Skip to main content

Smart Play: 101 Fun, Easy Games That Enhance Intelligence



Smart Play: 101 Fun, Easy Games That Enhance Intelligence

Barbara Sher

ISBN: 978-0-471-46673-4 July 2004 Jossey-Bass 192 Pages



Children who move their bodies as part of the learning process are more stimulated and alert-and they retain more of what they are taught. By sharing the upbeat, joyful activities in Smart Play, you can enhance your child's intelligence, boost his or her confidence, teach academic and motor skills, and provide a lasting foundation for learning.

Developed by Barbara Sher over the course of thirty years as a parent, teacher, and play-therapy specialist, this collection of 101 delightful, easy-to-follow games helps children use their bodies to master essential mental skills and concepts. You and your family can play virtually anywhere, with any number of participants, and without special preparation or equipment. So gather the children in your life and get ready to have fun as you open their minds and hearts to new experiences and knowledge.

* Encouraging movement and thinking
* Improving motor and social skills
* Enhancing language and math skills
* Fostering parent-child interaction
* Building on children's love of fantasy, action, and rhythm

Part One.

Games That Enhance.

Visual-Spatial Skills.

Ages 6 and Under. 

My Very Own Color Book.

Color Run.

Color Dots.

Match Me Up.

Everyone Wins Bingo.

Cereal Box Puzzles.

Match the Lids.

Carny Game.

Full Of Beans.

Going to the Store.

Ages 6 and Up.

Go Fish For Colors.

Drive into The Empty Spaces.

Digestion Drama.

All Ages.

Jump The Shapes.

Obstacles Galore.

Internal Map.

Kangaroo Ball.

Popsicle Stick Puzzle.

Blind Portraits.

Connect To A Star.

Part Two.

Games That Enhance Verbal-Language Skills.

Ages 6 and Under.

Book In A Baggie.

Name Matches.

Learn to Read in 5 Minutes or Less.

Alphabet Fishing.

Polka Dot Letters.

Sand Letters.

Alphabet Instant Letters.

Letter Hopscotch.

Musical Movements.

Ages 6 and Up.

Sounds True.

Alphabet Trail.

People Pencil.

Finger Letters.

Body Letters.

Compound Your Words.

Window Shade Game.

All Ages.

Hot Ball/ Cold Ball.

Category Toss.

Dictionary Game.

Part Three.

Games That Enhance Math Skills.

Ages 6 and Under.

Straw Counts.

You Can with Cans.

Cereal Necklace.

Guess Who? Guess What? 

Ages 6 and Up.   

Breath Math.

Kung Fu Math.

Math Story.

Counting on Estimates.

A Number of Number Ways.

All Ages.

Mr. Clock, Mr. Clock.

How Many Steps?  

Palm Measuring.

Beach Ball Bounce.

Part Four.

Games That Enhance Kinesthetic Skills.

Ages 6 and Up.   

Human Hoop.

Jolly Jumps.

You And Me And A Balloon.

Blanket Ride.

Balloon Baseball.

Holes in Your Sheet Toss.

The Bunny Game.

Domino Blowing.

Bubble Wrap Jump.

Styrofoam Hammering.

Solitaire Toss.

Rare Races.

Lost in Rice.

Envelope Shapes.

All Ages.   

Foot Writing.


Going Bats.

Gentle Ball Games.

Do Your Own Thing.

Leap, Run and Slalom.

Jumping Joys.

Ballooning Inside.

Instant Relay.

Wiggly Snake.

Tube Sock Throw.

Target Ball.

Hold Tight/Let Go.

Eye Dropper Art.

Label Art.

Toothpick Sculpture.

Stone Painting.

Penny Flick.

Part Five.

Movement Games That Enhance Interpersonal Skills.

Ages 6 and Under.

Who's In The Box?  

A Stone's Throw.

Poker Chip Play.

A People Sandwich.

The Same Inside.

Lily Pads.

Ages 6 and Up.

Stepping on Tails.

Push Me/Pull You.

All Ages.   

Shoe Mountain.

Life is a Kick.

Doodling Doodles.

Cooperative "Pin the Tail".

A Step at a Time Toss.

Newspaper Bonnets.

Walk This Way.

Bat Square Rhythms.

Hum A Tune.

Who Is This?