As we get older and find ourselves established in a career or in some sort of routine, staying mentally sharp can be a challenge. Fighting off mental decline or the brain fog of complacency is important, and one important thing to do is always keep learning. Most of us are aware of popular educational resources like Skillshare, Khan Academy, Luminosity and others, but we don’t always have the motivation or desire for the type of serious engagement they provide. Some of us just need to sit down, relax, and have fun with our downtime. If you find yourself online and want to kill some time in a fun and productive way that will help keep you sharp, try out some of these options.
This is a website filled with tens of thousands of quizzes that span a wide variety of categories. Popular categories include Geography, History, Language, Sports, Movies, and Television. Users can create an account to level up, earn badges, and keep track of their best scores and times for different quizzes. I find this particularly helpful to gauge how well my brain is working on a particular day. I enjoy retaking random quizzes and seeing if I can still score as good or better than my personal best. Some days I can’t remember half of what I did previously, and on those days I know to take it easy on myself if I’m struggling with tasks.
This is another quiz website much like JetPunk, but typically uses different formats. Try out both and find which one you prefer. I like the JetPunk style more, but both have plenty of fans.
An online game that drops players somewhere in the world using Google maps and photospheres with the goal of pinpointing where they are on a map. Players can learn all about the world by playing this game. Identify types of trees, landscapes, license plates, road markings, or maybe just read that road sign right in front of you. I’ve learned how to identify a number of different languages, memorized which side of the road countries drive on, and many more fun details to help decipher where I’m dropped. You can play casually while exploring the world, or you can play competitively against other users. A wide variety of game modes keep it a fun fresh way to stay sharp.
A site of geography games that is run by Geoguessr. It is compartmentalized quite well so you can learn the basics of continents, countries, states, etc. There are subcategories that get increasingly more complex and difficult if you want to really expand your knowledge of the world around you. This naturally pairs quite well with Geoguessr, as those city names on that road sign might actually be worth something with your newfound knowledge.
A game that has lasted 1500 years and is still quite popular. While you have undoubtedly heard of chess before this GROUNDBREAKING inclusion, I feel it is important to include due to its value. It is a game, and it can be a lot of fun. It also requires learning in order to get better, and there is no ceiling to how good you can become. Each match requires thought, logic, foresight, and recollection. It’s easy to see how such a game can help keep minds young and sharp. Play against a customizable CPU or challenge other real players ranked close to your skill level.
This site offers a massive amount of different puzzle types. From simple puzzles you’re familiar with like sudoku, cryptograms, and word searches, all the way to complex and different ones like logic puzzles and laser grids, this site really has it all. If you can’t find something that tickles your fancy in this massive collection, then you probably don’t like puzzles, in which case I would not suggest Puzzle Baron.
Giving your brain a workout doesn't always have to be academic or tedious. Utilizing some of these options in your daily routine can really help with how sharp you are and keep you feeling on top of your game. So get out there and learn something, the fun way!