Learning Through Play: Is It an Effective Way to Teach Children?

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Teaching kids using playing and toys

In a traditional classroom setting, teachings are usually done in a conventional way. However, incorporating games into the learning process isn’t a new concept. Teaching vocabulary to children through simple games like flashcards and crossword puzzles have been applied by teachers and tutors for a long time already.

Since children are very fond of playing, presenting them with learning materials like the best crossword puzzle books for children could motivate them to learn without the pressure of memorizing lots of words. Children pick up on words easily and by the age of 6, they could already have a vocabulary of over 14,000 words, so teaching them at an early age will enhance this ability. Incorporating a bit of playtime may help them engage with learning even more.

Different studies have been made to back up these statements and to see how word games like crossword puzzles affect children’s learning.

Games Create a Friendlier Atmosphere

In a study conducted by the University of Wisconsin published at The Journal of Effective Teaching, it was revealed that games aren’t only suited for children but for students going to college as well. Gifted and talented children who are seen to go to college were found to have enjoyed games and other alternative teaching methods better. Games give way for students to adjust to new styles of learning and may develop certain skill such as competitiveness.

The study also reported that games affect cognitive development. Students may gain confidence when they are taught through games instead of asking them to memorize things. When they receive positive responses from getting correct answers, students feel more motivated, which may result in higher grades. Self-efficacy in children could also be developed from good performances.

Crossword puzzles are shown to have stood out among many other educational games. Learning definitions, spellings, terminologies, and word-matching are found to be effective with the crossword puzzle. For this reason, memorization of facts becomes easier. Since crossword puzzles are familiar, it saves time for explaining rules. This game is also often perceived as a recreational activity, so it’s more enjoyable and less threatening to students than traditional methods of teaching.

Improve Learning Speed and Boost Memory

Teaching kids

Experts say that word puzzle games improve children’s processing speed. In addition, even smarter children could process slower at times and with word puzzles, this problem could be lifted. Faster processing will be essential to children when learning not just vocabulary, but other subjects that require quick-thinking as well, such as math.

Crossword puzzles and logic problems are shown to boost memory in children. A boosted working memory is beneficial for both long-term and short-term memories. When children can access vocabulary and spelling by memory alone, it will affect their learning and achievement positively.

Fast learning and a sharp memory will also lead to better problem-solving skills because strategic thinking will be developed. For crossword puzzles, children need to spot words in a grid and find out how different words interact with each other. This exercise will encourage children to use their minds in finding clues in a game and make them think outside the box.

Considering everything, it can be said that children learn better when they are allowed to play. The fact that even older students love this alternative teaching style says a lot about how games are more than just for entertainment. Engaging a child in word puzzles and other educational games will enhance their skills and improve their literacy. Getting a student’s full attention in the classroom because of the fun nature of games will be beneficial for teachers as well.

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