coffee cup next to a cross word puzzle

The 5 Best Kinds of Word Puzzles!

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Do you get bored quickly or can’t hold your attention for very long? Are you looking for something to do that will keep you busy? If so, word puzzles may be the solution for you!

Word puzzles are board, spoken, or online games that can be fun and educational (if you pick the right ones). Not sure where to start, though? This post will cover 5 of the best kinds of word puzzles that will keep you busy for days.

Ready to dive deep into the world of word puzzles? Let’s get right into it!

Why Word Puzzles

At this point, you might be wondering, “why word puzzles out of all the activities out there? What is the benefit?”

Before we reveal 5 of the best kinds of word puzzles, let’s cover some ways that you might benefit from doing word puzzles:

 

  • Improve vocabulary – Most word puzzles will involve some complex words that you’ve never heard before, which can significantly help expand your vocabulary!
  • Sharpen spelling – Many word puzzles also require you to spell out some hard words (or at least play with the letters of some hard words). If done for long enough, your spelling is sure to improve.
  • Reduce screen time – By spending time working on word puzzles, you are taking away from time that you would have spent on your phone or laptop.
  • Bolster problem-solving skills – Many word puzzles also have the unique attribute that they’ll require you to engage in problem-solving. Problem-solving is an essential skill that will undoubtedly benefit you in other aspects of your life.
  • Develop persistence – Needless to say, through the process of solving these puzzles, you will face moments of frustration. Getting through these moments will help you develop grit and persistence.
  • Keep your brain sharp – One of the most significant benefits of doing puzzles is that it keeps your brain active and alert.
  • Can be done anywhere – Regardless of where you are, you’ll be able to find a word puzzle that you can do.

Now that we’ve covered some of the various benefits of doing word puzzles let’s dive right into some of the best on the market today!

The Most Fun Kinds of Word Puzzles You Should Try

From puzzles that require you to think and problem-solve to puzzles that are plain fun to do, you’re sure to find something on this list that suits you!

Word Search

Also known as word find, word seek, or mystery word, word search is a fun word game consisting of the letters of various words hidden across a grid. Usually, this grid has a rectangular or square shape, and the objective of word search is to find all the words hidden in the box. There are also advanced levels that involve words that bend: otherwise known as a snaking puzzle.

If you want to take it a step further, you can even create your very own word search games. There are plenty of websites that will let you do just that for free!

If you’re interested in word searches, check out:

  • The Word Search: A website that offers thousands of word searches for you to play immediately.
  • Puzzlemaker: A website that lets you create your own word search to give to others.
  • 24/7 Word Search: A more interactive and fun word search site that feels more like you’re playing a game than anything else.

Crossword

Crosswords usually take the form of a square or rectangular grid of white and black shaded squares. The idea is that you fill out all the squares with letters (that collectively form words or phrases) by solving certain clues. Once you fill out all of the white spaces (with the right words), you win!

 

The cool thing about crosswords is that you don’t need to work to find them. Just turn to almost any newspaper, and there’s sure to be a crossword section.

If you want to get started with a crossword, here are some places you’ll want to check out:

  • Dictionary.com – Dictionary.com itself has an excellent daily puzzle that is sure to keep you on your toes (it’s by a dictionary company, after all!)
  • The Washington Post – Not only do newspapers have crosswords but so do online publications!
  • The New York Times – Another popular publication, The NY Times, offers a regular-sized crossword and daily mini crosswords if you want something a bit smaller to chew.

Word Worm

Out of all the word puzzles, word worm is perhaps the most fun. The premise is quite simple. There is a block of letters on top of which sits your “worm” (a little digital being crawling around). The block slowly moves up, and your job is to prevent the worm from reaching the top of the screen. How you can do this is by finding words in the big block and typing them in. When you successfully type in a word, those letters will disappear from the screen, allowing your worm to fall and buying it extra time.

If you’re interested in word worm, definitely check out these websites:

  • Cool Math Games – A childhood memory for most of us, Cool Math Games has plenty of fantastic games to check out, including word worm!
  • Ben James – Another great website to check out word worm with is Ben James (simple yet addicting design!)

Odd Word Out

Odd word out is precisely what it sounds like. Given a group of words, you are tasked with finding the one that sticks out—for example, bag, tee, divot, driver, pole. The “odd one out” in this group might be pole because the rest of the words all have to do with golf (golf bags, golf tees, divots made with clubs, and a driver is a type of club).

Of course, actual odd word out word puzzles are much more challenging than the one given above, and the terms can have highly obscure connections that are hard to figure out.

Here are some sites you can visit if you’re interested in Odd Word Out word puzzles:

  • TCY Online – A lot of Odd Word Out puzzles come from educational websites (like TCY Online), but that doesn’t mean you won’t have fun with them.
  • ESL Gold – A website designed initially for English-as-a-second-language speakers, ESL Gold also has some pretty kick-ass word puzzles

Anagrams

An Anagram is a word or a phrase formed by rearranging the letters of a different word/phrase. Usually, this means only using each letter once (yet having all of the letters used up). For example, the word “photos” is also an anagram for “hoops.” As simple as this may sound, anagrams are one of the best kinds of word puzzles and can easily keep you entertained for hours on end.

Here are some sites to check out if you’re interested in anagrams:

  • Pogo – Using the provided letters, spell as many words as you can! This site lets you play anagrams for free!
  • Free Brain Age Games – Free Brain Age Games also has a version of anagrams which they promise helps sharpen your language ability.

Recap: Best Word Puzzles

If you get bored quickly and are looking for something to do, word puzzles might be for you.

Not only are they incredibly fun, but word puzzles also have other benefits that can change your life. If you’re a student, the additional vocabulary gains from these puzzles might be the difference between getting a 1020 sat score and getting 1300. If you’re already working in the industry, the additional benefits of doing word puzzles could kick your income up from 5 figures to 6!

So what are you waiting for? Get out there and start doing some of these word puzzles! Your future (much more entertained) self will thank you for it 🙂

This post originally appeared on Gamer Investments

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