Games That Train Your Brain

May 13, 2020

While the jury is still out on whether or not playing “brain games” can have any effect on reducing one’s risk for dementia, there is evidence that they can benefit the brain in other ways. Engaging in brain games and regularly learning new things is crucial as we age to help fight against cognitive decline, short-term memory loss, and forgetfulness. Furthermore, brain games, coupled with exercise and healthy eating, can help to build up your cognitive reserve. Any activity that stimulates your thinking can be classified as a brain game; here are some of our favorites:


This classic game of strategy and concentration helps to train the memory while calling on all areas of the brain’s executive functioning skills (think problem-solving, decision making, and planning). And, because chess requires a partner, the game promotes socialization, which has also been shown to benefit the brain.

Crossword Puzzles

There’s something very nostalgic about doing a crossword puzzle. They seem to conjure up memories from the past and require us to draw upon previously learned information and experiences. Also, crossword puzzles help to build vocabulary and have been found to improve memory and attention.


Playing Scrabble, like doing crossword puzzles, is an excellent way to learn vocabulary, sharpen your focus, and improve your strategic thinking. The game of scrabble also relies heavily upon one’s working memory and visual perception skills.


There’s a reason why children are encouraged to start doing jigsaw puzzles from a very young age. Not only do they improve memory and problem-solving skills, but they’ve also been shown to increase IQ and reduce the brain cell damage that occurs in those with Alzheimer’s.

Learning a New Hobby

Though not a specific brain game, embarking on learning something new has been shown to sharpen cognitive skills as well as to potentially slow down the buildup of the beta-amyloid protein associated with Alzheimer’s disease. Consider picking up a new hobby, such as painting, cooking, knitting, playing an instrument, or writing poetry as a means to stay active and engaged.


For those that are more tech-savvy, there are countless brain training online games and apps to be found on tablets, smartphones, and computers. Some of our favorites include Braingle, Sharp Brains, and Lumosity.

Next time you’re sitting around feeling bored, consider exercising your brain with any of the games mentioned above. We love that they can be done from the comfort of your own home and help to keep our minds sharp while providing hours of fun and entertainment!

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