Games to Encourage Logical Thinking in Children

Written by cynthia clark
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Games to Encourage Logical Thinking in Children
Chess is a strategic game that encourages logical and strategic thinking in children. (Jupiterimages/Comstock/Getty Images)

Logical thinking is a learnt mental process in which one uses reasoning consistently to come to a conclusion, according to Audiblox. Children can begin learning the sequential processes of critical thinking before they start school. Games that encourage logical thinking help children with problem solving and intellectual growth.

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Sequential Thought

Sequential thinking is the basis for finding solutions of academic or real-life problems. Mastermind is a code-breaking board game for two or more players that requires sequential thought. One player creates a code by placing coloured pegs in a chosen sequence, while the other must figure out the sequence of colours. Pressman Toys, the maker of Mastermind, offers three versions of this logic game for preschoolers. These Tower versions use images of familiar animals or characters for children to create the sequential code. Mastermind is also a good game to develop pattern recognition.

Pattern Recognition

Pattern recognition, according to IQTestLabs, is essential for logical thinking as it is the mental ability to see order in a chaotic environment. Minesweeper is a single-player game included in most Windows-based operating programs, or it can be downloaded for free at Learn4Good. Minesweeper is a strategy and pattern recognition game for ages eight and up. The goal is to locate landmines without detonating them. Decipher the patterns of the numbers revealed when turning over squares to determine the corresponding pattern of mines.

Deductive Reasoning

The Free Dictionary defines deductive reasoning as a way to sort out general concepts into something specific based on cause and effect. Memory matching games for preschoolers help with simple deductive reasoning skills. The child must remember the location of the corresponding image, while ruling out other cards where the desired image does not exist. Detective games such as Hasbro's Clue are based on deductive reasoning. Clue Jr. is designed for children ages five to seven for solving a mystery at a carnival. Players are presented with clues from which they must name the guilty individual in a given scenario. Battleship uses deductive reasoning to locate the opponents' ships. This classic tactical game is designed for two players, but is available for one player to develop skills online at Hasbro's HubWorld and on a variety of hand-held devices.

Strategic Thinking

The mental skills for logical thought culminate to develop strategic thinking for evolving situations. The Science of Strategy Institute defines the "adaptive loop" as the difference between logical thinking and strategy, which is the planning mode of problem solving. Dominoes is a good strategy game for preschool and older children that encourages relational reasoning. Monopoly in its many forms, including Monopoly junior requires deductive reasoning and planning. Tic-Tac-Toe is good preparation for playing draughts and Chinese draughts, which are strategy games that have fairly simple rules for young children.

When children have mastered these games they can move on to chess. ChessKidsAcademy notes that at around the ages of 11 or 12, children have developed the complex logical thought and study abilities to play this adult game at higher levels.

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