Logic games - Jigsaw puzzles. Rubik’s cubes. Sudoku. Riddles. You know them, your kids enjoy them, yet:
- How did they come about?
- What skills will kids pick up as they play them?
- How are these relevant for the real world today?
In the times of Aristotle
According to the Stanford Encyclopedia, classical logic has its roots in philosophy and mathematics. Naturally, because of how computer science is intertwined with mathematics, it too relies heavily on logical reasoning.
To put simply, logical thinking is a skill which allows one to methodically and systematically puzzle things out and arrive at an accurate answer.
Lewis Carroll, known for his book Alice in Wonderland, is also credited with championing puzzles and delighting in a child’s curious nature.
English classes in the metaverse to develop logical and critical thinking
At Doyobi, 21st century English language skills are embedded in the Doyobi metaverse to help students develop critical thinking for real world understanding.
This desire to solve a puzzle and figure things out is intrinsic. That heady ‘ohhh’ feeling when one draws connections and achieves understanding is something innately enjoyed by all.
Here is a simple example - Try this series of riddles out with your child and see the delight spread across their face.
💡How do you put an elephant into a fridge?
You open the fridge door, put it in, and close the fridge door!
💡 How do you put a giraffe into a fridge?
You open the fridge door, take out the elephant, put the giraffe in, and close the fridge door!
💡 The animals had a huge party. Everyone attended - the flamingos, the monkeys, the iguanas…Who wasn’t at the party?
The giraffe. It was still in the fridge!
💡 Three travellers were trekking through the jungle. They crossed deep ravines, climbed steep mountains, and battled through clouds of mosquitoes. The last thing they had to do was cross a rickety bridge over a river known for its crocodiles. Suddenly the bridge broke as they crossed! They fell in! And yet…nothing happened and they could swim to safety. Why?
The crocodiles were at the party!
Eleven and twelve-year-olds may groan in response, “Ugh, lame!”, yet return to burying their noses in a mystery book like Sherlock Sam, striving to puzzle out the whodunit. The joy of puzzle-solving doesn’t wane with age after all. Even adults were swept up in the Wordle craze.
The great news is that logic games can exercise the muscle of logical reasoning in us, young or old. This is key for critical thinking! They also develop patience and problem solving, and wean children off the instant gratification encouraged by modern-day society.
Not only do these develop people cognitively, they do feature in assessment tests, such as the American law examination and job applications. Nurturing the habit of systematic thinking is an asset that is crucial in a fast-changing world.
Here are some ideas of logic games you and your child can play together, on and offline.
1. Rubik’s cube
A pacifier for those young fingers itchy for their own smartphone. An affordable and durable toy. A tactile and aural gadget which can train resourcefulness too, as kids cotton on to the concept of ‘strategy’ and realise that there is a method to solving it lightning fast.
All these packaged in a humble cube. What’s not to like?
If/when you lose, remember to share that you have the disadvantage of large, clumsy adult hands. No, you are not a sore loser.
A number-puzzle exercise, where every horizontal and vertical line should have the numbers 1 to 9, as should each grid. Sharpen those pencils, have those erasers handy, or ready those computer mice. Remember, though, to pick puzzles with suitable difficulty, because it can be discouraging if it is excessively hard. It’s not fun to be stuck for too long! Collaboration can also be developed as your kid works with siblings, relatives or even friends to work these out.
Ah, a classic, tried-and-true which kindles much nostalgia in us. Where are our fellow dial-up internet survivors at?! We still recall, with much fondness, how this computer application was deemed the most exciting offering of the Windows computer.
Let your kid have a spin on this, while you regale them with tales of pre-broadband internet. It’s the perfect combination of pixels, challenge and risk!
A traditional puzzle game from Japan, it looks like graph paper with the y-axis at the top instead. A player aims to shade in all the right cells to unveil a picture, much like a connect-the-dots on steroids. The provided numbers are hints to how many cells to shade in a row. Some Nonograms take it up a notch by adding in the element of colour.
5. Unblock me
Remember this? Its brilliance lies in its easy-to-understand aim - slide the blocks to allow the red block to exit, plus do so in the least number of moves. A far cry from action and adventure mobile phone games, this would help your kid slow down, plan their steps out, and think creatively. You could even discuss how this strategy applies in the real world.
Apple wouldn’t have this as the default game installed in every MacBook for no good reason, would it? Strategy, planning, observation, creativity…these are just some areas kids can nurture when picking Chess up.
Or, they could really think out of the box and invent their own game using the chess pieces and board.