12 Free Brain-Building Apps for Kids

April, 10 2012

Caught in traffic, car line or a long wait at the DMV with a bored kid tugging at your arm? Break out your cell phone and download one of these free apps to help strengthen their cognitive skills. Exercising your mind works just like exercising your body: it’s never too late to start! That’s because the human brain is “plastic” (capable of changing at any age), which is a good thing – unlike those chairs at the DMV!
1. Tangram
Available for: Android or iPhone

Download at: http://m.androlib.com/ or www.itunes.com

Cognitive skills: spatial reasoning, visual processing, planning

Invented in China, this game requires that users form specific shapes with seven puzzle pieces. Master the game through the Arcade mode and you can advance to the 1,000-puzzle challenge mode.

 

2. Train Conductor 2 Lite
Available for: Android

Download at: http://trainconductorusa.com/

Cognitive skills: strategy, planning, processing speed

Voted “Best Mobile Game of 2010” by the Independent Game Festival of China, the “lite” version of this game requires quick decision-making skills to guide trains to their destination while avoiding disastrous collisions.

 

3. Tetris free
Available for: Android

Download at: www.eamobile.com/home/

Cognitive skills: planning, visual processing, processing speed

Slide, rotate and drop shaped pieces into place at a fast pace.

 

4. WordSearch Unlimited
Available for: Android or iPhone

Download at: http://jiuzhangtech.com/ or www.itunes.com

Cognitive skills: visual processing, strategy

With three levels and your choice of themes, each puzzle is unique.

 

5. Bubble Blast 2
Available for: Android or iPhone

Download at: http://m.androlib.com/ or www.itunes.com

Cognitive skills: planning, visual processing, strategy

Burst the different colored bubbles and launch chain reactions to eliminate groups of bubbles.

 

6. Hangman Free
Available for: Android or iPhone

Download at: http://www.optimesoftware.com/ or www.itunes.com

Cognitive skills: logic and reasoning, visual processing, segmenting

This classic vocabulary game allows you to play against the machine or a friend.

 

7. Soduko Free
Available for: Android or iPhone

Download at: www.Genina.com

Cognitive skills: strategy, visual processing, logic and reasoning

Your favorite numbers game from the Sunday paper is now available for your phone!

 

8. Blox
Available for: Android or iPhone

Download at: https://market.android.com/ or www.itunes.com

Cognitive skills: visual processing, processing speed, planning, strategy

Inspired by Tetris and Bubble Blast, this game lets you tilt and touch to play.

 

9. Kids Preschool Puzzle FREE
Available for: Android or iPhone

Download at: https://market.android.com/ or www.itunes.com

Cognitive skills: visual processing, planning

This highly rated game offers 20 free puzzles and lots of positive reinforcement.

 

10. Memory Matches

Available for: Android or iPhone

Download at: https://market.android.com/ or www.itunes.com

Cognitive skills: working memory, short-term memory

Tough enough for grown-ups but easy enough for young children, this classic card matching game can help anyone strengthen their memory.

 

11. Simon Says

Available for: Android or iPhone

Download at: https://market.android.com/ or www.itunes.com

Cognitive skills: auditory processing, processing speed, visual processing, attention

The simple-but-not-easy famous game is back!

 

12. Motion Math Zoom

Available for: Android and iPhone

Download at: https://market.android.com/ or www.itunes.com

Cognitive skills: numerical fluency, processing speed, visual processing

This fun math game has different levels to work for ages 4 through 12.

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