The school year will be over in less than two weeks and after a crazy year doing remote learning and later going back to school, my kids could definitely use a break, so I won’t be pushing them too much this summer. I do, however, want to make sure they retain what they’ve learned so that in the fall they can get right back to their studies and not play catch-up but I want them to use their brains in a way that’s fun for them and not stressful. SmartGames is a multi-award-winning company that makes innovative toys that require problem-solving skills. They have a large variety of different types of games with different themes and have recently come out with some new games. Here are two fun brain-boosting games for the summer that we recommend!
What I love about SmartGames is that each game has different levels so you can start with the easy challenges and work your way up to the more difficult ones. Each challenge prepares you for the next one. I also love that the games are for one person, so although your older kids can do them on their own, younger kids can also ask for help and do them with another person and collaborate.
I recevied for review two of the newest SmartGames offerings: IQ Circuit and Pirates Crossfire. Both games different styles and themes but requie logic, strategy and problem-solving.
IQ circuit is a games which focuses on problem-solving and spatial insight and is apropriate for ages 8 to adult and includes 120 challenges. In the game, the object is to place all of the pieces on the board to create paths that connect the dots. You need to include all of the pieces and follow the different rules. There are five levels: starter, junior, expert, master and wizard and all of the solutions are in the back of the booklet. I love that the game board is compact and can easily be used on-the-go – in the car, or at a restaurant. My eight-year-old tried the game and at first he had a hard time understanding what to do. Once you figure out what to do, though, the starter level is pretty easy. It does get tricky when you gwt to the junior level. My twelve-year-old helped my younger son and together they figured out the starter level and worked their way to the junior level.
Pirates Crossfire is another logic game that focuses on spatial insight and problem-solvging, but also on planning and flexible thinking. The game, which is for ages 7 to adult, has 80 challenges and the same levels with solutions in the back. It also has four play modes: peace, pirates win, navy ships win and total war – 20 challenges per mode. Each mode has five levels so younger kids can just do starter modes in each level, which is what my eight-year-old did. My older son was able to move through the challenges more easily.
I love that my kids can put down their devices and play a thinking game which challenges them to think outside the box.
I was not compensated for this post. I received samples.
Senior Reviewer Maytal Wichman is a freelance writer and has written for several blogs, including The Huffington Post. She has been living in the New York City area for twenty years and holds a Bachelor’s Degree in English Literature as well as a Law Degree. Maytal is a stay-at-home mom to three kids, ages 14, 12 and 8.