I’ve put the following games in the creative right brain column because they involve visual thinking, but I’ll let you decide if they really belong there.
Hue Knew? is a variation of the chart that features the names of colors – pink, purple, red, green, and so on – with each color name written in a color that doesn’t match. The word “orange” might be written in purple, for example. On the chart, your task is to recite the color of the print rather than the printed word. The game “Hue Knew?” takes that same concept and puts it on colorful round cards with two circles of words on each. The goal is to quickly find the two words on each card that are actually written in the colors of their name – “orange” written in orange, for example – and grab the markers with those colors. Four of the cards in the set have all of the colors correct, in which case you must aim to be the first person to grab the black marker (since black absorbs all colors). Played as a competitive game between two or more people, the fastest thinker/grabber wins.
Personally, I don’t think speed matters, but if you practice on your own, you will find that you get faster over time, which at the very least is likely to make your brain feel a little more smart-alecky.
Each round card has eight symbols on it in various sizes, such as an anchor, baby bottle, ice cube, zebra, heart, moon, cactus, and ladybug – with a total of about five dozen objects in all. Take any two cards, and only one item will match between them. They will almost always be of different sizes and two or more items on each card will have similar coloring, such as the snowflake, snowman and pencil, so “spotting” the match can be tricky. I am absolutely fascinated with the algorithm that was used to create this deck in which it’s possible to place any two cards next to each other and find a matching item, but only one match. Genius!
The game is usually played with a partner, and the first one to spot the match in the two cards turned over gets to keep them, but as with Hue Knew? one can also play this game alone.
In addition, as you may have guessed from the examples given, there are variations in how it might be played, such as pointing out all the like-colored items or things that go together like the raindrop and snowflake or the snowflake and snowman or the snowman and igloo or the igloo and ice cube. In fact, finding all the possible likely combinations, which requires using your imagination, is probably the more challenging brain game.
You can also find these games in the MindWare catalog (www.MindWare.com), which despite its focus on children as models, has many games that are fun and challenging for adults.