Why Sudoku Should be Mandatory in Schools

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Sudoku Improves Kids’ Memory and Learning Skills

According to a recent UK study of puzzles in the classroom conducted by the University of Cambridge, 75 percent of teachers currently use puzzles, such as crosswords or Sudoku, as part of their classroom teaching materials – but puzzles are often used as a “fun” activity to engage students or reward students or supplement the lesson plan, rather than being used as a type of instructional material in themselves.

The Cambridge study found that Sudoku was helpful for improving children’s memory, especially for kids age 7 to 11 – Sudoku is a good teaching tool for improving abstract reasoning and memorizing data. The study also found that Sudoku can be used to teach math and science – for example, by teaching kids to memorize chemical symbols (using them in the Sudoku grid instead of the numbers 1-9).

Sudoku Teaches Patience and Focus

If you look at the types of personality traits that are common to great Sudoku players, the best Sudoku players tend to have methodical, well-organized minds. They know how to look at the Sudoku grid and immediately recognize patterns, and they know how to develop a consistent thought process to work through the puzzle and keep finding opportunities even when the going gets tough. These are good skills and values to teach to kids at a young age. If kids can learn how to focus, how to think through problems from multiple angles, and how to learn determination and patience in the face of challenges, then Sudoku is a great teaching tool not only for school, but also for life outside the classroom.

Sudoku is Adaptable for Mobile Devices

Many kids today love technology. This young generation of “digital natives” seems to have an innate ability for using smartphones and tablet computers. The great thing is that Sudoku is now available online and in mobile apps. Teachers in the classroom can share Sudoku puzzles the “old fashioned way” on the chalkboard or overhead projector screen, or can work in small groups with kids playing Sudoku on smartphones or mobile devices like tablets, or laptops. (Different schools have different technology budgets, but mobile technology is becoming more affordable, widespread and widely used in schools.)

As we move further into the 21st Century, it’s more important than ever before for people to embrace new ways of learning and teaching relevant skills to our kids. In addition to the essential skills like reading, writing, math, science, history and geography, it’s also important to teach our kids how to think and how to engage with “brain games” like Sudoku.

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