Brain-Friendly Halloween Games & Activities
In many neighborhoods and communities around the globe, Halloween is more than a single night of trick or treating. They organize carnivals or fall festivals where kids can play games and collect candy in safe environments. Many of these games are super brain-friendly, exercising our most important muscle while having a blast. The best part is, these can be enjoyed by kids and adults throughout the year, making them fabulous ways to keep our brains healthy, all year long.
The spider web obstacle course
Take one normal obstacle course and add some arachnid vibes to make it a spooky good time. This activity blends physical exertion with mental acuity by activating both our cerebrum and cerebellum at the same time.
To set the game up, find or make an obstacle course. Take streamers or fake spider webbing and distribute them throughout the course. The goal is to get through the course without ripping the streamers or breaking through the webs.
Our cerebrum coordinates our movement and works while we engage in active problem-solving to find the solution to each obstacle. The cerebellum hones our hand-eye coordination, helping us execute our decisions while we’re in motion. This helps us improve our balance, fine and gross motor skills, and of course, problem-solving.
Name the monster
To challenge our memory and improve reasoning speed, this interactive game is great for large gatherings and groups. To play, tape a monster’s name on the back or forehead of every player. Taking turns, the individual can only ask yes or no questions about the monster in order to try and guess which monster is affixed to them.
As we play, our hippocampus becomes activated. This part of our brain is associated with memory, both recalling them and creating new ones. It also activates multiple regions in our brain associated with deductive reasoning as we logically attempt to narrow our monster choices to guess the correct one.
Sticky skeleton darts:
Precision and calculation are the necessary skills to play this fun and mentally engaging game. Get a regular dartboard, but for the darts, use sticky ended skeletons or hands that will stick when thrown. Set the target and let the limbs fly.
We’re using our hand-eye coordination playing this game, but we’re also heightening our focus and concentration. Our cerebellum is fully engaged as we coordinate motion while analyzing strategies. And we activate our occipital lobe by visualizing the act of throwing the dart before we actually execute the motion.
Halloween scavenger hunt:
One way to make trick-or-treating an interactive game in carnival or festival settings is to create a scavenger hunt. Hide different Halloween prizes and goodies throughout a building or in a large field and let participants hunt for their prizes. We can add difficulty levels by creating clues that participants have to decipher in order to unlock each prize. These hunts can be customized by skillset and group size, and are a great way to add a little challenge to the day.
By searching for hidden prizes, we have to use our memory, strategy, and deductive reasoning to search in order to ensure we don’t search the same places twice. And if we have to decipher clues, we engage even more of our prefrontal cortex to problem-solve. Depending on the size of the hunt, this can also be a great boost in physical activity, getting our heart pumping lots of oxygen-rich blood to our brain.
Halloween is a holiday that can be celebrated in many different ways. Planning a large event full of brain-friendly games and activities can help ensure we’re exercising our bodies and minds while having a ton of fun. As a bonus, laughter is one of the best brain activities we can engage in, and these games are sure to provide an endless supply.