Visual Thinking Games for Detail and Memory

Improved concentration and communication skills are among the benefits

Father and daughter sitting in dark childrens room, looking at digital tablet

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For generations, visual thinking games have been delighting and teaching children, while also developing their attention to detail and other skills. You probably remember playing them in your own childhood, but thinking games are not just fun. They are also educational.

The Benefits of Visual Thinking Games

When parents, caregivers, and educators play these thinking games with children, the youngsters benefit by learning non-verbal skills such as the ability to concentrate. The games also stimulate children's ability to notice and reflect on the physical differences and similarities between objects. They develop this skill by using their visual memory or paying attention to their environment, just as thinking games subtly train them to do.

But these games don't feel like work to children. After all, they're not drills in rote memorization. Instead, they offer fun ways to teach differences and similarities in categories of objects and people. They also provide opportunities for social interaction and give parents positive ways to spend time with children.

A Classic Thinking Game 

Bumble Bee, Bumble Bee is a thinking game many people played in early childhood. You may have learned it by other names, but the concept is the same.

The object of Bumble Bee, Bumble Bee is for young children to identify an object in the area that another player is thinking about. One player chooses an object and gives other players a clue about its identity. Players take turns guessing what the object might be, and they continue until it is identified.

For preschoolers and early primary students, the clue is usually the color of the object. The game can be made more complex by using sizes, shapes, textures or other characteristics (beyond basic ones such as colors) that interest the players. 

How to Play Bumble Bee, Bumble Bee

Bumble Bee, Bumble Bee became popular because it can be played pretty much anywhere--at home, in class or at the park, to name a few. But if you've never had the chance to play the classic game or simply need a refresher, consult the directions below. The more you play it with children, the more opportunities you provide for their listening, concentration and communication skills to grow.

  1. One player chooses an object without telling the others and says, "Bumble bee, bumble bee, I see something that you don't see, and the color of it is (say the color)."Another rhyme you may remember is: "Riddle, riddle, Marie, I see something that you don't see, and the color of it is (say the color)."
  2. The other players take turns guessing what the object might be.
  3. Players are given a yes or no response as appropriate.
  4. If players are having difficulty, they may be given clues.
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