Smart Start for Kids
- What: Brain Quest Decks
- When: Two year to twelve years
- Why: Fun, compact, builds literacy and math skills
- Where: Amazon
Stuck inside on cold, dark, winter days? Want something educational to try that doesn’t involve screen time? Grab some Brain Quest Decks and sit down with your kid.
Even kids as young as two can get a kick out of these question and answers. Each deck contains lots of questions, with the answers printed on cards behind them. Kids understand the pictorial format, though younger ones will need an adult to read the questions for them. Once kids know their basic shapes, they will have no trouble matching the picture highlights among the three or more choices shown. And if your kid doesn’t know the basics like shapes or numbers yet? Even better. After a few rounds of Brain Quest, they will pick up that knowledge, too.
Brain Quest Decks come in questions appropriate for toddlers to 12 years old. The first deck for the youngest kids contains 350 questions and answers, and the number of questions goes up as kids get older. First graders get 750 questions, and sixth graders have 1500 to answer, so it can keep kids of a variety of ages occupied.
Once you finish the first side of the deck, flip it over for an entirely new set of questions and answers. Your kids may not have the stamina to do the entire deck, or even one side, at first, but mine will sit and answer for as long as I have time to read the questions to them.
Older kids can read the cards for themselves, but they still enjoy company and congratulations when answering and checking their answers. I like to sit with my kids, and read not only the questions but the answers as well. The repetition helps them pick up skills faster, and the quality time together reinforces the learning. Plus, we get to spend some quiet time together, which makes these cards wonderful for travel or when stuck waiting at the doctor’s office or other not so fun places.
I like Brain Quest because unlike some other quizzes or games, it leaves kids with a positive feeling about responding and being tested. They love guessing and checking their answers. With no penalty for incorrect guesses, they learn to take chances and build basic literacy skills and more. As an added bonus, you can use it with as many kids as can see the cards. I’ve topped out around four kids at a time listening to questions and pointing to the answers, but it made for a very quiet and peaceful half an hour. (And we only did one side of the cards.)
These cards work great for keeping skills sharp during school break. Once your kid memorizes a deck, you can get a new one. Or better yet, trade with a friend and start all over again, and soon your kid will be a brainiac, too.