Mind Games Worth Playing
Preparing for the RVNA Spelling Bee — or just keeping that brain of yours agile
Unlike their middle school counterparts in the National Scripps Spelling Bee, our RVNA contestants have NOT been studying since early childhood, do not carry a dictionary as an everyday accessory, and probably don’t wile away the time with Merriam-Webster flashcards. On the contrary, the RVNA Spelling Bee contestants are intelligent people with very full lives which typically don’t involve spelling difficult words aloud in front of an audience of 500.
So …. how to prepare?
Melissa Woodhouse, RVNA Director of HomeCare and Client Services and a 2019 Bee contestant herself, has the answer … Cognitive Training, a practice she learned while studying to be an occupational therapist.
“Cognitive training is essentially exercise for the brain,” explains Woodhouse. “At RVNA, we use it in different ways. Our therapists use cognitive exercises to help patients who are recovering from strokes or neurological events, and we also use memory games for patients with dementia, to help slow the progress and keep the brain active. While these situations are clearly more serious than the adult Spelling Bee contestant’s dilemma, cognitive exercises can be helpful – and fun – for almost anyone. Like the body which is strengthened by physical exercise, the brain too can benefit from drills and challenges.”
Daily word jumbles and crossword puzzles are excellent tools, and free brain challenges can easily be found by searching online. We like Luminosity and Mind Games but by all means, find your own and enjoy them in moderation. And of course, for the 2019 Spelling Bee contestants among you, there’s always simply spelling every word aloud from now until the Bee.
It’s less than two weeks away.