Kids love to play. This is how they learn to interact with others. You can also use games to educate your children and reinforce key concepts. The question for many parents is, “Which games should I be playing?” Here are 5 great puzzle games for kids.
Word unscramblers are more than just a mental challenge. They are a good way to get kids to be creative. They may realize how many words can be made out of the letters, though there is just one correct answer in most cases. This makes it more accessible for younger school aged children than telling them to as many unique words as possible from a long word like Christmas or “winter break”. The word unscrambler is going to get them to practice their reading and spelling. You can use a tool like WordfinderX to quickly create word unscramblers based on the word you choose. You can make it harder by putting in wildcards.
Hangman is a good puzzle game for kids. It is a simple game that you can lead or let them play with each other. It has an easily understood countdown in the form of the hangman. It teaches them proper spelling. And you can use it to reinforce other lessons they’ve learned from state capitols to vocabulary lists. It is scalable, too. You can play hangman with one child or a classroom of first graders. All you need is a whiteboard or pencil and paper.
Boggle creates a random assortment of letters, and the kids need to come up with as many unique words as possible in a set time. This can cultivate creativity and help them improve their literacy skills. Help kids sound out the words they made and point out additional words they could have made. The only downside is that you need a Boggle game for each group, though it could be played by groups of up to six children. On the other hand, kids could play against themselves, trying to come up with ever longer lists of unique words.
Bananagrams are a combination of Scrabble and Boggle. Everyone gets a set number of letters. The goal is to come up with words in a grid using up all their tiles. It challenges their memory and creativity, and it can enhance their vocabulary. You don’t need pencils or paper, and it can be played by people of all ages as long as they have basic literacy skills. That makes it a good choice for ages 7 and up. There is a beginner bananagram game that skips some of the rarely used letters so that kids are making words like cat, hat and grandma over quiet and kettle.
Crosswords can be played by all ages. The only question is the challenge posed by the teasers. You can create crosswords based on vocabulary words and spelling words. You can buy simple crosswords, too, that are age appropriate. You can find crossword puzzles focused on a theme, whether it is state capitols or body parts, MLK day or spring break.