Do word searches help your brain?

Intelligence games, such as word searches, are a great way to spend time with children. These allow sharing experiences and talks with minors.

Word searches entertain young and old, but, above all, they are the best tools that adults have to transmit knowledge in an entertaining and fun way to children.

Taking any period of time as a reference, adults will be able to see how the child’s abilities and skills improve thanks to this game.

In this article we are going to answer the question ‘’Do word searches help your brain?’’ We will introduce you to the benefits of playing alphabet soup and the different ways to play it.

Do word searches help your brain?

Yes, word searches help your brain. Word searches:

  • Promotes the development of visual memory.
  • Create a marriage between entertainment and learning.
  • It is a highly personalized tool.
  • Allow participation.
  • Benefits brain development and mental agility.

Crosswords, word searches, sudoku puzzles, differences, chain words, etc. We have all enjoyed the benefits of hobbies at times. They are like fun and tasty sweets for our brain.

Paper and pencil. Numbers and letters. Drawings. Encrypted messages. Our brain is dazzled and flexible thanks to its powerful allies: hobbies. These exercises, designed to “hang out”, pamper our brains and activate our well-being.

Because brain health is largely a matter of effort, daily work, and training. Therefore, staying mentally active is a habit that has always been known as highly beneficial and that we have been working and promoting for years.

Ways to play

The word searches are made up of a grid that contains different letters in each box.

The game aims to discover certain words by matching the letters. This link can have any direction: horizontal, vertical or diagonal. Thus they can also have different senses: right to left, top to bottom, left to right or bottom to top.

Word searches can be played individually or in a group. If you decide to play it individually, you only need to look in magazines, hobby brochures or in newspapers. Also on the internet there are many pages with games of this type.

In those options with two or more players, a fun way to do it is for one of the players to choose a topic and write a series of related words on a grid.

It can be done both vertically, horizontally or diagonally; right or wrong, and also overlapping some letters. The rest of the grid should be filled with random letters.

For each correct word the player can receive a point; Whoever gets the most hits wins. If there is a tie, a simple way to break the tie is to win whoever has found the most words backwards or diagonally.

10 benefits of playing Word Search

Much of the success of Word Search can be explained by the combination of entertainment and intangible capital gains it provides to players. From preventing dementia to supporting the learning of a new language, the benefits of playing Word Search are broader and more markers than you might initially expect.

1. Helps increase linguistic fluency

Word Search puzzles are usually divided by categories or topics. The player can thus learn new words and associate them with a context. This learning results in greater fluency and ease in expressing thoughts and opinions.

2. Can be used as a teaching and learning strategy

These puzzles can be very useful for students or people looking to know and master the key vocabulary of a topic as they can be used to memorize and review the terms.

In fact, Word Search puzzles are often used in school textbooks or language workbooks for this reason.

3. Teach how to spell correctly

Increasing your linguistic fluency is one of the main benefits of playing Word Search, but it is not just limited to learning new words. Knowing how to write them correctly is also important.

As the words must be carefully searched for on the board, the players have to memorize the letters that compose them and their order. In fact, one of the most used traps in Word Search is the introduction of very similar words on the board so that the player makes a mistake.

4. Supports learning a new language

Word Search games are a very useful strategy in learning new languages. Indeed, they are a strategy widely used in exercise books and by the teachers themselves in class.

These puzzles present new words to students in a contextualized way as the terms are grouped by topic. In addition, they not only introduce new words but also teach and force the player to know how to spell them. It is therefore a good strategy to increase oral and written fluency at the same time.

5. Helps improve concentration

The ability to concentrate is something that needs daily training. It is also one of the most important capabilities on a day-to-day basis, as it is necessary for both easy and complex tasks.

Solving letter puzzles is one of the best exercises to improve this ability. One of the benefits of playing Word Search is precisely the way it helps improve your ability to concentrate and focus your attention fully on something.

To find the words in the shortest time possible, players must be able to isolate themselves from their surroundings and block out any distractions. Even a tiny interruption can be enough to pass a word and have to start the whole board analysis all over again from the beginning.

With time and practice, players begin to notice that they manage to ignore any distractions more easily and that they manage to finish the puzzles in less and less time.


6. Teach patience and persistence

Being focused is not the only requirement to be able to beat a game of Word Search. You also have to be persistent and patient to analyze the grid carefully.

Usually even easy puzzles contain a word that is harder to find. If the player is not patient, frustration can affect his concentration and derail his efforts.

Eventually, the sense of accomplishment that is felt at each victory will help to control these impulses of frustration since the brain knows that this is the way to enjoy that feeling again more quickly.

7. Keeps the brain active

Playing Word Search helps to relax the mind, but does not put it on pause. Just the opposite.

Word Search boards force the brain to do constant systematic analysis to, for example, look for a specific letter or patterns in words. 

At the same time, you need to take into consideration the orientation of the word’s writing and the fact that it may be hidden horizontally, vertically, or diagonally. Furthermore, you also need to use your memory to remember all the words to search for.

While this complex analysis is taking place, the brain has yet to assess which is the most efficient and fastest path/strategy to victory. Line to line? Column by column? Search the words individually or group them?

8. Supports the development of management and problem solving skills

As already mentioned, during a Word Search game the brain needs to articulate several tasks at the same time and still evaluate which is the best strategy to win.

In practice, this is training in management and problem-solving skills. The player has a problem (finding the words to win the game) and needs to evaluate and define the most efficient and fastest strategies to solve it and win.

Playing Word Search is therefore a good method to train and improve these very important skills on a daily basis.

9. It is therapeutic and relaxing

The benefits of playing Word Search go beyond practicing skills and also reach your own mental health.

To begin with, by forcing the brain to fully focus on this activity, it prevents the mind from focusing on problems or negative ideas. In turn, this helps reduce feelings of anxiety and stress and can even help make problems seem less difficult after a challenge.

In addition, these puzzles can bring a feeling of happiness and motivate players in their daily lives. Since solving them requires effort and perseverance, each victory works as a reward that reinforces the feeling of accomplishment. This combination allows players to feel more optimistic and motivated not only during the game, but also in their life in general.

10. It is an opportunity to strengthen the bonds between adults and children

This is a classic casual game that can be played by people of all ages. Even children who only now learn letters and know their first words can have fun with this game.

Word Search is therefore a good activity to reinforce the bonds that bind children and adults. A puzzle can become a healthy competition to see who solves it first or a team game in which adults and children team up to achieve victory.

Playing with adults is also an asset for the little ones since they have someone next to them who can explain the meaning of the words that they still do not know.

The benefits of playing Word Search only add to the fun and attractive potential of this game. On paper or online, these puzzles help pass the time and enhance everyone’s personal skills, all at the same time.

Performing self-defined and other hobbies is a rewarding and beneficial activity throughout our lives. However, it is true that at an age it is especially interesting not to abandon the habit of doing this type of “mental gymnastics”.

Despite the fact that new technologies are great competitors of our beloved paper hobbies, to this day they have not yet managed to eat too much ground, since the simplicity and immediacy of doing a crossword on the daily newspaper sheet continue to be wonderful and irreplaceable.

FAQS: Do word searches help your brain?

What are the benefits of word searches?

Advantages of word searches:

Promotes the development of visual memory.

Create a marriage between entertainment and learning.

It is a highly personalized tool.

Allow participation.

Benefits brain development and mental agility.

Are Word finds good for the brain?

Word searches are fun hobbies that help you learn new topics and even exercise your brain. They are mental stimulators that provide educational entertainment to all readers regardless of age or academic level.

Do word searches make you smarter?

Doing word searches aims to further develop language learning while boosting your brain, problem-solving skills and your pronunciation. For those with both cognitive skills, it’s a perfect way to learn words, improve vocabulary and help you feel smarter.

Do word searches help with memory?

Word searches, used on a regular basis, may prevent the risk of cognitive decline. They will also promote reasoning and logic strategies and stimulate visual memory and attention.

What skills do word searches develop?



Mental agility

In this article we answered the question ‘’Do word searches help your brain?’’ We introduced you to the benefits of playing alphabet soup and the different ways to play it.

If you have any questions or comments please let us know!


Pillai, J. A., Hall, C. B., Dickson, D. W., Buschke, H., Lipton, R. B., & Verghese, J. (2011). Association of Crossword Puzzle Participation with Memory Decline in Persons Who Develop Dementia. Journal of the International Neuropsychological Society, 17(6), 1006–1013.

‌Rohrer, J. D., Knight, W. D., Warren, J. E., Fox, N. C., Rossor, M. N., & Warren, J. D. (2007). Word-finding difficulty: a clinical analysis of the progressive aphasias. Brain, 131(1), 8–38.