Some moms say that having kids has seriously dented their intelligence. Certainly all the stresses of pregnancy and childbirth don’t do anything for you short term powers of concentration, and after that it’s easy to see how a continual stream of laundry, mealtimes and the Tellytubbies can leave you just a little under-stimulated. No wonder some moms can feel like they’re losing their edge.

The good news is that clinical test show that your IQ is a pretty fixed number. You don’t lose that many brain cells no matter what you pump through it (!) and you can’t pump it up like some sort of physical muscle either. You’ve got what you’ve got and all can do is make the most of it.

There is a ‘but’ though. And for once it’s a good ‘but’.

It seems the more you work your brain the quicker and more nimble it gets. All those brain training programmes that are such a money-maker for the likes of Nintendo don’t actually make you any cleverer – they just make you better at doing the tests that people might use to measure your intelligence. It’s like wearing heels to have your height measured. It really doesn’t count for a lot.

But you can take that logic and apply it for yourself to things that are more useful than counting triangles or fitting zig-zag patterns together. There are all sorts of fun online games that can help you boost your reaction times and your powers of concentration and they needn’t cost you a bean.

Online bingo is a great pick up and put down way to get started. See for yourself; you can play free bingo online here. Not only is it a good way to get your brain ticking over a little bit quicker, it is also surprisingly social. Most online games provide a neat side line in chatrooms so you can brush up on your typing and your social skills all at the same time!

Sudoku and crosswords have been around since the dinosaurs started getting bored, and whilst they offer a neat way for you to keep the grey matter silting up they tend not carry the competitive strand that makes online games so stimulating – in all senses.

If you’re that little bit more of a radical intellectual there is always the mysterious world of the online casino. With card games that are not simply a matter of chance – poker and rummy for instance – now formally acknowledged as ‘mind sports’ you can legitimately pit your wits against other players any time you want. And again, it is possible to do that for play money rather than real cash.

One of the great boons of the digital age is that all these games are now available on your mobile phone, and they are increasingly designed for people who might have to dash off at a moment’s notice. After all, the Tellytubbies isn’t on for long!

So if you feel your mental powers are not what they were – fear not. You’ve not lost anything of your natural ability; it’s just that you’re a little out of form. And remember, form is only temporary!

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