Flex Flex Flex Your Mind

Hello Marshmallow Peeps! Many moons ago, after posting about the free/ DIY game you could try with your family, Pico Ferme Bagel, I promised to do regular postings of free games for kids. This did not materialize (sorry!) UNTIL NOW! Behold the game: Fannee Doolee. Those of you who used to watch Zoom! regularly on PBS kids might already be familiar with it. It is a really simple, but not necessarily easy, word-based game created to help kids exercise their executive function skills, flexible thinking, associative memory and their spelling skills.

The game’s premise is a girl named Fannee Doolee who likes things that have double letters in their name over things that do not.

How to Play Fannee Doolee

The first player will think of a word that contains a double letter, like the word “green” then thinks of a second word that is close to the first word, but does not contain a double letter. So, if the first word is “green” the second word might be “olive” another word that is a type of green but does not contain a double letter. Once the player has their words, they reveal them in the following phrase: “Fannee Doolee likes the color green but not the color olive. Why do you think that is?”

The following player will come up with two different associated words, one containing double letters. So a follow up phrase might be: “I heard that Fannee Doolee likes bees, but she doesn’t like wasps. What’s up with that?”

Players continue to work together to come with Fannee Doolee’s likes and dislikes. Players can keep score (a point goes to each player who creates a successful Fannee Doolee phrase) or players can work cooperatively helping each other out if they get stuck.

How this flexes the brain

By working on associations that similar but have differences, kids learn about nuance and multiple viewpoints. This helps them with flexible thinking and accepting there are many different answers to a single problem. Brain games rule!

Fannee Doolee as seen on Zoom!

For more reading on Flexible Thinking and activities for Flexible Thinking and Executive Function Skills check out these two posts on Understood.org:

Trouble With Flexible Thinking: Why Some Kids Only See Things One Way

9 flexible thinking activities for kids


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