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Visual Thinking Games

Thinking Games Teach Attention and Memory


Updated July 11, 2014

Mother and son pointing out of the window
fStop Images - Heidi Yount/Getty Images

Thinking games have been delighting and teaching children for generations. You probably remember playing them in your own childhood. Thinking games are not just fun. They are also educational. Playing these thinking games with your child teaches non-verbal skills such as attention to detail and concentration. They stimulate children's ability to notice and think about the visual physical differences and similarities between objects using their visual memory or attention to their environment. These games are fun ways to teach differences and similarities in categories of objects and people. They also offer great social interaction and teach positive ways to spend time with your children.

Bumble Bee, Bumble Bee is a thinking game many of us played in early childhood. You may have learned it by other names, but the concept is the same.

The object of Bumble Bee, Bumble Bee for young children is to identify an object in the area that another player is thinking about. One player chooses an object and gives other players a clue about its identity. Players take turns guessing what the object might be, and they continue until it is identified.

For preschoolers and early primary students, the clue is usually the color of the object. The game can be made more complex by using sizes, shapes, textures, or other ideas you may have in addition to colors.

How to Play:

  1. One player chooses an object without telling the others and says, "Bumble bee, bumble bee, I see something that you don't see, and the color of it is (say the color)."

    Another rhyme you may remember is: "Riddle, riddle Marie, I see something that you don't see, and the color of it is (say the color)."

  2. The other players take turns guessing what the object might be.
  3. Players are given a yes or no response as appropriate.
  4. If players are having difficulty, they may be given clues.
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