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Across the world, numerous generations of children grew up playing scrabble. According to child development experts, this is a beneficial thing, because Scrabble offers multiple cognitive and intellectual advantages to its players. Besides, some social advantages seem to surface from playing scrabble.
Adults can also benefit from playing the game because it maintains the brain’s plasticity. If you want to learn more about all the cognitive and intellectual contributions of scrabble, keep reading below.
Scrabble – A Short History
Before illustrating the numerous developmental benefits of playing Scrabble, you should know that the game was invented in 1938. Alfred Butts’ invention was rejected initially by all major toy manufacturers. Butts was a jobless architect at that time, a part-time failed artist and a statistician. For extra money, he decided that he should invent a board game everybody would want to play.
The idea came to Butts after reading The Gold Bug, an Edgar Allan Poe short story. The game’s initial name was “Lexiko” and the creator only sold it to friends and family. Also, the game had no board, at the beginning. Somehow, a deal between Alfred and James Brunot was signed, and Alfred was to receive a royalty with each game sold.
James Brunot also renamed the game Scrabble and finished it in the form we know today. Macy’s department store executive discovered somehow the game, according to the legend and decided to order it for the store’s shelves. From that to reaching houses all over the USA was only a small step.
Scrabble Expands Vocabulary
The most obvious advantage of playing scrabble is that it teaches people of all ages new words. Thus, it expands their vocabulary. In school-age children, the game also improves their word derivation skills, allowing them to form new words more easily.
Researchers have proven that children that are actively playing the game have an easier time finding appropriate suffixes and prefixes. According to experts, other word games don’t contribute the same to vocabulary development. The game is especially useful for children because it does more than teaching them new words. It also teaches children their meaning.
One of the game’s rules states that you are not allowed to use a dictionary, besides when someone challenges a word. But for small children, this should be something usual, for proper language development. The game proved itself useful for non-native children that wanted to learn English in a fast and easy way. English teachers in non-speaking countries have successfully used it in classes.
Some associate scrabble with a crossword puzzle in reverse, so the linguistic advantages are clear.
Scrabble Can Teach Players Strategy
If you consult your guide to play scrabble game, you will shortly notice that it is very similar to a board game. All board games have some strategy and playing them requires some analytical abilities.
Because certain letters of the game are rare gems, this makes the game incredibly challenging. The most common strategy in such games is planning several words ahead. But there are risks. Someone else may be blocking the planned words.
Scrabble Is an Intellectually Challenging Game
Many people think of the human brain in terms of “use it or lose it”. And this is nothing short form being true. To develop proper cerebral connections, you have to constantly challenge your brain.
Multiple studies have shown that playing word-building games has the power to increase brain plasticity and connectivity. In some cases, researchers observed that children that lacked formal education but frequently played scrabble had similar word building abilities like those educated in schools.
Moreover, the game seems to activate the brain’s reward centre similarly to the way in which food and other basic needs do. Multiple research papers found that playing such games delays Alzheimer’s evolution and promotes a healthier brain.
Scrabble Increases Social Skills
While Scrabble isn’t a team game, it certainly demands high levels of human interaction. For decades, people spent thousands of hours together playing the game and strengthening the social bonding skills and human interaction abilities.
Trying to find words that end with A in a social context promotes collaboration as well. Spending time in social contexts helps small children to develop inter-relational skills. While the game has an entertaining character, it brings auxiliary benefits to its players.
Playing Scrabble Offers Multiple Emotional Advantages
Players may not always win the game but being involved in it offer a great sense of achievement. Players have to solve a logical challenge at every turn of the game. Each accomplished round increases player’s self-worth and self-appreciation.
For a healthy development, this is especially important in children. Small children’s emotions are made up of physical reactions. As they age and consciousness begins to play a bigger role, they start to recognize feelings like self-worth and self-esteem better. Scrabble seems to be the perfect context for those.
Scrabble Contributes to a Better Memory
If played at an early age, Scrabble can boost children’s IQ. When played by elders, the game seems to help them regain some of the lost cognitive functions, including memory. Scrabble has been proven to keep brain cell activity alive, in spite of advanced age.
If you want to avoid bouts of forgetfulness as you age or want promote a faster brain development in children, invite them at a game of Scrabble. The cognitive and intellectual advantages are plentiful.
These are some of the most important development advantages that Scrabble brings to its players. From a simple and under evaluated game to a national phenomenon was only a single step.
And from that, the game became a worldwide-used educational tool. Scrabble improves memory and vocabulary, contributes to developing better and stronger cognitive functions and improving the brain’s plasticity in elders.