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 developing their attention to detail and other skills. You probably remember playing them in your own childhood.

Thinking games are not just fun, they're also educational. Here are some of the benefits of visual thinking games as well as a guide to playing one of the most popular games.

The Benefits of Visual Thinking Games

When parents, caregivers, and educators play visual thinking games with children, it helps kids work on their non-verbal skills such as the ability to concentrate.

These games also stimulate a child's ability to notice and reflect on the physical differences and similarities between objects. Kids develop this skill by using their visual memory or paying attention to their environment, just as thinking games subtly train them to do.

Visual thinking games don't feel like work to children (unlike common drills in rote memorization). Instead, they're a fun way to teach the similarities and differences between objects and people.

The games also provide opportunities for social interaction and give parents the chance to interact in a positive way with their children.

A Classic Thinking Game 

Bumble Bee, Bumble Bee is a classic thinking game played by many people during their 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 kids to identify an object around them that another player is thinking about.

One player starts the game by choosing an object nearby. Then, they give the other players clues to help them guess what it is.

For preschoolers and early school-age kids, the clue is usually simple, like the color of the object. To make the game more complex, clues about size, shape, texture, or other characteristics beyond the basics can be incorporated.

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.

If you've never played the classic game or simply need a refresher, here's an overview of the rules.

  1. One player chooses an object without telling the others what it is.
  2. The player then 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)."
  3. Each of the other players takes a turn guessing what the object is.
  4. Player one will provide a "Yes" or "No" answer to each of the other player's guesses.
  5. If players are having a hard time guessing correctly, they can ask for clues or hints.

The more you play Bumble Bee and other visual thinking games with your children, the more fun opportunities they will have to work on their listening, concentration, and communication skills.

1 Source
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  1. Al-Thaqib A, Al-Sultan F, Al-Zahrani A, et al. Brain Training Games Enhance Cognitive Function in Healthy SubjectsMed Sci Monit Basic Res. 2018;24:63-69. doi:10.12659/msmbr.909022

By Ann Logsdon
Ann Logsdon is a school psychologist specializing in helping parents and teachers support students with a range of educational and developmental disabilities.