Hangman-The Classic Effect of Word Games

Hangman may not be as hip as the newest video game, but this classic word game still remains a surefire way to increase your child's vocabulary and interest in reading and writing.

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Morbid though it may seem, Hangman boasts a number of educational benefits.

Now that computers have a place in many homes and classrooms, it's easy to incorporate word games into your child's study routine. It's a great way to relive stress and allow the mind a chance to relax, without diverting into complete mindlessness.

Encourage your student to take some time out for word games before dinner or after homework. Playing word games not only increases your child's vocabulary, but it primes him or her to recognize word patterns and spelling quirks that cannot always be taught before they come up in context. Best of all, it allows them to put all that information to use in a situation where they feel at home -- having fun.

Hangman is still as classic, but many electronic versions have exciting sounds with enhanced colors and graphics. They can be as entertaining as they are constructive.

You can encourage your child's logic skills as well as their spelling and vocabulary by guiding the game play. Use words that follow a similar pattern or theme and wait for your child to recognize the theme. For example, start with the word Ship, then something harder like Octopus or Eel. When your child catches on they'll start applying their knowledge of the sea. Show them that they're on the right track by choosing Shell or Snail as your next word. Combining simple logic with word games ups the challenge of the game and increases the chance that your child will apply recognition and pattern-seeking skills later. What's more, it's easier to keep a child interested by choosing a topic they enjoy.

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