Some toys never go out of fashion. Since its creation in the 70s, the Rubik’s Cube has earned and kept its place at the top of the list of best-selling toys of all time. Its popularity never truly went away, and even today, you can see kids and adults alike fiddling with the Cube and drawing enjoyment out of it.
It turns out the Cube isn’t just a fun pastime, but it comes with a variety of benefits that can be extra meaningful for children in development. With that in mind, we have comprised the following list.
These are 15 ways in which a Rubik’s Cube can benefit your child:
1. It’s a perfect icebreaker.
Take your child to a park or a social gathering with their Cube. As they bring out to play with it, other children will likely approach them, offering help and attempting to find a solution together. It will nourish your child’s social skills and confidence, and it may help them form friendships that last a lifetime.
2. It’s fun and dynamic.
When you get a Rubik’s Cube, you may attempt to solve it yourself or look for one of many tutorials one can find online.
Both approaches can be beneficial for your child as the former teaches them how to approach and commit to a problem until they find a solution engaging their brain within the preset context. In contrast, the latter teaches them how to approach their problems creatively and look for solutions wherever they may be available.
3. It’s useful in developing cognitive skills.
The Cube features extraordinary cognitive and problem-solving capabilities. It helps promote spatial relationships, teaches patterns, and promotes healthy eye-hand coordination. Even if your child doesn’t show any development issues in these areas, nourishing these traits and skills from a young age can go a long way for their future.
4. It helps increase concentration and focus.
Rubik’s Cube requires time and commitment. Your child will likely spend days or even weeks figuring out how to solve it, which can help bolster their patience, focus, and commitment to the task at hand.
5. It teaches problem-solving.
Life is one big problem-solving puzzle. Problem-solving is dependent on one’s ability to break down an issue into its smallest parts and address each of them individually while keeping the larger context in mind.
With more than forty-three quintillion possible combinations, the Cube is almost its own mini plastic universe. Playing with the Cube, your child will learn to focus on each turn while realizing that each move they make will influence the subsequent moves.
6. It promotes the development of a wider perception of the process of problem-solving.
Everyone who’s ever held a Rubik’s Cube knows that trying to solve it step by step, field by field, simply doesn’t work in immediate terms. It requires seeing the bigger picture and long-term strategic planning. It may seem intimidating at first, but children are fast learners, and nourishing these skills can help them in numerous areas of life.
7. It helps improve short-term memory.
Engaging your brain in a dedicated problem-solving activity greatly increases its short-term memory capabilities. When your child observes a concept and focuses on keeping its many moving parts memorized in order to act upon them accordingly, this effect is produced passively without them even realizing it.
8. It helps improve muscle memory.
‘Muscle memory’ refers to the part of your brain that remembers the mechanics of movements necessary to achieve a certain effect that takes place after continuous repetition of the activity. Other activities that utilize muscle memory involve typing, playing various musical instruments, martial arts, riding a bike, etc.
Muscle memory is essential if your child is interested in pursuing any physically involved hobbies and is generally beneficial for healthy physical development.
9. It helps improve reflexes.
Some of the quickest Cube solvers can arrange the Cube in less than five seconds. This is an extraordinary feat when you consider that while doing it, they are memorizing and refreshing more than one hundred different algorithms while twisting the Cube into the final position. This means that they can execute three movements of the Cube per second.
These people have astonishingly fast reflexes and incredible hand-eye coordination. These skills are not only useful in solving the Cube; they also help with visual identifications of items, reading, color registering, etc. They can improve typing speed, and training your child’s agility and skill can be directly beneficial to their joint development and health.
10. It can improve their mathematical abilities.
Rubik’s Cube employs a combination of raw logic and real mathematics. Suppose your child learns to solve the Cube independently. In that case, they will learn how to approach abstract and unfamiliar concepts and apply their own ‘raw’ brainpower to them to learn how they function and can be utilized to their advantage.
Conversely, if you introduce them to tutorials, they will learn specific algorithms, the principles of which have a wide range of applications in the modern world. Therefore, your child will learn how to think in those terms very early on.
11. It teaches strategic thinking.
Strategic thinking is a complex set of skills that kids can pick up while taking the time to solve the Cube. The Cube will help your child learn how to understand and break down the fundamentals of a concept and decide based on this knowledge.
They will learn how to observe, categorize items they have observed, contextualize information, and make appropriate associations. They also learn to examine how they influence one another at each stage of the process to plan their next set of moves accounting for all the possible variables.
12. It teaches life lessons of patience, perseverance, and pride.
Because of how difficult the Cube is to solve without any pre-existing knowledge of its mechanism, it may get your child frustrated with how long it’s taking and cause them to give up.
However, the Cube does also seem to lure people back in just as easily in yet another attempt to find a solution. This way, your child will learn to overcome their negative emotions of defeat and wounded pride and persevere in solving their problems. It always pays off in the end.
13. It promotes confidence and optimism.
Once your child solves the Cube, they will likely be overwhelmed with the feeling of achievement. This will boost their confidence and nourish optimism in life. They will be delighted to find that most’ real life’ problems are actually much easier to solve than the Cube, so knowing they have overcome one of the world’s most difficult toys will encourage them to face their future problems head-on.
14. It teaches them how to handle stress.
Stress is possibly the worst companion one may have in life. While the Cube can be quite frustrating in itself, paradoxically, it can also be a great tool to teach your child how to manage their stress response.
Initially, they may get upset when they can’t solve it, make a mistake, or get stuck. But as they keep coming back to it and trying to find the solution, their resilience will improve, and they will learn to respond to negative things more calmly. They will learn that the solution is always within reach so long as they don’t give up.
15. It provides healthy entertainment.
Children are bursting bundles of energy and get easily bored. Modern parents often struggle to keep them entertained amidst their own busy schedules, which often results in children being glued to digital gadgets for hours. Unless you are certain you have complete control over what they are engaging in on their devices, there is always a risk they get exposed to content damaging for them.
Even if it weren’t the case, spending too much time in front of a screen is simply not healthy for a child in development. For this reason, you should consider getting them a Rubik’s Cube instead.
A Rubik’s Cube can keep them entertained for just as long but comes with fewer risk factors. However, the Cube also requires one to sit in the same place for long periods, so you should still mind that they get enough exercise for the rest of their body.
All in all
The Rubik’s Cube has one lesson for all of us – the value of simplicity. It features no battery, comes with no fixed instructions, and yet it appeals to everyone regardless of their age, background, or creed.
Many years since its creation, the Cube continues to challenge countless minds across the globe, old and young. It teaches us that solutions to complex problems are often simple, but that does not mean they are easy. It helps us simplify our thoughts, clear our minds, build our patience, and adjust our perspective.