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Word Games

So, here’s the thing, I love playing games. I have already admitted my nerdy tendencies for D&D, but I also really enjoy word games. The problem is that there are so many to choose from, that sometimes it’s difficult to decide what to play. Many people think that playing games is a waste of time and a bit childish, but I disagree (well I would wouldn’t I?). This post is all about the benefits of playing word games, for adults and children. I have thrown in a few recommendations too, just in case you get the urge to have a try.

Figuring out how to solve a puzzle is great exercise for your brain. Many studies show that staying mentally active and setting yourself brainy challenges is a superb way of staying mentally active and on the ball, regardless of your age. Focussed activities will improve that function of the brain — so, for example, tackling a jigsaw will improve your spatial and pattern recognition skills. (I need to do more of those). And it’s true to say that solving word-based puzzles and playing word games like Boggle and Scrabble will improve your language skills. The same is true of more simplistic games for younger children, such as hangman.

There are lots of free games, such as categories, the number plate game, word ladders and the alphabet game. All of these activities can widen your vocabulary and possibly keep you sane on a long car journey.*

Developing your vocabulary not only makes you look clever, but it’s fun too. There are so many websites out there to explore, as well as crossword puzzles, anagrams and the dictionary game. For really young children, you can label items around the house. I know it sounds a little odd, but it does develop their awareness of text and you can easily turn it into a hide and seek style game. Hours of fun on a rainy afternoon! Online games for kids are aplenty, with such a huge range of choice. Some websites that I would recommend are:

http://www.woodlands-junior.kent.sch.uk/interactive/literacy.html

http://www.spellingbeethegame.com/

http://www.bbc.co.uk/bitesize/ks1/literacy/phonics/play/

http://www.bbc.co.uk/schools/ks2bitesize/english/

There are some very well produced apps too, including Dabble (a little infuriating, but a good brain stretch), WS Aurora, Word Vs Word, iSpellWord, Wooords and Enscripted (again exasperating for the right reasons).

*I take no responsibility for the loss of sanity on long car journeys, whilst playing these games.

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