Create a wordsearch puzzle. Yeah, I said it.
Now before you start with the namecalling and the mudslinging, let me categorically state: I am not a nerd, although I think nerds are über hott and wordsearch puzzles are in fact, the bee’s knees.
I’ve found them to be very popular for the young ones between the ages of 6 and 10. My 4 year old is crazy about them too, although he still struggles with reading. The puzzles that are above his skill level are often used for letter recognition and other developing skills (I invite him to colour all of the As red or all the Ts with a blue pencil, stuff like that).
The elixir is getting the children involved and excited about learning, without having to lose hair or pull teeth. Thankfully, to do this, we need only sprinkle a little creativity into the mix.
What You’ll Need
I kid you not, this is the actual kit list:
- a pencil
- a ruler (optional)
- an active imagination
Wordsearch Making Steps
Full disclosure, if you can line up those letters without the use of a grid, more power to ya! My pants will burst into flames if I say that I could (liar, liar pants on fire, right?).
- Think up a theme and give the puzzle a title
- On scrap paper, write down the words that would be hidden within the wordsearch. Of course, all words must support the theme
- Decide the intended layout. Would the puzzle be square? Would it be long? How many letters wide would it be?
- Using the pencil and ruler draw a grid comprising 1cm squares. The grid’s sole purpose is to help line up the letters which make up the puzzle. Dimensions should reflect the decisions made in step 3. If you have a checkered-line copybook then, boom! Grid hack; use it instead of drawing a grid
- Start plugging in the words on your list, longest words first. Depending on the age of the intended puzzler, you may want to use horizontal words only or exclude backward words. You decide. Go ham!
- Once the words all fit, put random letters in the empty grid spaces. That’s it, you’re done. Congratulations!
What kinds of fun do you have with wordsearch at home or in the classroom? Sometimes my daughter and I make puzzles for each other. She’s always excluding words and proclaiming me the loser after a lengthy and fruitless search.