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18 Valid Reasons Your Kids Should Do Crossword Puzzles!

Last Updated on January 7, 2024 by Gamesver Team and JC Franco

Close up of pencil in child hand over crossword

Are crosswords just for adults? Puzzle me this one; are there any good reasons why children should do crossword puzzles? Of course, there are! In fact, I am going to share 18 of them with you. 

To me, doing crossword puzzles is the perfect pastime. I can while away the hours on an evening or Sunday morning with my cup of coffee and the latest crossword puzzle. It provides a fun way for me to distract my mind from its current worries. I find that doing crossword puzzles makes me feel challenged and relaxed at the same time. But that is just me – it could be a little different for everyone.

If you are wondering if crossword puzzles are a good idea for your kids; I say yes, but do not take my word for it! Let’s take a closer look at why your kids should do crossword puzzles below (for your consideration). In my opinion, getting your kid hooked on crossword puzzles might be one of the very best things you ever do for him/her.  

These are 18 reasons why your children should do crossword puzzles:

1. Increases general knowledge.

Even adults learn new things while doing crosswords. As a kid, I would remember working tirelessly at a crossword until I really could not go any further. My grandmother would then go over each answer with me and uncover the ones I missed, with explanations to add. I still remember many of those definitions and answers. This really did go a long way towards increasing my general knowledge.

Diverse Group Of Kids Studying and Reading Books

2. Develop an enquiring mind.

In order to do a crossword puzzle, kids must think, question, and ask. If there are answers that they do not have, they will develop an enquiring mind in order to learn the answer and complete the puzzle. 

3. Keep the brain fit and quick-thinking.

Of course, you want your kid to have a quick-thinking brain. The quicker they think, the quicker they can work things out, get things done, and explore possible solutions.

4. Improve spelling skills.

The only way to complete a crossword puzzle is to know the answer and to spell it correctly. Because of this, the more crossword puzzles kids do, the better their spelling skills become. 

5. Promote an attitude of persistence/perseverance. 

Some crossword puzzles can become quite challenging. In fact, I remember giving up on a few of them as a child. Parents can use this as a way to teach persistence. Promote crossword puzzles at home and offer rewards for completed puzzles. This will certainly boost perseverance and encourage children against giving up too early. It will also teach them that if they do not know the answer, there are ways of finding the answers out.

6. Boost memory capacity.

girl wearing yellow floral dress pointing to head, good memory

Crossword puzzles are great for boosting memory capacity. Any puzzles that involve word puzzles and logical problems are great for helping children to develop the skill of retrieving definitions, spelling, and vocab from memory. The more this is done, the more your child will be able to use their memory for storing new information and recalling existing information. 

7. Improve vocabulary.

With every crossword puzzle completed, you can expect your child to learn at least one new word, phrase, or saying. This will greatly improve vocabulary over the long term. 

8. Encourage less screen time.

If you want to get your child away from the many screens in the home at certain hours of the day, perhaps a crossword puzzle is the answer. You can incorporate crosswords into your daily activities. For example, instead of allowing your child screen time while you are busy, you can print age-appropriate crossword puzzles for both you and your child to work on.

9. Boost confidence and self-esteem.

As your child’s crossword puzzle skills improve, he/she will start to become more confident. By learning and expanding knowledge, kids can develop more well-rounded self-esteem. 

10. Help eradicate boredom.

Ever heard the kids say “I’m bored”? Perhaps it is time to haul out some age-appropriate cross-word puzzles. 

11. Provide entertainment anytime, anywhere.

As far as kid’s entertainment goes, it can be quite tough. If you are going into a meeting and the kids have to wait in your office; what do you do? If you are going on a long trip and do not want the kids to become rowdy or bored; what do you do? Packing a few crossword puzzles is a great way to keep the kids entertained.

school children doing crosswords in the summer

12. Improve problem-solving abilities.

Every crossword puzzle clue leads to problem-solving. The more clues your child has to solve, the more he/she practices logical problem-solving. And that is a skill that can be quite handy in all areas of life. 

13. Develop a sense of self-trust and self-worth.

As your child considers the possible answers, you can expect them to feel a sense of hesitation. Is the answer right? Is the answer wrong? Is writing the answer in going to ruin the rest of the puzzle? At some point, your child is going to have to start trusting his/her decisions. As time passes, your child’s fears and hesitance are bound to transition into self-trust and self-worth. And this is of real value to your child.

14. Crossword puzzles relieve stress (distraction).

Kids feel stress and frustration after a busy day at school, just like you do after a long day at work. There is a high possibility that your child has not figured out how to deal with stress yet. Many children may feel stress, but do not know what it is or how to describe it. Providing your children with a healthy distraction from stress will help them reach a state of calmness after a busy, stressful day.

15. Crossword puzzles improve processing speed.

If you know that your child always arrives at the right answer, but it just seems to take a long time to get to it, it could be an issue of processing speed. Processing speed is just the speed at which the brain is used to working, and the good news is that word puzzles are known to boost the brain’s processing speed. The more your child practices quick thinking, the quicker the brain will start to think. Quick thinking is great for literacy, but also for mathematics and sports.

16. Provide an outlet for competitiveness.

Kids that struggle with competitiveness often find themselves pent up or frustrated. Crossword puzzles are a great way for your child to put his/her competitive nature to good use: expanding their general knowledge and thinking/memory abilities. 

17. Help families to bond.

Mother and daughter doing crosswords

It is hard to find ways to bond as a family unit. Often board games can become tedious or do not suit all age groups. Crosswords are a fun way for the family to bond. You can either do the crossword as a family, or break into groups/pairs and compete against each other in timed crossword puzzle games. 

18. Can boost test preparation skills. 

Crosswords provide similar pressure to tests and exams. The individual has to answer a series of questions on demand. By doing crossword puzzles, your child can learn how to prepare correctly by thinking quickly, spelling correctly, recalling from memory, and making sure that all the questions that they definitely know the answers to are answered first, to avoid missing out on points. 

Start Doing Crossword Puzzles with Your Children Today

Most parents find that while they used to spend their afternoons running around the garden, solving crosswords, and doing word searches, their kids rather spend hours playing computer games, simply watching TV, or on their phones. Does this mean that the time of the crossword puzzle is over? No, it does not! Just because times have changed, it does not mean that puzzles are no longer good for kids. They still are great for a child’s healthy development.

With that being said, if you want to get your child interested in doing crossword puzzles, you need to go about it strategically. Don’t make it seem like a chore or something they have to do against their will. Get crossword puzzles together that your child will enjoy and sit down to do them yourself. Ask your child to join you – make it fun. Chances are that just wanting to spend time with you will expose your child to the puzzle concept and get him/her interested in doing a few crossword puzzles alone.

JC Franco

JC Franco serves as a New York-based editor for Gamesver. His interest for board games centers around chess, a pursuit he began in elementary school at the age of 9. Holding a Bachelor’s degree in Business from Mercyhurst University, JC brings a blend of business acumen and creative insight to his role. Beyond his editorial endeavors, he is a certified USPTA professional, imparting his knowledge in tennis to enthusiasts across the New York City Metropolitan area.