Mumbling Mommy

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We all love playing classic games to unwind and kill time. However, by choosing the right titles, enjoyment won’t be the only benefit. In truth, playing classic games is one of the very best ways to build many skills that enhance your personal and professional life. 

It’s true that outdoor games can deliver benefits for the family. Likewise, a range of VR games and active video games are able to support skills like spatial awareness. However, it’s the classics that provide the biggest rewards for your brain.

So, here are the best brain training games that you should incorporate into your leisure activities. Game on. 


Chess is an incredibly popular game that dates back to the 15th century and is now played by over 600 million players regularly. It is a two-player abstract strategy board game that is based on skill. Thanks to online chess, though, solo players can now brush up their skills against AI players. Alternatively, they may look to play against another human player from around the globe. 

Considered a mind sport, chess can improve attention spans and memories. It also helps develop pattern recognition, problem solving, and critical thinking. In addition to plotting their own moves, players must try to predict what their opponent will do. Naturally, then, it can help you develop an improved ability to read others. This is especially true when playing in the same room as another human player.

As players get better at chess, they can introduce timed games to speed up their decision making processes.


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Poker is one of the most popular casino games of all, not least because it involves a lot of skill. While there are several variants to consider, becoming a better poker player will mean honing several skills. Crucially, the majority of those talents are transferable. For starters, you have to get better at reading faces and body language to tell what a person is really thinking.

However, poker also supports the development of various additional skills. You will need to manage your money (chips), strategize, and control your emotions. Moreover, it is key to become better at using probability to guide your approach to risk management. This can subsequently help you in a host of personal and professional settings. The need to accept losses that defy the odds can make you more rounded too.

You don’t have to play for real money to benefit from the skills acquired. Better still, you only need some cards to play.


Brainteasing games like crosswords are great for testing your knowledge. However, sudoku is where you can improve your critical thinking and logical thinking skills. Improved patience, pattern recognition, and cognitive skills are some of the other benefits. As well as being a game you can play alone, it is one where you can come back to the puzzles at different times during the day.

Sudoku as we know it now was introduced in living memory. Still, its roots are traced back to Latin Squares and variants from hundreds of years ago. There are an estimated 167 million players in America, highlighting its popularity as a game for the mind. The great thing is that there are games of varying difficulties. This could be based on the size of the grid or the numbers that are already entered at the start of play.

There are millions of potential combinations. Whether playing on paper or your smartphone, you’ll never run out.


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Dot dominoes is one the oldest games known. It is traced back to at least the 12th century in China. In fact, it may have been invented even earlier by the Egyptians. Either way, it is one of the best classic games that introduce youngsters to pattern recognition and strategy. Not least because the game can also be used to teach basic counting as well as taking turns with other players.

While it is suitable for youngsters, the game maintains popularity with older audiences. It keeps the brain sharp, which can slow cognitive decline. Meanwhile, the game itself requires you to manage your pips strategically. It also encourages you to remember if another player couldn’t play a certain piece. This will guide your next move to hopefully put your opponent in an even worse place.

Developing a better understanding of how you can impact others, and vice versa, is a valuable skill for life.


Battleships is another game that millions of people play in childhood but subsequently never play in adulthood. Once again, though, it can teach several valuable skills. Firstly, you will want to place your ships in strategic places. Meanwhile, learning to read your opponent’s body language could help you seek and destroy their boats sooner. Conversely, you’ll be eager to manage your emotions to stop telltale signs.

Of course, the ability to develop calm and control will help you in dating, disagreements, and the workplace. Battleships is a game that requires some luck, but it is possible to improve your game with winning tactics. As with many classic games, you can now play video game versions if you do not have a traditional set. Or you could draw out boards on paper, which can help youngsters with fine motor cognition.

It is primarily a game of fun, but there is no question that Battleships can aid logical and critical thinking. For players of all ages.


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While most people have at least one bad memory of Monopoly, it remains a great game. It teaches you to act with strategy as you have to manage your money and properties. There are also opportunities to negotiate with other players. It can make you more confident in life situations that require similar skills. Arithmetic and other ingredients of gameplay will help keep your mind fresh too.

When you look at Monopoly statistics, you can also see how probability can be used to your advantage. When you learn to do this in daily tasks, your risk management efforts will improve. With so many variants to choose from, ranging from themed boards to video game versions, you can’t get bored. Like many of the games mentioned, fun is the priority. Still, the additional rewards are worth noting.

Whether playing Monopoly as a child or an adult, there is a strategy to your play. And it will influence the way you view problems elsewhere.

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