Puzzles, Mind Games, and Optical Illusions to Get Your Brain Working


Just like we exercise our bodies to keep our health in good order, it's important to exercise the mind to keep it sharp no matter how old you are. Research has shown that keeping the brain active through activities like puzzles, brain teasers, reading, riddles, and learning new things can help detract from memory loss. Brain games and puzzles are a great mental workout that helps people exercise both parts of the brain: the logical and analytical left side and the creative right side! 

As people grow older, in most cases, the occasional memory lapse is incredibly common. It happens because the hippocampus shrinks gradually over time, and brain cells in that part of the brain will stop producing new neurons. However, that doesn't mean it's permanent. Through healthy habits and activities like brain games, teasers, and riddles, you may even be able to slow that shrinkage and continue to produce more neurons. Keeping up with good mental habits isn't the only beneficial activity for the brain! Maintaining a healthy diet and regularly exercising is also a great way to keep the brain sharp. These practices will help ensure you can continue to try new brain teasers and pick up new skills for years to come! 

Brain Teasers

Brain teasers are a clever and fun way to stimulate cognitive function and challenge your brain. These types of problem-solving games are often short and relatively simple, but they force you to use your problem-solving skills to think outside the box. There are a few different ways these teasers can be structured. Brain teasers can be visual puzzles like pattern recognition activities. Others can involve plays on words and numbers to force you to think of words and numbers in new ways, or they can come in the form of logic puzzles. All of these brain teasers can help improve mental acuity and problem-solving skills as it takes time to analyze and interpret the given information and come to the correct answer. People, young and old, will enjoy the workout their brain gets with these teasers. 

Optical Illusions

Optical illusions are images and designs that challenge your visual perception. These are the images you look at for a moment, rub your eyes, and then look again because you feel like your eyes are playing tricks on you. They use color, patterns, and even light to mislead the brain because optical illusions are designed to trick the eye into making you think you're seeing something that isn't actually there or is different from what it appears. Try out a few optical illusions for yourself to see just how hard it can be for your brain to interpret the images accurately at first glance and make you think twice about how you perceive things. 


A riddle is a question or statement that involves a puzzle that needs to be solved. They are usually phrased in a very distinct way to provoke a specific train of thought to come to the correct answer. Riddles rely on the reader using critical thinking to figure out the answer, which can be challenging but also entertaining. There are two types of riddles: enigmas or problems expressed in metaphorical language that requires carefully thinking through for a solution and conundra which are questions that rely on a pun. Puns have existed for centuries throughout literature and are popular with kids and adults alike. They're a great way to improve your critical thinking skills and exercise your brain. 

Puzzles and Other Educational Games

Neuroscientists have long suggested that working on puzzles is a great way to keep the brain sharp. It requires critical thinking and stimulates your brain's creative side by putting together the image. Teachers have also found that mixing puzzles with educational topics stimulates their students' minds and helps students remember details about that topic. These puzzles and educational games are a great jumping-off point to keep your brain sharp.