We all love the challenge of trying to solve a particularly difficult puzzle, and word puzzles are some of the most popular for people all around the world. There are various types of word puzzles which people like to sink their proverbial teeth into, and not only are they a lot of fun, they also have many mental and cognitive health benefits. In addition to keeping your minds sharp, word puzzles can also be used to help students learn the alphabet and new vocabulary. Most people learn better when they are having fun, children in particular, so word puzzles are ideal for bringing a little joy to language study.
For everyone who is looking to introduce an exciting challenge to their studies, here are 4 types of word puzzles that make learning fun.
Crosswords are fantastic puzzles which are loved by people of all ages. Crosswords are interlocking grids in which the person has to write the answers to clues both vertically and horizontally. There are different crosswords with varying degrees of difficulty, from really simple definition based clues to the most complex, cryptic clues. The majority of newspapers around the world have a regular crossword puzzle to challenge their readers and the most difficult take real intellect and skill to solve. When a crossword clue is just too tough, there are some online tools for crosswords which enable you to input the clue and get the answer. This enables you to finish a crossword even when you are unsure about one or two of the words. As your crossword solving skills improve, you will need to rely on tools and other help less and less until you become a full fledged crossword master. Crosswords help people to learn new vocabulary as well as logical and alternative ways of thinking, so they are excellent word puzzles.
Rebuses are really fun puzzles where a phrase or sentence is made using a sequence of letters and pictures. The phrase or sentence can be anything from a common expression to the name of a popular movie or song. For example, a rebus for the popular horror movie A Nightmare on Elm Street may have the letter ‘A’, then a picture of someone sleeping looking scared, then an arrow pointing on top of a cube or wall, then a picture of an elm tree, and then a diagram of a street map. Rebuses are really challenging and are a great puzzle to solve with friends and family. They teach you to learn in a different way, thinking outside the box, and help to develop logical skills which are so useful in many other applications.
3. Word Searches
Word searches have always been one of the most popular word puzzles and we can all remember spending happy hours trying to find all the words in a particularly tricky one. The great thing about word searches is that they are so versatile and you can tackle increasingly more difficult versions as you get older and become more skilled. Kids absolutely love word searches and they are an excellent way to introduce language learners to new vocabulary in a fun way. Many language teachers use themed word searches to expose their students to new words which they then expand on in later lessons. A Halloween themed word search, for example, will have the words “pumpkin”, “candy”, “costume” and “witch” all hidden for the students to find.
4. Anagram Puzzles
Anagrams are some of the most sophisticated word puzzles but are also among the most challenging and fun to solve. An anagram is essentially just a rearrangement of all the letters in a word or phrase which you have to unscramble to find the original term. There are various types of anagrams, the most clever being versions where the new arrangement has a similar meaning to the original, and others where the new meaning is the exact opposite. Anagram puzzles help to create a feeling for letters and language which has all kinds of benefits in learning. Students can improve their vocabulary, writing and logic skills, and can also become more creative by making their own anagrams for their friends or classmates.
Learning is a lot more effective when students have fun at the same time. Some of the most difficult learning you can do is trying to remember new words or difficult language and so word puzzles are particularly useful. There are so many exciting word puzzles which can help students to improve their vocabulary and spelling, and which offer a unique and exciting challenge. Try out some of the suggestions in this article and have fun!