Operation — for all it’s silliness and unbelievability — is a great Milton Bradley game that teaches children patience. On the same token, a kid can learn about their anatomy (somewhat )and even be exposed to the possibility of pursuing a medical career someday. I don’t advise it for children who are faint of heart because of the goosebump-raising buzzer that howls when you’ve made the wrong move, but it’s a step in the right direction if a curious, patient child is what you’re trying to build at home.


Jenga is a game that centers around concentration and focus, and just like any other human ability, the more you exercise and practice it, the better it — and subsequently you — becomes. The players take turns moving long blocks around on a column in an attempt to build a tower while trying NOT to the be the cause of it toppling. The skill needed to win Jenga goes against everything that it means to be a kid; slow movement, clear thinking, and the ability to block out distractions. Kids are usually the distraction themselves, so when I see kids playing Jenga, I snicker at the simple irony loud enough to disturb them, and continue on my merry way.

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