8 Brain Games to Keep Kids Sharp During Summer

Summer vacation has begun, which means your children are enjoying a well-deserved break, but how much of a break is too much? While vacation is meant to be relaxing, too much time away from a routine and regular lessons can lead to summer learning loss. In fact, studies have found that the average student loses 17-35% of the prior year’s learning gains over summer break. While the summer offers many opportunities for families to reconnect, take trips, and spend time outside, there are also many hours of the day that remain unoccupied. Use some of those hours to play fun brain games to keep your kids from summer learning loss. 

8 Brain Games to Keep Kids Sharp During Summer:


Puzzles are a classic brain game that the whole family can enjoy! The options are endless, and there is a puzzle available for every interest and skill level. Putting a puzzle together has been shown to improve short-term memory and problem-solving skills. Whether it is an evening or rainy day activity, get a puzzle started this summer to keep your child’s brain sharp.


Crossword puzzles are the perfect brain game activity when you’re on the go! Pack a couple of crosswords books when traveling on your family vacation and strengthen your child’s problem-solving skills and vocabulary. 


Taking time to learn a new language over the summer doesn’t just help maintain your child’s knowledge base; it increases it! With so many virtual language lessons and apps available, your child can make good use of their summer and return to school in the fall with a brand new skill. 

I Spy

I Spy is a great mental exercise for younger children who need to practice their language building and vocabulary. While there are booklet versions of this classic brain game, it’s also a great game to play in the car or on the go. 

Simon Says

Simon Says is also a great brain game for children of all ages, in addition to being a physical activity. Studies have found that Simon Says can also contribute to stronger impulse control, emotional stability, understanding of expectations, and language and literacy skills.

Scavenger Hunt

For a creative activity that’s sure to lead to hours of family fun this summer, devote some time in writing up a scavenger hunt for your kids. Scavenger hunts are fun, interactive, and allow children to grasp problem-solving techniques tangibly. Send your kids on a hunt around the house, yard, or neighborhood for an activity that exercises their bodies and brains.

Memory Matching Games

Matching games are among the best brain games for improving your kid’s short-term memory and attention to detail. We love matching memory games because they’re easy to set up (and clean up) and are the perfect solution to summertime boredom.

Obstacle Course

Set up an obstacle course this summer for an activity that combines mental and physical components. Obstacle courses can be adapted to any age and skill level and can be created using the items you have around your house. Whether it’s an indoor or outdoor obstacle course, kids can work on their strength, balance, coordination, motor skills, problem-solving skills, and more. 

Contact Wake Forest Pediatrics

The board-certified pediatricians and staff at Wake Forest Pediatrics are dedicated to providing quality care to patients in Wake Forest and Knightdale. Our comprehensive approach focuses on teamwork and open communication with patients and parents. If you have questions about how to help kids stay sharp with brain games this summer, call our Wake Forest office at 919-556-4779 or our Knightdale office at 919-266-5059 to make an appointment.

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