Most people who know me know that I’m kind of a big kid, so it’s not surprising that I had to restrain myself from grabbing a red pen and circling about 20 items in my latest MindWare catalog. What’s so great about their products is that a lot of them are really enjoyable for kids and adults alike, and they’re lifetime pieces that you can keep coming back to. Here’s a short list (and believe me, it was tough to narrow it to these few) of my favs:
- Match Wits With Mensa: I have a cousin who’s a member of this prestigious organization, so I’ve always been in awe of it. This would also be a great activity to do with my mother, who complains of needing a “brain workout.”
- Mancala for Four: I could hardly contain my excitement when I saw this game and proceeded to ask everyone I know, “Do you remember Mancala? I found a 4-player version!” This is totally a game of my generation and was always a fixture on camping vacations – and now my whole family can play!
- Professor Noggin’s History & Geography Card Games: I love learning about history, so the Ancient Civilizations and Countries of the World versions of this game would be a perfect test of my knowledge.
- Bananagrams: A few months ago I was at a friend’s house playing Risk, and when my friend Kyle and I were eliminated (I tried to form an alliance, to no avail) we began playing this exciting word game. I was quickly hooked!
- ColorKu: I’m a big fan of Sudoku, although I’m not very good at it — I got a page-a-day sudoku calendar a few years ago and I still haven’t made it through the toughest level — so I was super excited to see this more visual alternative, which uses colors rather than numbers.
- Rubik’s Cubes: I took a trip to Greece in September, and ever since my boyfriend got a glimpse of the beautiful olive tree wood block games, he can’t sit down to watch a movie or sports game without picking them up. However, he’s already figured most of them out, so these tougher Rubik’s cubes – 4×4 and 5×5 – should provide a new test!
- Q-Bitz: This pattern game, featuring speed and memory challenges, reminds me of the challenges on Survivor that I’ve always wondered if I could handle. This allows me to figure that out without actually going on the show and having to endure 38 days of being bitten by — and eating — bugs.