Your child’s mind is constantly evolving as it matures and takes in new information, and word games are one of the best ways to provide the right kind of stimulation.
Just as your child’s body needs physical activity, it also requires mental stimulation, and word games are a perfect way to provide just that. Even the novelty of learning through games rather than through more traditional teaching styles can be fantastic since it forces a child to think in different ways, and several studies have shown us just how beneficial word games can be.
The Dopamine Reward
You’ve almost certainly heard of dopamine. It’s the neurotransmitter that aids a brain’s reward centres, and neuroscientists have found that the release of dopamine creates a sense of accomplishment that acts as a reward for a person’s determination; when a task is finished, the brain releases dopamine, which positively reinforces the action. Word games are a perfect way to encourage that reaction since they already work around effort and reward.
As you might expect, word games represent an ideal way to improve your child’s vocabulary, but that isn’t all. Word puzzles also emphasize pattern recognition skills, and one study from the 2007 Harvard Business Review showed that finding patterns during word games increases the brain’s ability to find order and meaning in other types of data.
One further study used an fMRI scanner to monitor the brains of two sets of people; the first set played words games regularly, but the second set didn’t. It was found that the first set used more than the language area of the brain to find solutions. Visual processing and working memory were also utilised, indicating a wider engagement with the activity.
If you weren’t already convinced that word games can help your child learn, you should be convinced now. Luckily there are plenty of educational resource websites to be found which feature engaging word games that will help your child’s mind thrive.