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5 Helpful Mind Games to Play with Your Loved Ones


Have you ever wondered what your brain actually does? That's exactly why Dana Foundation created Brain Awareness Week. It began in 1996 with 160 organizations participating in the United States. The goal was to develop brain research in hope for treatments, preventions, and possible cures for brain diseases and disorders and to ensure a better quality of life at all ages.

What is Brain Awareness Week?

Brain Awareness Week is the global campaign to foster public enthusiasm and support for brain science. Every March, participants host imaginative activities in their communities that share the wonders of the brain, and the impact brain science has on our everyday lives," Dana Foundation.

In honor of this week, Brain Awareness Week (March 13-19). Brain Awareness Week is an opportunity for people to learn about the brain and its importance. Through educational events, activities, and games, people of all ages can learn more about the brain and how to protect it.

With the rise of mobile apps, there are many ways to train the brain with fun and interactive apps. We have included our top 3 brain game apps you can download today and start playing, with two traditional games you know and love: Lumosity, CogniFit Brain Fitness, Elevate, crossword puzzles, and Scrabble. The three apps challenge users with games that help improve critical thinking, process information quickly, and improve overall cognitive functioning.

It is significant to know cognitive training alone cannot guarantee a boost in cognition. Maintaining a well-rounded, healthy lifestyle with daily exercise/movement, a healthy diet, and sufficient sleep can contribute to overall brain health. So don't wait. Download one of these apps and start training your brain.

Check out free puzzle printouts downloads from Dan Foundation to exercise the brain.


Lumosity - Brain Training APP

Orange rounded square, inside is centered with a white simple cartoon drawing of a human head attached to a neck with yellow cartoon brain inside

Courtesy of Lumosity

Lumosity is one of the most known and established brain training games, used by over 100 million people worldwide. The Lumosity program separates into sessions of different games tailored to specific goals for your brain: speed, memory, attention, flexibility, and problem-solving.

The app starts with a free 10-minute Fit Test to see where your baseline score is and how you compare to others. 

The developers found their users seeing improvement by just spending 15 minutes a day, five days a week.

The app is free to download, allowing users to play three games per day. Upgrade to Lumosity Premium at $11.99/month for unlimited access. Available for iOS and Android


CogniFit - Brain Fitness APP

Gradient dark blue to light blue rounded square, inside is centered with a white cartoon drawing of a human head with a neck, O carved in the center

Courtesy of CogniFit

CogniFit Brain Fitness is an interactive game and brain exercise training app designed to sharpen short-term memory and improve over 22 other abilities including: focus, concentration, processing speed, reaction time, and more. 

The app begins with an initial quiz to curate the games’ difficulty level based on your profile and recommendations based on your results. Users can also track their progress and view their brain’s overall health. 

The developers found their users seeing improvement by just spending 20 minutes a day, three days a week.

The app is free to download with limited games. Upgrade to $19.99/month for unlimited access. Available for iOS and Android.


Elevate - Brain Training APP

A bright blue hexagon, centered with a white simple cartoon drawing of a human head with a blue dimensioned brain

Courtesy of Elevate

Elevate is a brain training program designed to improve your mind’s focus, memory, speaking abilities, processing speed, math skills, and more. 

The app starts with an initial test that takes approximately 24 minutes. Then, it will rank you from beginner, intermediate, advanced, or expert. Elevate differentiates from the other brain training programs because they focus more on reading speed and comprehension. 

Developers found users who trained four times a week improved 18% more than users who only trained twice a week. 

The app is free to download with limited games. Upgrade to $9.99/month for access to exclusive content. Available for iOS and Android.


Crossword Puzzles

White background with simple black drawing of a human head with a multicolor wheel representing the multiple working parts of a brain

Courtesy of Amazon

Researchers show brain training programs and solving puzzles can keep your brain young. A study by the International Journal of Geriatric Psychiatry (IJGP), with over 19,000 participants, showed that those who regularly attempted solving puzzles demonstrated brain functioning 10 years younger compared to those who didn’t play words or puzzles. 

Doing crossword puzzles can help with our thinking, attention, and reasoning. Science proves that puzzles or other mental exercises strengthen our brain function.

There are many options when it comes to crossword puzzles. There are crossword puzzles online, in apps, and even affordable physical books. Amazon has a book by Nancy Linde that features 399 brain games and puzzles for $12.40.



A vintage Scrabble board game that says “The Classic Crossword Game Scrabble” with five Scrabble tiles on a wooden stand

Courtesy of Amazon

It is proven that learning something new has a positive effect on our overall brain health. Scrabble not only expands your vocabulary and improves your literacy skills, it also tests your memory. Training your memory can improve cognitive function allowing your brain to work more efficiently. And who doesn’t like a nostalgic game? Order the physical Scrabble on Amazon for $16.49. Also, try Scrabble online.