Tradebank Barter Client Says Improve Cognitive Skills While Traveling

By Valerie Hale

Tradebank Barter Broker Leslie Pearce from our Tradebank of Charlotte office introduced me to a very interesting client, The Brain Trainer. Dr. Vicki Parker is the founder and director of The Brain Trainer. Below is an example of simple everyday ways to improve cognitive skills while traveling this summer:

Fun Things To Do While Traveling To Improve Cognitive Skills

by Dr. Vickie Parker

  • Have your child search for license plates with a vowel in them.  Once he spots one, see if he can say each sound and blend it into a nonsense word to work on attention and blending sounds.  See who can find the most in 15 minutes.
  • See if your child can get through an entire song clapping on beat.  When she gets good at this, give her a two step pattern to follow to the beat, such as clap (hands), slap (thighs), clap, slap, etc.  Rhythm is a key developmental skill and can help with attention and memory.
  • Work on I Spy type activities with 3 items.  You say “I see a bell, a red car and a robin’s nest.”  Your child should point to these 3 things in the environment in the order you named them.  As she becomes confident, the descriptions should become more challenging.  Try descriptions like these: “Find the thing that tells time, the place you can get a drink of water and something that opens and closes a door,” instead of a clock, a water fountain and a door handle.
  • Have your child make rhymes out of the street names.  Tyvola rhymes with Motorola and Rea rhymes with may, bay, clay and hay.
  • Have your child find numbers or letters using magazines or word and number search books.  Choose a targeted number or letter for him to circle or cross out (find all the Ts or 4s on a page or in the article), pushing accuracy first and then speed.
  • Super Circles TM is an easy travel game that combines matching numbers and colors, increasing your child’s processing speed.  You may not be able to play this in the car, but it is an easy game to tuck away and bring to your destination.
  • To help with math skills, have your child add license plate numbers (392TVQ is 14 points).  For an older child, have her multiply (392TVQ is 3 x 9 x 2 = 54).  The person who has the most points after 30 minutes is the winner.

 Parents, these are games are meant for the entire family, including you,

because everyone can benefit from brain training!

Dr. Parker holds a Ph.D. in speech language pathology with a concentration in neuroscience from Michigan State University. For nearly 30 years, she has worked with children and adults who have learning, speech, language, behavior and reading disorders. Dr. Parker is also a leader among her peers. She speaks nationally at professional conferences and is author of the textbook Problem Solving, Planning and Organizational Tasks: Strategies for Retraining.

Along with years of clinical expertise in her field, Dr. Parker understands it from the perspective of a mother whose child needed help. Her daughter Sally struggled with learning and reading in first grade. After extensively researching options, Dr. Parker chose brain training and speech therapy for her own daughter. Today, Sally is a sixth grader who reads above grade level and enjoys leisure reading.

Dr. Parker offers her services through Tradebank to clients in the Charlotte area and publishes an online blog. For more information go to

For more information on Tradebank of Charlotte go to

by Marcy S. Yaffe, VP of Trade, Tradebank International