20 Fun Word Games For Kids To Improve Their Vocabulary

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IN THIS ARTICLE

All work and no play makes Jack a dull boy, but learning through play is one of the most essential ways in which young children gain knowledge and develop critical skills.

If you are looking for fun things to do at home with your kids, word games are the best way to keep them engaged. Make learning a fun experience at home and build foundations for successful learning in school. Word games help develop your child’s vocabulary, spelling, pronunciation, writing, and communication skills.

We have listed 20 amazing word games that kids and parents can play and have a wonderful time together. Parents can learn along with their children, and kids like it when their parents are involved in what and how they are learning.

Benefits Of Word Games

If you are wondering why word games for children are beneficial, here are some reasons:

  • Develops vocabulary
  • Improves fluency in English
  • Hones comprehension and reasoning skills
  • Develops a love of words and reading
  • Sparks their imagination and memory
  • Improves their problem-solving skills
  • Encourages creativity
  • Serves as a great pastime for the family
  • Stimulates the brain
  • Improves concentration

Word Games For Kids

There are many word games for kids that help them learn new words. These games are entertaining and educational, making them enjoyable for everyone involved.

We have listed the 20 best word games for kids. These games will ensure you and your children have a great time learning new words.

1. Hangman

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Hangman is a fun paper and pencil guessing word game for kids that can be played between two players. More players can participate and take turns as well. It is a simple game where a stickman is hanged if a player fails to get the word right.

Age group: 6 to 10 years

No of players: 2

How to play:

  1. Take a sheet of paper and a pen and draw gallows.
  2. The first player thinks of a word and draws dashes above the gallows equal to the number of letters in the word.
  3. The other player starts guessing the letters one by one.
  4. If the letter the player says is in the word, the first player writes it in the corresponding spaces on the dashes.
  5. If the letter is not in the word, the first player draws one part of the stickman, starting from the head and followed by the body, hands, and legs.
  6. If the stickman gets completed before the second player guesses the word, that player loses.
  7. Switch sides and start again.
  8. Proper nouns or slang words are not allowed.

2. Name the animal

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Name the animal is a multiplayer kids word game that can help teach your children animal names and improve their reasoning skills. This game also offers your child the opportunity to exercise their lateral thinking skills.

Age group: 4 to 7 years

No of players: 2 or more

How to play:

  1. You can be the host of the game.
  2. Make a list of common animals and a list of words that rhyme with these animal names.
  3. Call out each player and present them a rhyming word, and let them guess the animal name. You can say things like, “I rhyme with fog. I am a …..”
  4. The player who gets the maximum words correct is the winner.
  5. You can also teach them animal sounds by substituting animal names with their sounds.

3. I spy

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I spy is one of the easiest games of the lot. All you need is your imagination and some eager players.

Age group: 4 to 6 years

No of players: 2 or more

How to play:

  1. Locate an object, and tell your child its first letter saying, “I Spy an object starting with the letter ….”
  2. Your child looks around and recognizes each object corresponding to that letter.
  3. Stop when they get it right and continue the game with the next player.
  4. You can also mention the color or shape of the object and let your child guess it correctly.

4. Make a word

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If your child is starting to learn new words, this word game for kids is useful. You can also play this game with older kids to make them learn difficult words and improve their memory. This game lays a solid foundation for playing advanced spelling games, such as Scrabble.

Age group: 4 to 12 years

No of players: 2 or more

How to play:

  1. You can play this game with younger children if you have magnetic letters, plastic letters, letter mats, or letter blocks.
  2. Give them a set of letters and ask them to make two- or three-letter words with them.
  3. For older children, you can play the game mentally or write a set of letters on a piece of paper and ask them to make as many words as they can from them.
  4. You can even play a timed version of the game with older children as they enjoy a good challenge.

5. Rhyming words

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Rhyming Words game is a variation of Name the Animal. This word game for kids encourages your child to learn new words and helps hone their reasoning skills.

Age group: For ages 3 to 6 years

No of players: 2 or more

How to play:

  1. Name any animal.
  2. Ask your children to say the words that rhyme with the name of the animal, in turns.
  3. For example, when you say the word “dog,”your children should come up with words such as fog, hog, and log.
  4. Continue with a player until they run out of words and repeat the game with the next player.

6. Name, place, animal, thing

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You might remember playing this game as a child yourself. This game helps in expanding your child’s knowledge and memory.

Age group: 5 years and above

No of players: 2 or more

How to play:

  1. Give each player a sheet of paper and a pencil.
  2. Say a letter of the alphabet and start a timer.
  3. Each player must write the words of a name, place, animal, or a thing starting with that letter. For example, if the letter is A, a player may write, “Alex, Australia, Ape, Apple,” under each of these categories, respectively.
  4. You can assign different letters to different players or the same letter to each one.
  5. You can include other categories as per your convenience.

7. Hink pink

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Children love this game. This word game for kids is designed to maximize fun while learning new words and their meanings. The game can help improve your child’s ability to solve crossword puzzles and cryptic crosswords.

Age group: 4 to 12 years

No of players: 2 or more

How to play:

  1. Ask each player to come up with a set of rhyming monosyllabic words, e.g., fat rat.
  2. Help them make a clue about their words. In this case, the clue will be “a rodent that is not thin.”
  3. Each player says their clue aloud, and the others try to guess what the rhyming words are.
  4. If the children are older, you can play Hinky Pinky (two-syllable words) or Hinketty Pinketty (three-syllable words). You can even make different combinations between different syllabic words.
  5. Ask the children to act out the words too so that all of you have lots of fun while the children learn difficult words.
  6. Here are some more words to get you started: Thin Pin, Big Pig, Tan Pan, Fan Man.

8. Guess the correct word

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This word game for kids, if played mentally, is an excellent way to boost your child’s memory. It is a simple game and can be played with pencil and paper if you want to keep score.

Age group: 6 years and above

No of players: 2 or more

How to play:

  1. The first player thinks of a word and announces its first letter and the number of letters in the word to the others. If the player has thought of the word “Bananas,” they should say B and 6.
  2. The other players have to guess the word using these clues.
  3. If a player says another word but it has some matching words with the original word, the first player will say that the word is wrong but there are matching letters in the correct places or the wrong places.
  4. The next player uses these clues to make the next guess.
  5. You can keep the words simple or difficult according to the age of the children.
  6. As for the example of Bananas:
    Player 2: Bullock
    Player 1: That is incorrect
    Player 3: Bahamas
    Player 1: That is incorrect, but the As are in the correct place,
    and so on.

9. Word hunting

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If your child is just learning the alphabet, this is an easy game to play. However, you can make some minor changes and tweak it for older children.

Age group: 4 to 7 years

No of players: 2 or more

How to play:

  1. Scatter magnetic letters, plastic letters, or letter blocks on a table.
  2. Ask your child to pick up a letter from the lot.
  3. For older children, you can write three- or four-letter words on little chits of paper and do the same procedure as above.
  4. For children who can read, you can ask them to pick words they see outside shops, etc.

10. Change one letter

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This is a great word game for school children. The game promotes out-of-the-box thinking and allows your child to come up with new words and even their meanings.

Age group: 5 to 10 years

No of players: 4 or more

How to play:

  1. Begin with a short word that has three, four, or five letters (according to the age of the children).
  2. Ask the children to take turns in calling out new words by changing just one letter of the previous word. E.g., park – part – dart – dark / mark – mare – mart / cart – care – case – cast – mast (and so on).
  3. You can set a timer or divide the players into teams to make the game more exciting.

11. Call my bluff

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Call my bluff is commonly played at sleepovers and during picnics and is an excellent word game for older children.

Age group: 8 years and above

No of players: 4 or more

How to play:

  1. Divide the children into teams.
  2. Give them a set of words that are common but unfamiliar to them.
  3. Ask each team to look up the meaning of each word, and make up two wrong meanings for each word.
  4. Each team asks the other team the meaning of a word and gives them the three options.
  5. If the opposite team guesses the correct meaning, they get points. If they don’t, the team that asked the meaning gets the point.
  6. For example, let us take the word “Bewildered.” You can give three choices (a) to be left in the wild, (b) shocked or surprised, and (c) out-of-control behavior.

12. Unscramble the words

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Let your children put on their thinking caps and play this game. The word game makes your child think and helps stir their imagination and improve their reasoning skills.

Age group: 5 years and above

No of players: 2 or more

How to play:

  1. Think of a word and write it down on paper but in a scrambled form.
  2. Your child has to think and arrange the word in the right sequence.
  3. You could even give clues so that they can unscramble the word faster.
  4. You could also write down a set of scrambled words, set the timer, and ask them to solve as many as they can within the allotted time.

13. Tell me a story

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Children are incredibly imaginative. Children, as young as three years old, start making imaginary stories. You can play this game to fire your child’s imagination.

Age group: 5 years and above

No of players: 2 or more

How to play:

  1. Start a “story” with a sentence.
  2. The next player should say another sentence and continue the story.
  3. As the story grows, it becomes hilarious and absurd.
  4. For example, you start with the sentence, “In a village, there was a man named Joe.” The next player can say, “He wore a red shirt every day,” and the next player may say, “One day, a bull charged at him,” and so on.

14. Words in a word

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This is one of the most popular word games for kids and one of the best word-building games of all time. It is useful in improving your child’s English, if it is not your native language. You might have played this game in your childhood. It is now your children’s turn to play the game and keep the tradition alive.

Age group: 5 years and above

No of players: 2 or more

How to play:

  1. Think of a long word. A popular word choice for this game is “Constantinople.”
  2. Ask your child to write words starting with each letter in the word. They should use the letters contained in the word only.
  3. For example, Constantinople can have words such as con, cot, on, oil, no, nap, sit, and sip.
  4. You can set a timer and ask your child to write down as many words as they can within the given time frame.

15. I’m going on a picnic

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This game is for older children. It helps hone their creative skills and improves their memory. The word game is usually played in classrooms, but they can play it at a sleepover or even with you as a family game.

Age group: 5 years and above

No of players: 3 or more

How to play:

  1. The first player starts by saying, “I’m going on a picnic, and I will bring a ….”.
  2. The next player adds an item to the list and repeats the words.
  3. Each player has to repeat the items named in the exact sequence.
  4. If a player forgets a name or the sequence, they are out of the game.
  5. You can either start the game all over again or ask the next player to pick up the sequence and continue.
  6. For example, the game goes as follows:
    Player 1: I’m going on a picnic, and I will bring a cookie.
    Player 2: I’m going on a picnic, and I will bring a cookie and a Popsicle.
    Player 3: I’m going on a picnic, and I will bring a cookie and a Popsicle and a bottle of juice, and so on.

16. Crosswords

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Solving crosswords requires practice and a lot of patience. The game will not only teach your children new words but also develop their deductive reasoning skills to a great degree.

Age group: 6 years and above

No of players: 1

How to play:

  1. Draw a grid with white and black squares and number each row and column.
  2. Then, write a set of clues at the bottom of the grid with the corresponding row or column number.
  3. Ask your child to solve the crossword.
  4. You can set a timer to make the game challenging.
  5. You can get some printable crosswords with clues easily on the Internet (you will find some free and printable crosswords in this link). Crosswords regularly appear in newspapers and magazines.

17. Word quest

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Word quest is a word game for older kids. The game involves searching for words using single letters and makes your children use their deduction skills.

Age group: 5 years and above

No of players: 2 or more

How to play:

  1. Draw a 10×10 or 12×12 grid on a sheet of paper and divide it into squares.
  2. Write various words below and to the side of the grid.
  3. Write random letters in random squares.
  4. Ask your child to fill in the grid using the words you have written outside the grid.

18. Consequences

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This word game helps stir the imagination and encourages creativity. The game works well with both children and adults.

Age group: 5 years and above

No of players: 2 or more

How to play:

  1. The first player writes down a sentence on a sheet of paper and passes it on to the next player.
  2. The next player writes the next sentence and passes it on.
  3. Once all the players are done with adding their sentences, you can read out the story.
  4. You can also write 4–5 sentences with open endings on a sheet of paper and hand them over to each player. Each player writes their version of the story and reads it aloud at the end of the game.
  5. For example, you can write, “There was a man named …….. He …………. a woman named ……………. They went to …………. He said, “…………………” She said, “……………………” And then, ……………..” and so on.

19. Scrabble

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Scrabble is a popular classic word game for kids. If you want your child to learn new words, this is one of the best games.

Age group: 6 years and above

No of players: 2 or more

How to play:

  1. Get a scrabble boards.
  2. Set it up and read the rules.
  3. The number on each letter tile tells you how many points it’s worth, and the squares on the board tell you how many points you scored.
  4. The player who gets the maximum score is the winner.
  5. After a game of Scrabble gets over, the board looks similar to a crossword.

20. Pass the bomb

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Pass the bomb is an educational game that will test your child’s alacrity. The first player should say a word and pass the bomb as quickly as possible to the next player, who must say a similar-sounding word. The players need to be quick in passing the bomb before it explodes. You can get this board game at a shop or simply make your own set.

Age group: 5 years and above

No of players: 2 or more

How to play:

  1. Take a set of card papers and write two- and three-letter words on them with a marker.
  2. The first player picks up a card and passes it around.
  3. The “bomb” goes off after a certain time. If you have made the cards at home, you can use a timer or even play music.
  4. The moment the timer goes off (or the music stops), the player holding the card is out.
  5. However, before leaving, they have to say a word that contains the word written on the card.
  6. For example, if the card has “ART” written on it, the child who gets out can say a word with ART in it, such as part, mart, or cart.

Word games are excellent teaching strategies to keep your children entertained and engaged. They not only improve your child’s vocabulary skills, but also sharpen their grammar and speaking skills. So, grab your favorite drinks and snacks and get started.

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