Tuesday, April 9, 2013

Choose Your Words Wisely - and Have Fun!

Choose Your Words Wisely - and Have Fun!

Playing with letters and words have long been a part of educational and entertainment history. Verbal wit and wordplay evolved to pen and pencil, then to board game form, and of course, on to an abundance of online challenges as we know them today.  Whatever form you choose can provide lots of great entertainment.

As kids we started out simply by playing hangman with paper and pencil. Some of us watched our parents play charades at adult parties and laugh hysterically. And when it came time for family bonding, we usually pulled out the Scrabble board where all ages could play at their own pace and have fun.

Many of us think of word games as purely entertainment. True. But behind the fun our brains are working hard. Young brains are busy learning and establishing pathways by making sense of letters, increasing vocabularies, figuring out how to compete, and more. Adults may pick up puzzles such as crosswords just to pass the time and research suggests that these types of activities actually keep the mind sharp.

Word games of all sorts have stood the test of time and keep evolving. We still have fun at parties playing verbal word games, kids still play hangman, Scrabble remains a favorite board game, and people like to work crossword puzzles out of a newspaper. It’s all good fun and good for the brain.

Here's a word to the wise: If you want to learn more about the history of word games, check out The Oxford Guide to Word Games by Tony Augarde. This British author offers a lively account of word games and how they have been played throughout the ages, from the lowly pun to the highbrow riddle.



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