4 Games To Keep Your Brain Active This Christmas

Image by Hans Braxmeier from Pixabay 

Unfortunately, there is going to be a lot less to do this Christmas, with events canceled, pubs and restaurants closed, bowling alleys shut, cinemas not open and no Christmas Markets to go to, then it is still important to keep busy. While this isn’t as important for the younger ones who will have plenty of new toys to keep them occupied, the older people and especially those who won’t be kept busy with their families this year need to keep active. Luckily, Christmas is a time where you actually have time for games; and games are great for keeping the mind sharp. Even studies show that card games, puzzles, and board games are good mental stimuli and help promote brain health. Playing games also stimulates the immune system as well as helping to ease boredom and depression. So, what should you be playing this Christmas?


Scrabble is an old classic and great for the brain as it requires a lot of thinking and learning. In 2015 a Neural Correlates of Visual Word Recognition in Competitive Scrabble Players study found that Scrabble experts made use of a different area of the brain during lexical decisions, the standard visual word recognition task than people with little to no Scrabble expertise. And even better than this you can play similar games online with friends. Words With Friends is an app that lets you play with people you know as long as you both have the app. So make sure your grandad downloads it and beat him at it on Christmas Day. 

Rubik’s Cube

Someone always gets a Rubik’s Cube at Christmas and if you find yourself sitting in the chair watching too much TV then grab the Rubik’s cube and give your brain a workout. It might be frustrating but it will keep you busy for ages and improves the brain’s cognitive mapping skills. The Rubik’s cube is also well known for improving patience, memory, and problem-solving skills. What more could you ask for for Christmas?


Because Chess is a strategic game and one that’s usually played quietly and slowly, it’s not usually the first game you would think of to get out at Christmas. However, since the popular TV show The Queen’s Gambit, chess has become more popular than ever and lots of people will find a Chess set in their stocking this year. Learning to play Chess does have many benefits though and even one study has shown that playing chess can raise your IQ and another study found chess is a protective factor against dementia.


Bingo is a lot of fun, it’s good for all ages, you can play it online with your loved ones who you can’t see this year and it is good for the brain. Need I say more? According to a study, Bingo can improve your brain’s processing speeds, alertness, and memory capabilities.

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