Parents and educators can improve educational advancement with interactive games and puzzles. For example, word searches can improve kids' spelling and problem-solving abilities. Making a word search puzzle from scratch can be a time-consuming task. Fortunately, many online services provide free programs that allow users to create word searches. Teachers and parents can design free word search puzzles at their convenience.
- Skill level:
- Moderately Easy
Access the "Word Search Generator" page on the TheCanadianTeacher website (see References 1). Use the "Options" and "Options 2" sections to select the features for your word search puzzle. You may change colours, create from 10 to 100 rows and columns, and change the characteristics and shape of the puzzle and grid.
Use the "Main" section to create a title and enter your words. Click "Create Puzzle" near the bottom of the page in the "Main" section to make your free word search.
Print out your word search. It appears on the next page after you click the "Create Puzzle" button. The page with the word search has no special button for printing. You must select "File" and "Print" in the menu near the top of your browser to print out your puzzle. Kids can also solve the puzzle on line, using their mouse to highlight the search words one letter at a time. Use this feature when creating puzzles for kids in small groups.
Open the The PCMan website's free word search puzzle creator (see References 2). Enter your desired number of rows and columns to start making your puzzle. Note that puzzles with more than 15 rows or columns may not correctly print out after puzzle completion.
Enter your words into the grid on the next page. Enter one letter per box. Once you finish entering words, leave the other boxes blank.
Type in your words and a title on the next page. Click "Finish" to create your free word search. Print out the puzzle to distribute it to your kids or students.
The PCMan Website
Open the "WordSearch Machine" page on the BillyBear4Kids website (see References 3). This puzzle maker incorporates cartoon graphics to make a more visually exciting puzzle for kids.
Fill in the title and search words, then select the graphics you would like. Next, click the "Make Puzzle" button to make your word search.
Wait about one minute. You may wait considerably less than one minute, depending on the number of words and overall size of the puzzle. You will not see the puzzle until you click the "Show Worksheet" button. Follow the printing instructions on the BilllyBear4Kids site to print out your word search. Your puzzle also comes with an answer key, which you can view by clicking the "Show Answer Key" button.
Tips and warnings
- You may only use puzzles created with The PCMan Website puzzle-maker software for personal use. Contact the webmaster if you want to use the puzzles for commercial purposes (see Resources).
- Do not use the BillyBear4Kids cartoon graphics on other websites. However, you may print out the puzzles and distribute them for kids to solve.
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