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Get your brain back in the game

Perfect games for back to school

Somehow the six-week summer holiday felt like it lasted an absolute lifetime when we were kids. Alas, as parents, and despite the struggle on occasion to keep them entertained all of the time, it does appear that the weeks have flown by. We’re now into pages of back-to-school features on the best stationery sets to buy and which supermarket is selling school shirts for a quid…


We’re not huge fans of the word “edutainment”, but if we can play a board game that might get the kids’ grey matter back in gear after being feral and/or playing elongated sessions of Forza, that’s a good thing – right?


Cortex Challenge Kids


A test for up to six players of their memory, cognition, and sensory perception – including texture cards for the touchy feely challenges. Stretch your grey matter to the max as you race to collect the brain pieces and fill your score card before the others. Symbol matching, maze escaping and image remembering all included.

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Dr Eureka


Containing 54 challenge cards (the formula) and numerous test tubes and molecules (coloured spheres), players must mix and match to create the concoction on the card to win the round. A fast paced play for all the family, white-lab jackets and safety goggle optional.

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Rorys Storycubes


Available in a multiple of licenced guides including Dr Who, Moomins and Batman as well as Voyages, Fantasia and Actions but the original remains our favourite. Roll the nine dice and create tale of your own by placing them in your chosen sequence. Great for a quick play or a longer story telling session.

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Best described as charades with cards each team has a storyteller, each with access to 105 word cards. To start the play, roll the dice to indicate which word both have to describe to their team using a combination of cards to offer their team clues, first to guess wins. Simple, well, four levels of difficulty makes early stages quite straightforward but at the genius end there’s some head-scratching fun to be had.

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Better than other spelling style games as this one doesn’t need an actual board, you don’t take turns and it come sin a pouch shaped like a banana. Players turn tiles, spell words across their grid shape of choice and aim to use all the tiles first to become top banana. You get to shout out peel, split and bananas – what’s not to like?

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