YMCA holds Brain Ninja Games Day

While world-class athletes battle for the gold in Sochi, kids ages 6-12 will be participating in their own competition at the North River YMCA. Brain Ninja Game Day will pit kids against each other in brain games, martial arts exercises and balance games Saturday, Feb. 15, 3:30-6:30 p.m.

LearningRx Brain Training Center is partnering with Green’s Karate and The Little Gym to host the free event, said Chinyere Ubamadu, director of community connections for LearningRx.

Day-of registration and Ice Breaker Games run from 3:15-3:45 p.m.

“It gives kids an opportunity to flex their mental and physical muscles,” she said of the event. “It also raises awareness to the brain’s ability to change as we learn information and grow.”

Children do not need to have any prior knowledge of martial arts to participate, Ubamadu said.

“The idea is to give kids the opportunity to get out there and see what they can do with their brain, body and balance ability,” she said.

The games will begin with an opening ceremony, and kids will be divided onto three teams. Each team will spend 20 minutes rotating through the brain, martial arts and balance game stations.

Brain game participants might be asked to spell words backwards or try to figure out a math problem given to them by a facilitator who then tries to distract them. Participants will also be asked to speed-sort, which Ubamadu said is a way of stretching the brain that works on processing speed. One game involves showing participants a tray of items for 60 seconds and then asking them to write down what they saw.

At the end of the competition, a master brainiac, master black belt and balance master will be named, and kids will have a chance to win lots of great prizes, she said. Throughout the day healthy snacks will also provided.

While walk-ins are welcome, attendees are asked to preregister by calling 305-1599.