These days teenagers have about a gazillion things to fixate over. And being frank, not all of them are positive influences. Mobile phones, NetFlix, and online gaming have shown to increase anxiety, decrease attention spans and waste a lot of time.
Not particularly great effects for growing minds.
The constant gratification of likes, pings, and beeps doesn't have a positive influence on growing minds. Documentaries like Social Dilemma (ironically on Netflix), have removed the veil on these apps are designed to be as addictive and time consuming as possible.
If you're worried about the amount of time that your son, daughter, niece, nephew, or even friend spend on their device or social media - you are not alone.
If you're on the lookout for gifts that are more wholesome - SiamMandalay might have the answer. How about a gift that helps teenagers focus? Challenging, gratifying, and 100% organic. Or a game that encourages REAL human interaction....
Below are the SiamMandalay verified 10 Best Puzzles and / Games for teenagers to fit this purpose.
1. Serpent Cube is a classic - super fun and a bit like a Rubik's Cube. The puzzle is made up of 27 cubes that are all joined in a pattern. Your job is to twist and turn it into a cube. We like this as it's not made up of many pieces, is easy to transport, and is a nice tactile game.
2. Tic Tac Toe: The most popular game in history. Supposedly dating back to the Egyptians or at least the Roman era where it was called "Ternie Lapolli". There is nothing particularly special about the game - it's just wonderful fun, simple - everyone can play. I think that is the essence fo a great game.
Here's our blog on how to guarantee victory. And 10 things you didn't know about Tic-Tac-Toe.
3. Penthouse Apartments: - this game is simple, get 4-in-a-row with your chosen color. Hours upon hours of engaging fun. Penthouse Apartments is a highly strategic game, 2-player, math-based game. Basically, you need to build up the probability of you winning. Also called Four Up, Plot Four, Find Four, Four in a Row, Four in a Line Drop Four or Gravitrips.
4. Cube Puzzle: Also known as the Soma Cube, after Aldous Huxley's fictitious drug in his brilliant dystopic novel Brave New World. The Soma Cube has been used in psychology experiments and aptitude tests since the mid 20th century.
5. 3D Tic Tac Toe: like the standard Tic Tac Toe - but played in 3 dimensions. If you feel you need something a bit more challenging this could be the game for you.
6. Sudoku: We have two versions of this game, both standard (with numbers) and colored (with colors), but they both play the same. You need to get one number (or color) in each square, row, and line. Sudoku is one of the most popular games in Japan but it's a European game.
7. Dominoes: Nothing transcends generations quite like dominoes from Grandads to Grandsons. Dominoes is a Chinese game that is purported to be 700 years old. We think it will still be played in 700 years. This is the only game on our list which is meant for more than 2 players, so get the whole family in to enjoy it.
8. Tangram: a creative based problem-solving game. Tangrams are made of 7 pieces or "Tans". You can either make different shapes or try and fit it back inside the box.
9. High-Rise Condo: Typically a 2-player game. Remove all the pieces and don't let the tower tumble.
10. Checkers: Play the classic strategy game with a portable personality – perfect for picnics. Two players take turns moving a man one space diagonally or jumping the opponent if he's blocking the way. Best of all get 'kinged' by making it to the other side and flipping your pieces over to differentiate your "kinged" color. Take the fun with you anywhere!