Did you know that the crossword puzzle was invented in December 1913 by Arthur Wynne, editor at the New York World, just before World War I?
He created this game for the paper’s FUN section. While the game has been popular for over a century, it gained renewed interest during recent pandemics. In May 2019, The New York Times crossword passed 500,000 subscriptions.
Crosswords, however, are not just a way to pass the time or find solace in difficult situations. They can also provide significant benefits, such as enhancing vocabulary, improving spelling, and boosting cognitive abilities.
Hence, we must motivate children to engage in solving these games.
Let’s take a closer look at the many advantages of this traditional game with an interesting history.
Benefits of playing crossword puzzles:
1. Improves Vocabulary:
One of the many benefits of playing this game is a rich vocabulary. While playing crosswords, they will encounter new words that will challenge them to think critically about their meanings.
Children also learn how to spell new words and understand their usage in context. As children progress to a more advanced level of crosswords, they may come across complex or obscure words that they wouldn’t have heard otherwise, further expanding their vocabulary.
A rich vocabulary can improve their communication skills while boosting their confidence and self-esteem.
2. Improves general knowledge:
It’s a fact that playing crosswords can improve the general knowledge of children. The puzzle introduces them to new words, concepts, and topics while covering various subjects.
While solving the puzzle, they learn about history, geography, science, literature, etc. This increases their knowledge quotient and makes them more informed person.
3. Cultivates an Inquisitive Mindset:
Children often work hard on a crossword puzzle, only to find themselves stuck on a few clues. The process of questioning, thinking critically, and seeking solutions in solving crossword puzzles can cultivate an inquisitive mindset in children.
Of course, with a little help from a parent or guardian, they can uncover the missing answers and learn new definitions they’ll remember for a lifetime.
4. Promotes perseverance and persistence:
Crossword puzzles are difficult. Children may sometimes abandon them, but parents can use this to teach their children perseverance. They can motivate them by providing incentives for completing the puzzles.
It will encourage perseverance and prevent them from giving up too easily. At home, we need to promote crossword puzzles.
5. Improves memory:
Crossword puzzles involve logical problems and word puzzles, and they can be beneficial for children in many ways. They can help children develop skills such as retrieving definitions, improving vocabulary, and practicing spelling.
As children solve more puzzles, they become more adept at using their memory to store and recall new and existing information. With every puzzle, they can learn at least one new word, phrase, or saying, making crossword puzzles a fun and effective way to expand their knowledge.
6. Encourages lesser screen time:
A lot of children are suffering from screen addiction, and the crossword, an engrossing activity, can keep them away from the screen for a longer period.
Include printable crossword puzzles in their daily activities. For instance, rather than giving in to your child’s desire for more screen time when you are quite busy, consider printing an age-appropriate crossword puzzle for your child to work on.
7. Develops decision-making and, self-worth & self-trust:
While solving crossword puzzles, it’s common for children to be hesitant as they carefully consider all the possible answers. They may wonder, “Is this the correct answer? Will a wrong answer ruin the entire puzzle?”
With this continuous debate in their mind, children eventually have to learn to trust their own decisions. Over time, their reluctance and fear fade, making room for self-worth and self-trust. Indeed, a great benefit for kids.
Crossword puzzles are not just a passing trend, as they are here to stay. These puzzles can benefit children and promote a healthy learning environment.
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