Keeping Your Brain Active in a COVID-19 World

Updated January 27, 2021 | Infoplease Staff

Keeping your brain active in a Covid-19 world

With the COVID-19 pandemic, online activity has boomed. People are shopping, working, and socializing virtually across the world. And, to try and stay healthy, people are exercising virtually. Online physical training has gotten a lot of buzz as people take their workout from the gym to the home. But, working out your brain is just as important as working out your body.

There are a wide range of online brain training and mind games. Our friends at Coolmath Games, a big name in the educational game space, have especially noted the rise of the humble word search.

Setting wordsearch difficulty levels adds to the challengeWord searches

We love word searches. They?re simple, they work in a whole bunch of languages, and they work at all levels of education. Almost everyone?s done a word search or two. They?re a classroom staple for teaching vocab and offering a fun break from normal class work. Today word searches have picked up online with options to suit players? mood, interests or the difficulty level.

The first word search was devised and printed in the US by Norman E. Gibat. It was published in the Selenby Digest in Norman, Oklahoma in 1968. The actual origins of the puzzle are disputed. The Spanish puzzle creator Pedro Ocon de Oro was publishing ?Sopas de Letras? (Letter Soup) before that date. However, it is not clear how or whether this influenced Mr Gibat. The Oklahoma puzzle proved so popular with local teachers that it became a regular learning tool in classrooms. Before long, the puzzles were being sent around the country to help fellow schools educate their pupils.

The days of mailing word search puzzles across the US have long gone. The modern equivalent of posting puzzles online has taken things to the next level. And the science seems to show that moving word searches and other learning games ?such as Unolingo, Word Detector and Words Family-actually improve information retention amongst young people in particular. Research shows that on average, students retain 25-60% more material when learning online.

And, with schools closed, this is a fun tool for students cooped up at home for remote learning. They can improve their vocabulary and perception skills!

Students of all ages love wordsearch games

Other fun games for brain training

Children and young people especially gravitate towards games as a way to learn. If you?re looking for more learning games online, our sister site Factmonster has a selection of games, flashcards, and puzzles to keep you or any little ones in your life entertained.

Or, if you?re just looking for a child-safe learning resource, Factmonster has plenty of information and educational resources for young learners. And, for any parents concerned about their kids? online presence, Factmonster is a Kidsafe-certified site, COPPA-compliant and safe for users of all ages.