Hidden Words


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Purpose:  To develop flexibility in visual scanning through a search for meaningful figure/ground relationships in an ambiguous field.

Materials: Hidden word worksheets


1.  The worksheet contains a block of letters and a list of 12 words to be found in the block of letters.

2.  The patient is to attempt to locate all 12 words.

3.  Circle each word as it is found and check it off on the word list.

4.  The hidden words may be found by reading forward, backward, up and down, or diagonally.

Aspects to be emphasized:

1.  Maintain good posture and normal reading distance during this task.

2.  Is it more difficult to find the words forward or backward, vertically or horizontally, or diagonally?

3.  Time your performance.

Hidden word games offer an effective and inexpensive way to build reading ability, vocabulary, but also signal acquisition and processing skills. You will find a few simple samples attached, but other ideas for word search puzzles and games are available as books (just about anywhere books are sold), online as web games, and as software to play directly, but also to allow parents/therapists to create new puzzles appropriate for the child’s ability.

You are encouraged to print these samples off to use immediately, but then to also do a quick search online for ‘word search games puzzles‘ to see what you can find.


If a child is new to hidden word/word search games, it can be somewhat daunting. Teach them to look at the first letter or two of the word they are looking for, then to scan systematically across the rows left to right, looking for that combination of letters. You must of course keep in mind that the letters might be in a different orientation (diagonal, backwards, vertical, etc.).