Increasing the Frustration Threshold: Making Better Problem Solvers

"The Frustration Threshold. Every teacher I speak with nods when I talk about problem solving and use this phrase. The Frustration Threshold is the point at which a person struggling with a problem gives up. They are stuck, they can't solve the problem, they are frustrated, and they just stop working on it. Sometimes students stop trying when they are almost at a solution – but frustration sets in and they walk away…."

The above is an excerpt from a paper presented at a mathematics conference a few years ago. The notion articulated is that individuals can improve their ability to solve problems through a program that both illuminates different ways to think about problems and improves self confidence in the ability to solve problems.

We work with teachers, educators, therapists, rehabilitation specialists, specialists on aging, and just about anyone else who is looking for a way to improve or rebuild mental capacity. A key aspect of the perspective that we convey is that thinking is fun!. By engaging in mentally challenging and enjoyable activities, individuals of any age can enjoy lasting benefits and improve different aspects of their mental landscape.

We have put together a program which highlights the connections between different mental or brain activities and games or puzzles. The following chart is an example of the kinds of mental processes which can be improved with different types of activities.

 

Thinking Categories

Types of thinking processes

Selected puzzles or games that can be played individually

Selected games for multiple players

Language

Spelling, Sentence, Word Association, Storytelling

Word Finds, Crossword puzzles, Word problems, Mystery puzzles, Bananagrams

Scrabble, Once Upon a Time, Spinergy, Disorder, Unspeakable Words, Quiddler, Pass the Bomb, Bananagrams, Gloom, Go Mental

Mathematics

Number sense, arithmetic, abstract representation, sequencing, pattern recognition, grouping, probability, statistics

Graduated Puzzles(Rush Hour, River Crossing, Tip Over, Tridio, Animal Logic) 15 Puzzle, jigsaw puzzles, mechanical puzzles, sliding puzzles, Game of Chips, Set, Reflection, Kukuro

Pass‐the‐Pigs, Yahtzee, Equate, Smath, Perudo Make 7, Rumikub, Puzzle books, Labyrinth, Gloom, Sequence, Guillotine, Poker, Wizard, Gobblet, Go, Pente, Abalone

Memory

Concentration, recall

Concentration, Electronic Brain‐Games, Intellequest Series, Sherlock

Gobblet, Concentration, Memo, Trivia or fact based games, Sherlock, Magic Labyrinth

Reasoning

Logic skills, lateral thinking skills, assessment, judgment, strategic thinking

Graduated Puzzles (Metaforms, Zoologic, Animal Logic, Logix II) Sudoku, Logic and lateral thinking puzzle problem books, mystery puzzle books

Go, Pente, Abalone,chess, checkers, backgammon, Mindtrap, Clue, Spy Ally, Scotland Yard, Mister X

Spatial Ability

Geometric thinking in 2D and 3D, visualization, geometric transformation, geographic thinking

Lonpos, Knoodle, Rolling block puzzles (Hedghog Escape, Say Cheese), Soma cubes, jigsaw puzzles, spatial puzzle books, pentominoes, tangram type puzzles, clicko series, maze puzzles, mechanical puzzles (packing puzzles, burr puzzles)

Blokus, Rumis, Ubongo, Ricochet Robot, Reflection

 

We are happy to talk with you about how we can work with you or your organization to improve mental dexterity at any age.