Marbles Brain Store: The Best Brain for Your Buck

At the Marbles store, they love to sell games that are “easy to learn and difficult to master.”  That is the key principle that you can use to boost and/or maintain your brain power.  As we have previously written, we are really excited about a new Chicago-metro store called Marbles.

Marbles store owner Lindsay Gaskins and her team are committed to helping brains age well.  And they have a lot of fun doing it!  Each of the brain games they sell in their store serves a specific purpose and benefits a specific part of the brain.  “The whole concept for the store came out of the idea that there are new developments in science saying that if you exercise your brain you can stave off Alzheimer’s—you can  live better and longer,” says Lindsay.

Since each of the games is available to try in the store, people get very involved in finding out what is their next step toward brain health.  “We get people who will sit and play the games for half an hour or more, and that’s what our intent is.”

So what are some of the best tools to start with?

  • Keep Your Brain Alive – this book explains how to create new connections in your brain by doing physically different things than you’re used to.
  • Rush Hour – a classic game, Rush Hour is every valet’s worst nightmare: how do you get the red car out of the gridlock moving only a few spaces at a time?
  • Tangoes Classic and Tangoes Deluxe – this game, based on the same concept as ancient Chinese tangram puzzles, lets you build pictures using wooden shapes to match those on a set of 45 cards.  You can play as a couple, and have races to see who can build the picture first.  This game was rated “top senior gift” in the Chicago Tribune during the fall of last year.
  • 30-Second Mysteries – this is a book full of quick mysteries you can play with the whole family – on a road trip, around the table, or wherever!
  • Dakim – at around $2,300, the priciest “toy” in the store is a computer system that works with an individual to improve parts of their brain they might be having trouble with.  It’s geared toward seniors and features music and pictures from the 40s & 50s.  Content updates every night and the system tracks a user’s progress. It’s touch-screen for people who are not as computer savvy.  There is a system available to try at Marbles locations, and the Dakim system also has placements in many senior centers and care facilities.

I asked Lindsay if there was one thing she wanted people to walk away with.  “Get up and do something about your brain health.  Mental stimulation is really important and really fun, and if you get engaged you’ll feel better.  We want people to love their brain as much as they love their body.”

Marbles has two locations with another on the way.  At each location they have weekly events, including game nights and brain aerobics classes.  Scheduled events can be found at

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