I was contacted recently by the BBC who are looking for participants for the second series of their TV show Genius hosted by Kirsty Wark. A programme where participants need a good level of general knowledge and memory recall.
Now all this talk about quizzes, general knowledge and specialist subjects got me to thinking that having some simple kids indoor games up your sleeve, that will keep the kids occupied, is also a good way to help them develop some useful skills without a huge amount of time and effort.
Do You Have Problems Remembering Things – Like Me?
Now some of us simply are able to soak up general knowledge around us and retain it, others of us, like me, are less lucky.
General knowledge, for me, goes in one ear and out the other. Why that quite is I am not sure. If anyone unwittingly says to me how about a game of Trivial Pursuits I go weak at the knees and feel sick. I hate to admit it but the kids version is more my standard. And the trouble is my nerves and lack of confidence in my own general knowledge and ability to recall information I know, I know, makes the whole thing become some hard wired self fulfilling prophesy.I know I am going to make a fool of myself, so I do, if you know what I mean.
For example I am the only person I know, (not that in my younger years this is something I ever would have dreamed of admitting to), that had to have additional coaching to pass the Girl guides enrolment as I could not “do” Kim’s Game, for love nor money. (If you don’t know Kim’s Game see games listed below).
Despite my lack of recall and memory I did manage to do reasonably well at school but I have often thought latterly how my lack of memory skills held me back. My bad memory has caused many problems indirectly. If you get nervous that you are going to get the answer wrong, or you just don’t know the answer, confidence to participate, disappears out the window.
For a quite unrelated reason, several years ago I went out and bought myself a Memory Book. When I say memory book, I mean a book which gives you hints and tips on how to remember things.
Shortly after this I attended a course with several colleagues during which we were asked to put items into “like” groups and recall them. I did this in an instant. I surprised myself by coming first. Something I know I would not have been able to do before reading this memory book.
What this taught me is that memory is something which can be learned and refined. It is also something which like most things in life, practice makes perfect.
If you have read this far, you are probably wondering what all this has to do with Kids games. Well quite a lot really. Kids memory games and trivia quizzes that you can play in the car, while you are cooking, or just when you have five minutes to spare, will not only occupy your kids but help them develop lifelong skills in a relaxed informal environment.
How You Can Improve Your Memory (and your children’s too)
Investing in a memory book which you and the kids can benefit from is a good way to help kids with memory and concentration too. As a fan of Tony Buzan these two books are excellent easy to read books and ideal for both us parents and children. Mind Maps for kids: An Introduction and Mind Maps for kids: and Max your Memory and Concentration both by Tony Buzan
As far as games which encourage memory and concentration are concerned the rules are simple. Whatever the game or quiz is it should be about having fun first and the learning should be secondary and incidental. The children will get much more out of it this way.
So here are some ideas for kid’s quizzes and games to play.
I went to the Market Memory Game
I went to the market and I bought….. each player has to say an item they have bought at the market and recount back what they and all the other players have bought as the game proceeds. This is a great game for the passengers to play in the car, or when you sitting waiting for a meal, as no props are required at all. You can also change the subject matter. For example I went to the Zoo, Farm, Supermarket. Or use your own family interests, hobbies or holidays as the subject matter.
Put a collection of different items on a Tray and give each player a pen and paper. After about five minutes remove the tray and see how many items each player can remember.
One item per age of the child is a good guide to start with, and then depending on the success of the game you can build up the numbers of items.
Kids Card Games
A pack of cards is a handy addition to any Mums handbag and takes up next to no room. Card games can be played with kids as young as three – and will entertain even the adults The following is an excellent compendium of Card Games For Kids and includes Happy Families and my personal favourite Old Maid.
General Knowledge for Kids
Keeping a quiz book in the car is also a good tip. (Or anywhere else for that matter where it is within easy reach ). This Flip Quiz Book for 9-10 Year olds is a good example to help develop kids General Knowledge
Online there are many games which kids can play to help improve their memory and concentration. This online history game works on many levels as it involves general knowledge, history and is training the mind at the same time. Online History Memory Game.
So have some fun and improve your kids and maybe if you are like me your own memory.