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Family activity of the week: Play a brain teaser puzzle
Need something to do this week with your family? Play a brain teaser puzzle. - photo by Herb Scribner
Theres a new way to play Tic Tac Toe.

Its called Stick Tac Toe, and its created by the Varsity math team at The Wall Street Journal.

In this new version of the game, the Xs and Os now represent two spaces and look almost like a domino, of which players have four. They are played on a four-by-four board, according to the WSJ.

The first player plays an X, but will use the domino that includes the O, too, taking up two spaces on the board, WSJ reported.

The goal remains the same: to get three of your marks in a row, horizontally, vertically or diagonally, WSJ reported.

But this version of the game doesnt have to end in a tie.

If a player lays down a domino that simultaneously completes both a row of three Xs and three Os, she or he is still considered to have won, WSJ wrote. On the other hand, if a player completes a row of the opponents marks without making one of his or her own, the opponent wins.

This isnt the only puzzle WSJ has available in its Varsity Math page. There are various games introduced every week for users to engage in something that families may want to participate in, too.

Puzzles, aside from being a fun family activity, can help children with their early development, according to The Huffington Post. Games like crossword, word search and logic puzzles can often improve a childs cognitive skills, motor development, hand-eye coordination and even social skills.

Research shows puzzles are educational, especially in the area of mathematics, and they offer developmental support for both children and adults, The Huffington Post reported. When any child or adult works with puzzles, the right brain and left-brain are both engaged, which is when our brains are most active."

Families can find myriad puzzles online and in stores. offers a variety of puzzles that can be played online.

For puzzles that can be bought in stores, families will want to check out Amazons best-seller lists, which includes Rubiks Cubes, Blokes and other brain teasers.

There are also some good puzzles at Momdot, a parenting advice and information website. Puzzles such as Body Magnet, which is a mix and match style of puzzle, and T.S. Shure Wooden Magnetic World Map Puzzle will help children learn through brain teasers.

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