Source:  Lisa Lewis Tyre, Contributor

Forget soccer games and violin lessons, teach your kids something really cool — bridge. There are some really awesome reasons to teach your child this amazing game.

Here are seven!

1. It Improves Test Scores

A researcher by the name of Dr. Christopher Shaw taught 5th graders to play bridge then compared their 6th grade standardized test scores. What he found was very interesting.

What Shaw discovered was that students who learned to play bridge had a significant increase in their ITSB scores compared with their non-playing classmates.

While everyone’s scores increased because they were older, the most significant gains were from those who had learned bridge!

2. It Boosts the Immune System

Who doesn’t want healthier kids? You might think that playing cards all day has no health benefits, but according to a study by biologist Marian Diamond, you would be wrong.

“In a presentation at last week’s meeting of the Society for Neuroscience, biologist Marian Diamond described an experiment showing that contract bridge players have increased numbers of immune cells after a game of bridge.

Based on her previous work, and that of others, Diamond interprets the findings as “strong evidence that an area of the brain involved in playing bridge stimulates the immune system, in particular the thymus gland that produces white blood cells called T cells, or T lymphocytes.”

Forget the cough medicine, deal the cards!