Here’s a way for the whole family to have fun together while helping your little ones develop their cognitive abilities and focus.

The challenge in this game can be as simple or as demanding as you feel is appropriate for your child’s age and level – and you can play it around a table, in the yard, or even on a car ride (as long as the driver can focus on the road!).

How to play

Object: within a set period of time (for example, one minute), brainstorm as many items as you can that would fit within a certain category. For example, if your category was animals, you’d start the timer and then everyone could call out all the animals they can think of (pig! cow! dog! armadillo!).

To play: 

  • Download and print out our recording sheet, and write a different category in each box in the left-hand column (e.g. fruits, bugs, people who are related to us, pets we know, etc.).
  • Appoint a “recorder” for each round, if you have more than one player who can write well. Otherwise, you’re it.  🙂
  • Explain the simple rules to everyone, and get a stopwatch or alarm ready. Set it to one minute, and… go! Write down all the answers the group calls out.
  • When the minute is up, go through the list and celebrate how many your team was able to come up with together. If any of the answers are debatable, have the debate (in a fun and positive way, of course)!

Alternative for older kids: if your players are old enough for individual competition (and can write), this game can be played silently, with each player having their own recording sheet. There’s still a minute on the timer, and at the end of the minute for each category, players compare notes. The player who ends up with the most answers another player didn’t also have wins the round.

Have fun!