For many of us word games are addictive. We love these puzzles, and there is no doubt they are the safest type of games for any age. You can play them with your family and friends as a social activity, or play alone and challenge your brain. But what are the benefit of word games to our brains, if any? The answer comes from many studies which have come to similar conclusions. Word games or other similar puzzles can contribute to improved memory, vocabulary, focus, and mental activity.
These activities are good because the engage us intellectually when stretching our thinking. In contrast to activities where to win you have to be fastest etc, word games, puzzles, and similar games get our attention and cause us to make new connections. In a way these games give us the chance to think outside the box of our mind.
One of the main activities when playing a word game puzzles is recognising patterns, one of the most important cognitive functions. This ability allows our brain to create meaning and order from all the information around us. Word games help you train your brain to ‘imagine’ patterns faster and better.
There are several studies that have found word searching effective for teaching a second language. Even if you are not after learning a new language, when you start playing word games you realise there are words that you don’t easily recall. There is always room to expand your vocabulary. A majority of English speakers have around 20.000 to 35.000 words in their vocabulary, while there are over 1 million entries in the English language vocabulary.