Word searches typically have words hidden vertically, horizontally, and diagonally. Harder puzzles can also have words in reverse order, making even short words very difficult to find. One of the simplest tools you can use to complete a word puzzle is a ruler _ block out the horizontal lines one by one and read across until you recognize a collection of letters that form one of the phrases you're searching for. Next, move the ruler vertically line by line. Finally, do the same for diagonal lines. This simple first pass at the puzzle should allow you to discover a large number of words.
One great idea is the activity sheets based on the Disney characters and story behind Disney_Pixar's full length animated film Cars. Easily downloadable from the web, these sheets can be printed in as many copies to be repeatedly enjoyed by any school_aged Lightning McQueen fanatic.