Today’s blog is written by BIA-MA Support Group Leader Liaison Barbara Webster. Barbara is also the author of “Lost and Found – A Survivor’s Guide for Reconstructing Life After a Brain Injury.”
Do you remember the joy of playing games with family and friends when you were younger? Perhaps you have continued the tradition as an adult; playing board games and card games on weekends with the family, when you gather with friends or when you are on vacation. They are treasured times, times to take a break from our ever-hurried and stressful lives, times to play and laugh together.
What you may not realize is that while you enjoy playing cards or a board game as a social occasion, you are also using many physical and cognitive skills. That’s right! Let’s take a minute to think about it. . . . While playing a simple card game, you are using physical and tactile skills to handle the cards, visual skills to identify the cards, language skills to express yourself and understand the game, problem solving skills to play the game, social skills while you interact with the other players . . . pretty amazing, right! In fact, some games are especially helpful in building specific skills. Working with jig saw puzzles, for example, can help build spacial relationship skills, advantageous when using diagrams, maps and math.
Today, playing “Brain Games” can also suggest using one of many computer programs designed to improve cognitive skills. Computer programs can be beneficial and convenient, especially for those with limited mobility or communication abilities. However, interaction is limited and many of us learn best by being physically engaged in the activity, by touching and moving the game pieces. We may talk to our computers but how can you develop social skills and make friends with a computer program?
BIA-MA wants to bring back some of those treasured times for brain injury survivors, provide an opportunity to meet other survivors and enjoy an activity, while challenging your brain! We will be offering a variety of board games, card games and puzzles. You may even want to learn a new game!
If you are interested in participating in this social and recreational support group, visit our website. This new group will take place at the Brain Injury Association of Massachusetts, 30 Lyman Street, Suite 10, Westborough, MA, from 1-3 p.m. on the 3rd Wednesday of the month beginning September 18, 2013. Registration is required as space is limited. If you need any accommodations or assistance, please bring someone to help you. Click here to register!
“We don’t stop playing because we grow old, we grow old because we stop playing.” George Bernard Shaw
Barbara’s book is published by Lash & Associates Publishing/Training, Inc. Click here to see the interview with Barbara Webster.