Games and Activities
It may not always be immediately apparent what the benefits are from various activities. Many require cognitive skills including concentration, memory, information processing, forward planning, understanding commands or instructions; in addition physical skills such as co-ordination and balance are required for others. Throughout virtually all activities, social skills are developed and reinforced. These are all skills we take for granted but can be lost after brain injury. The information below gives an overview of the skills developed by playing games:
Board and Card Games
- Scrabble involves a variety of skills that ABI survivors can work on. Adding up the scores uses simple maths, coming up with words requires cognitive flexibility, and the mechanics of the game involve simple grasp-and-release tasks.
- Playing jenga involves physical and mental coordination while stacking blocks and trying to keep the tower from falling.
- The mechanics of checkers involve simple grasp-and-release movements that can help ABI survivors improve their motor skills while cognitive flexibility and problem solving are required to perform strategic moves.
- Playing Battleship is good practice for ABI survivors with speech or word retrieval problems. Players have to use the simple words “hit” and “miss” and “sunk” to communicate. Inserting pegs in the board also helps with fine motor skills.
- Connect Four improves attention and motor skills. Players pick up and drop small disks and they pay attention to both their own and their opponent’s pieces.
- Scattergories involves listing words in different categories that all start with the same letter. This helps with language and word retrieval.
- Uno helps ABI survivors work on decision making, attention and visual discrimination.