think. IOS only I believe. 🙁