Why Puzzle your Kids?
Puzzles light up the brain.
There are few things more satisfying than conquering a tricky puzzle. Maybe you don't know the answer to one clue or another, but you work around it, you fill in letters, and then (AHA!), you suddenly see the answers you didn't understand moments ago, and your brain lights up with joy. Many adults experience this each day with The New York Times crossword. Now kids have their own great word puzzles, offering just the right level of challenge.
Puzzles reinforce vocabulary.
Kids know a lot of words! More than they probably realize. Many of these words are immediately accessible because they are used every day. Others are buried a little deeper. Puzzle Your Kids reinforces the full range of a child’s vocabulary. Words in the puzzles cover a wide variety of subjects, from science to sports, from mythology to movies. Some answers the kids will get right away. Others will take a little more time. And, hey, there may even be a few words the kids don’t know at all. Because…
Puzzles teach new words.
Puzzle Your Kids focuses on words that kids should reasonably know, and that they will have likely come across in one context or another. But that doesn’t mean that every kid will know every word.
Parents and teachers are encouraged to work with young puzzlers, giving them hints and assistance as needed. Don’t tell kids a missing answer! Not at first, anyway. Instead, talk about where the child might have come across the answer word. Or, point the child to an easier clue in the puzzle which, when solved, will provide crossing letters in the harder word.
Puzzles are challenging.
Not all Puzzle Your Kids puzzles are at the same level of difficulty—some will be a little easier, some a little harder. But in general, parents and teachers should be prepared to help out with their kids as follows:
8-9 Years Old
Significant guidance will be needed on almost every puzzle.
10-11 years old
Kids can solve the occasional puzzle solo; on others, many hints will be necessary.
12-13 years old
Kids can solve more than a few puzzles on their own, but assistance will sometimes be needed
14 and up
Kids can solve most Puzzle Your Kids puzzles, perhaps with the occasional nudge.
(Obviously, every child is different. Your mileage may vary.)
Puzzles are fun!
Puzzles do more than just reinforce vocabulary. They are the doorway to clearer, more logical thinking, and to better problem-solving skills.
But for all the benefits that puzzles provide for kids, the best reason to solve them is the simplest: They’re fun! It's delightful to see how words can weave together in an intricate grid, and it's immensely satisfying to fill in that grid, right down to the last letter. And, of course, it's wonderful to throw both arms in the air and shout, "I did it!" That’s a feeling kids should have as often as possible… and that is main reason that Puzzle Your Kids exists.