Before you break out into a rousing rendition of Michael Jackson's 1992 hit "Remember the Time" (off his Dangerous album) and start recreating the moves from his video, let me assure you, that's not what this post is about!
Instead, it's about do you actually remember more or less as you grow older. As for me, I can honestly say that other than when I was pregnant with both of my children, I am a little more forgetful now than when I was younger. Which led me to ask the question: "Is memory loss a normal part of the aging process or not? And if so, what is normal and what's not?"
So I did a little research to find out the answer to my question. Here's a little about what I found. According to an article featured on the website HelpGuide.org, a trusted non-profit resource, "Memory Loss is NOT an inevitable part of the aging process because the brain is capable of producing new brain cells at any age." Interesting! This taught me something new. But then, I know what you're thinking, "Then why am I so forgetful?" Here's what I found. Forgetfulness is common as we get older and oftentimes can be caused by physiological changes which can cause glitches in brain functions. What's important to know here is that just like with muscle strength, "if you don't use it you'll loose it." A concept that I am all too familiar with having been an athlete for most of my life!
So how can you stimulate your brain and sharpen and improve your cognitive skills and help prevent memory loss? Have I got the game for you! The name of the game is "Shell Game." It's a game developed by a company named ThinkFun (www.ThinkFun.com
) who is the world's leader in creating fun games that help to sharpen and stretch your mind.
The game is based on that old classic "slight of hand" game where the shuffler tries to trick or fool his or her spectators into thinking that a particular object is hidden under one "shell" or "cup" rather than another. In this game the object and the goal is not to deceive, but to rather help improve logic or memory skills to help the player win. The pieces used are sea shells and hermit crabs and ocean stones. Object of the game is to get your hermit crabs from the START position to the END position by using memory and logic. What I loved about this game is that there were different challenge levels and clear instructions on how to achieve each one. I have to admit though, at first it was a bit of a challenge to maneuver or swap the shells along the printed arcs but once you try it a few times and focus on what you are doing then it becomes easier.
My 12 year old daughter and I had a ball trying to figure out the different challenges and then at one point the whole family got involved as we used the game pieces and reverted back to the classic "shell game" shenanigans! My 6 year old even got a kick out of trying to guess where the hermit crabs were located! Great, fun Family Night activity!