I received a thank-you email from Anita Gianakas, a library media specialist in Knox County, Maine recently.

She’d discovered my 2013 MENSA blog while working on their media center’s Brain Busters and Mind Puzzles guide for the library Educational Learning series.

The blog suggested things like jigsaw puzzles, crossword puzzles, Sudoku, Scrabble, and trivia mind games to keep your brain active, and provided online links to sites like these:

One of her students, Lily, suggested some fresh additions to that original list.

Rather than update the old blog, I decided to do this reminder blog because too often we forget to challenge and train our brains regularly.

It is so important that we keep our brains alert because brain cells do die off.

As a classroom teacher, I used a thinking warm-up—puzzles, logic problems, and review questions from lessons. Interestingly my students always preferred puzzles and thinking problems over reviews.

My source for those daily thinking warm-ups was Matching Wits with Mensa. I still use the book to refresh my brain periodically

It’s not necessary to be a MENSA member to keep your brain stimulated. Our family enjoys challenging each other all the time. Brain teasers, card games, puzzles, all these help us keep our brains sharp.

Check out the old MENSA blog for more suggestions or try some of Lily’s new suggestions above if you want to test or challenge your brain daily.

Want to practice first? Here’s a brain warm-up and put your answers in a comment.

EXAMPLE:  7 in a W = 7 days in a week 

#1 – 7 of the AW

#2 – 8 on a S S

#3 – 64 on a C

The first commenter with correct answers will receive a free copy of their choice from my book options. Good Luck!