10 Benefits of playing Word Search
Much of the success of this game comes from the combination of entertainment and immaterial gains it offers players. The benefits of playing Word Search range from learning support to increasing mental performance, with some scientific studies even suggesting that these puzzles may be beneficial in delaying and improving dementia.
1. Supports language fluency
There are more than one million words in the English language, but most adult speakers only have a vocabulary of 20 to 35 thousand words.
Word Search puzzles are normally divided by categories subject to a specific topic. This gives players the chance to learn new words with an associated context which leads to better fluency and easiness in expressing their thoughts.
2. It can be used as a learning strategy
These puzzles can be very useful for students or individuals looking to master the key vocabulary of a particular discipline, as they can be used to help memorize or review important terms.
In fact, Word Search puzzles frequently feature in kids’ school books and language learning exercises due to this benefit.
3. Improves spelling
Language fluency thanks to a wider and richer vocabulary is one of the main benefits of playing Word Search games, but spelling is also an important part of this fluency.
While searching for the words on the grid, the players need to pay careful attention to their right spelling to ensure they do not fall for the trick of finding very similar words without being able to scratch the one they want from their list. This attentiveness triggers the brain to memorize the spelling of each term, thus improving the player’s spelling capacities.
This skill practice is particularly important in languages such as English, where many letters are silent and there are many similar words with contrasting meanings.
4. It is a useful tool to learn languages
Word Search games are a very useful tool when it comes to learning new languages. So much so, that it is a recurrent strategy employed in educational books and by teachers themselves.
It exposes students to new vocabulary grouped by topic (which helps to provide context and to memorize the terms), but also to their spelling. Thus, it can help increase the language’s oral and written fluency at the same time.
Additionally, students can also use these games as a study aid to review or refresh their knowledge.
5. Helps to improve concentration
Being able to focus and fully concentrate on something is a skill that needs to be trained on a regular basis. It is also one of the most important abilities in everyday life as it is required in the performance of both simple and complex tasks.
Solving word puzzles is one of the best workouts to improve this skill, and one of the great benefits of playing Word Search is precisely the way it helps to improve concentration and focus.
If they want to find all the words in the least amount of time, players need to be able to shut off all distractions and they can never lose focus. The tiniest disruption can lead them to miss a word and having to go back to square one in their analysis.
With time and practice, players will notice that they become better and better at ignoring all sources of distraction and that they are able to solve the puzzles increasingly faster.
6. It teaches patience and persistence
Being highly concentrated is not the only requirement to be able to win a Word Search game. Players also need to be persistent and patient to sift through the grid in search of the wanted word.
Normally, even easy puzzles contain a tricky term that is harder to find. Frustration takes a toll on concentration and finding the missing word will become harder. However, in the end, the feeling of accomplishment will eclipse this frustration.
Since the players want to keep experiencing that sense of accomplishment, this will lead them to train their patience and persistence in order to keep frustration at bay and achieve their reward faster.
7. Keeps the brain active
Playing Word Search games can be a relaxing activity for the mind, but this does not mean that the brain enters into a standby mode while challenging these puzzles. On the contrary.
Word Search grids force the brain to perform systematic searches at all times, be it looking for a specific word pattern/ending or a particular letter. It also needs to consider the direction of the word as well as the possibility it may be displayed horizontally, vertically, or diagonally. Memorization is also required in order to remember which words the players are looking for at all times.
Lastly, the brain needs to analyze all these tasks and evaluate the best course of action. Is it row by row? Column by columns? To search each word individually or group them?
8. It helps to develop problem-solving skills
As previously noted, while playing a Word Search game the brain needs to handle several tasks at once and evaluate the best course of action to achieve victory.
In practice, the players are training their problem-solving skills. They have a problem (having to find the words to win the game) and they must evaluate and define the best strategy to solve it efficiently and quickly.
Word Search is thus a great tool to train this skill so fundamental in daily life.
9. It is therapeutic and relaxing
The benefits of playing Word Search extend beyond skills training to reach mental health.
The game can help players in different ways. First, by requiring the brain to be fully focused on the task at hand, it prevents the mind from dwelling on a problem or negative thought. This, in turn, helps to reduce and prevent anxiety and stress.
Finally, it can help to increase a sense of happiness and to generally motivate players in their daily life. Since solving a puzzle requires a lot of effort and perseverance, victory is rewarded with a greater sense of accomplishment. The players are left feeling optimistic, motivated and in good spirits, positive traits that will spill into their lives.
10. It is a great opportunity for kids and adults to bond
This a classic casual game played by individuals of every age. Even children that are only now getting acquainted with the alphabet and are beginning to read their first words can find enjoyment in looking for the listed words on a grid.
Word Search is thus a great activity to help strengthen the bond between kids and adults. A puzzle can be turned into a competition to see who can solve it first or a team-building activity with adults and kids joining forces to beat the challenge.
Kids can also collect more benefits when playing with adults as these can provide the meaning and explain the context of unknown words to them.
All in all, it is a great socializing tool.
The benefits of playing Word Search only help to increase the attractiveness of a game that is already in itself a fun activity. In paper or online, these puzzles kill boredom and help to improve one’s skills in one go.