Flexible thinking means the ability to find more than one way to do something. To be a successful student (and eventually a productive adult), one must have a flexible brain. You use flexible thinking when you have to find a different route to travel because of traffic. You also use flexible thinking when you’re reading a book that requires you to follow plot twists and character development. Inflexible thinkers get “stuck” and are often times rigid in their thinking. They don’t like to travel different routes and they don’t like changing their thoughts about where the plot is going and who the characters are. The K&M Center has developed a Flexible Thinking Program to directly target these skills because…
…The good news is that flexible thinking can be taught! The even better news is that flexible thinking can be taught using games (many of which come in App form). The games listed below are suitable, in varying degree, to students from the age of 6 – adult.
It’s always great to start any “brain” work with this free App: 3D Brain (free). Using 3D Brain, students can use the touch screen to rotate and zoom in on different parts of the brain. They can highlight and learn what each individual structure does and visualize how important the communication between the structures is.
For a more “kid-friendly” explanation of the structures of the brain, I like the App (which is an interactive book with games): Your Fantastic Elastic Brain ($4.99). I think their website puts it best saying, “this innovative and timely interactive edutainment app teaches children that they have the ability to stretch and grow their own brains. It also delivers the crucial message that mistakes are an essential part of learning and introduces children to the anatomy and various functions of the brain in a fun and engaging way….”
Another app that I’ve mentioned before, but is worth mentioning again anytime I post about Flexible Thinking is Mirta The Superfly (free). This story is about a “superfly” who has to use flexible thinking to achieve her dreams of exploring the world. Make sure you check out the “Tips for Mom and Dad” section at the end that really explains “flexible thinking.”
Now for the games that encourage flexibility!
Set Pro HD ($4.99) is the classic game of visual perception and set-shifting. The interactive tutorial makes learning the game simple and your student can play solitaire-style or can challenge a friend in multi-player mode.
Tap Towers (free) is a version of the Towers of Hanoi puzzle that has entertained (or annoyed) people for centuries. The objective is very simple – to move the rings from the left tower to the right tower. However, you can not put a large ring on top of a small ring. Working through this is great for students who have a low frustration threshold. Another version of the Towers of Hanoi that is “cuter” is Towers of HanOINK! ($0.99). Instead of stacking rings, you stack animals.
ColorShape HD (free) is a speed puzzle where students are challenged to match buttons that satisfy both shape and color in repeating orders. But, the blocks are constantly moving around, so students really have to “be on your toes!”
If you think your student could benefit from even more Flexible Thinking training, please check out our Flexible Thinking Program in our online store.