Benefits Of Playing Word Games
Many of us love word puzzles and they are proven to be very popular with so many out on the internet to pick from but how are word games good for our brains?
There are many positives to playing word games, in this article we highlight how:
Dr. Cynthia R. Green, PhD (Psychology) states 'Such activities keep us intellectually engaged by getting us to "stretch" our thinking. Unlike timed activities, which offer us a different kind of challenge, word games (and puzzles, board games, and the like) grab our attention, get us to make new connections, and give us the chance to think outside of our mind's box.'
This was backed by Dr. Gayatri Devi, MD (Neurology) who stated 'Word games benefit the brain because they activate parts of the brain that deal with language and word finding, which forces the brain to exercise, work and be active. '
But how can we break this down?
Spelling - Watching others and opponents spelling out new words will help the player to recognise the corrrect formation of letters. Word tools such as Word Check are a great way to confirm the spellings.
Vocabulary - Children have a large vocabulary and at about the age of 6, the avaerage known words are 10,000. They will continue to learn and accumulate more over the years. Through playing word games against others unfamiliar words will appear especially with high scoring letters, players will begin to take note of, recognise and learn.
Problem Solving - A person solving a puzzle reasons in a logical way, arranges the problem in the mind, recognises patterns and deduces solutions to reach a desired solution. Since, the goal of solving any puzzle is to find a solution to a problem, puzzles help improve the critical thinking ability of an individual. The child or adult learns patience, determination and organisation i.e., how to break big and complex problems into smaller and easily solvable portions. A sense of accomplishment is achieved when an individual solves a puzzle. This also helps boost the confidence level of a child or adult in his/her ability to solving problems or taking up challenges.
Cognitive Ability - In children, puzzles enhance their ability to visualise and understand the whole-part relationship. Certain subject areas can also be enhanced through the use of these games such as learning and recognising the alphabets, colours, shapes, numbers and various categories that objects may belong to.
Concentration - Concentration is required to solve a brainteaser. Therefore puzzles can help increase the attention span in both adults and children. By varying the difficulty level of the challenge, the level of required concentration can be controlled. Once an individual is comfortable with a level, the difficulty can be increased to push the brain to concentrate harder.
Motor Skills - Motor skills are an essential learning phase in children that comes long before the ability to hold a pencil in hand. Puzzles can be used to speed up the learning process. When children are expected to grasp the objects and fit them into proper places such as in peg-hole puzzles, this helps with their ability to grasp, adjust and let go of objects. This also enhances their eye-hand coordination.
Social Skills - Puzzles that involve partners help learn how to coordinate, share, lead and follow. Furthermore, when solving a challenging problem, a child or adult learns how to deal with the frustration that keeps building up if the puzzle is difficult to crack.
Productivity - Generally, solving problems in the form of puzzles is considered more interesting and is found to increase the overall productivity level. Puzzles can be used to make students learn, grasp and memorise subject area content with less effort involved on their part. The concepts are learned subconsciously while playing a mind involving game.
Article adapted from http://www.entertainmentbuddha.com/8-benefits-of-playing-puzzle-games/
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