The 5 Minute Brain Workout for Kids by Kim Chamberlain, illustrated by Jon Chamberlain, is a great activity book for kids ages 7 and older, and includes games, puzzles, and teasers that will keep kids brains active and developing outside the classroom. But what’s great is these activities don’t feel like school work, even though they will be learning new words and how to spell them, learning how to concentrate, and establish their own goals. However, the book also can be used as a fun additional activity in the classroom and with family. From alliteration to spelling and definitions, kids will learn new words and how to use them and when. As kids, parents, and teachers move through the levels (1-10) in the book, the games and puzzles will get harder.
Puzzles in the book are those with specific answers, while games are those activities that may have more than one “right” answer, allowing users to be creative and to do games more than once. The book contains 37 types of exercises and three bonus puzzles at the end, and the answers are in the back of the book to help parents and teachers. Throughout the book, kids will notice a blue-tongued lizard named Ra, which is based on the authors’ pet lizard at home.
Although this book is aimed at kids older than my daughter, we had fund giving some of the games and puzzles in level 1 a try. One of her favorites was the “Word Line” where she was given a saying from Kermit the Frog to follow in the word jumble using only 1 line. It was fun to teach her how to look at the phrase and look for each letter in each word and follow it to the end. She liked how it made a “snake line.” The simple anagrams were tough for her, as she’s only learned how to recognize a few words. We did the train words together, and she seemed to enjoy discovering new animal words in the jumbles.
The 5 Minute Brain Workout for Kids by Kim Chamberlain, illustrated by Jon Chamberlain, is a book I’ll be holding on to for her when she’s in Kindergarten this fall. We’ll start again, and as she goes through school, I’m sure she’ll be doing more of these puzzles on her own. It will be a good way to see how she’s developing.
About the Author:
Kim Chamberlain has been writing and creating activities, games, and puzzles since childhood. The author of Five-Minute Brain Workout as well as communication skills and activity books, she has a master’s in linguistics. She worked with teenagers for many years and is a volunteer reader/writer for college students. She is an award-winning international professional speaker and was founding president of a professional speaker’s association chapter. She lives in Wellington, New Zealand, with her husband, Jon, their two children, and their pet lizard.
About the Illustrator:
Jon Chamberlain has been drawing for a long time, collaborating with his wife on several book projects and for his own enjoyment. He worked exclusively in inks and watercolor until recently, when he acquired a drawing tablet and consequently relearned how to create digitally. He is a professional IT geek, comic book aficionado, and collector of old science fiction novels. He resides in Wellington, New Zealand.