Build Your Child's Vocabulary with these Fun Games

Updated: Apr 7, 2019

Let’s face it, nothing beats having quality, fun times with one’s family. And what better way to achieve this than to incorporate simple games into your corporate leisure times? Word games are the quintessential bonding method for millions of homes worldwide. They make for an enriching family experience, and what’s more? They are a great opportunity for the youngsters and oldies alike to improve their vocabulary. Win-win if you ask me. But sometimes, there comes the unexpected challenge of which ones to play, amongst the sea of options available. Don’t despair, we’re here to help you. Why not check out our top ten word games to play with your family.

Quiddler - this card game has won numerous awards. For this game, each player is given a certain amount of cards which increases with each round. The goal of this game is to score as many points as possible by creating a word or multiple words with the cards in your hand. Whoever scores the most points at the end of 8 rounds is the winner.

Once upon a word – this is a really simple game at heart. A member provides a word, and each family member must successively add another word to help the storyline progress.

Tapple - this is another award winning game that requires quick thinking. In this game, players circle around a round board which has different letters around it. Before each round, a category is assigned. To start one player will press the timer and will have 10 seconds to think of a word that begins with one of the letters around the board that connects with the category. Once that player thinks of a word, they will press the letter down and then restart the timer for the next player. The player who lasts the longest without the timer running out on them is the winner.

Coffeepot – a popular word game relying on the ability of others to predict a secret word. Give them clues in cleverly-crafted sentences, but replace the secret word with ‘coffee pot’ each time. Fun isn’t it?

Taboo – this game is to ensure laughter among those playing. The goal is for one player to get their partner or team to guess the word printed on top of the card without using the five related words listed below.

The Letter game – The game starts when a participant picks a category of objects and says a word in that same category. The challenge is then on the opponent to say another word in the same category, whilst ensuring to end with the last letter of the previous word.

Bananagrams - this was very popular word game at a therapeutic school that I worked at to help students with their vocabulary. The students used to always race to the back table to play this game when it was indoor recess. In this game, you place 144 tiles face down in the middle of the table called the bunch. Then depending on how many players you have, each player has to pick out a certain amount of tiles and keep them face down in front of them. Once everyone has their tiles, players flip them over and work to make as many words as they can. The player to use up all their tiles first is the winner.

Scattergories - this game involves players given a letter and a set of questions related to a category. The goal in this game is for players to earn points by answering as many questions on the list by writing down words that begin with the assigned letter. Expect to feel anxious as the timer clicks towards the end of each round.

Spelling Bee – An educational game that can be played anywhere and anytime. Call out words for the opponent to spell, while confirming from an accurate source. If they misspell, they’re out of the round.

Scrabble – How can we conclude this list without including the lovely game called scrabble. The aim of the game is to get the highest points on the board at the end of the game by arranging lettered tiles on the board. It has its rules, but they’re typically easy to master.

Bulls and cows – one player thinks of a word of a certain number of letters and the opponent guesses how many words are in the right position, and how many letters matched but are positioned wrongly. This goes on, until the word is discovered. It’s a good way for little children to think, build analytical skills and have fun while at it.

Boggle - this game involves a 4 x 4 grid with cubes label with different letters on them. The game begins with someone shaking/scrambling the cubes in a closed container. Once the cubes have been shaken, then the players must race to write down as many words as they can using the letters that are displayed in the grid.

Pairs in Pears - the concept of this game is very similar to Bananagrams however with some subtle differences. For instance, in Pairs in Pears, the letters on each of tiles have four different designs (solid, lines, dots, and outline) which are critical to the way the game is played. In order to score points, players must create intersecting words by using the tiles of the same design creating different pairs.

Word on the Street - this is a super fun game that requires players to battle over letter that are in the middle of the board. To begin the game, one team chooses a category card and then they have a certain amount of time, to come up with a word that fits with that category. The twist however, is that they want to think of words that have letters from the middle of the board. For each word a player uses, they must slide one of the letter they use from the middle over one space to their side of the “street” or board.The goal is for each team to capture as many letters as they can on their turn. Whatever team captures the most letters from the board is the winner.

WordPlay - this is a fast-paced, game very similar to Scattergories however with a little twist. In this game, instead of just being assigned one letter, players are assigned two letter before each round, with one being the first and the other being somewhere in between. During this game, players race to create as many words as they can based off of the category that id designated for that round.

Crossword Puzzles – An excellent word game that can be played alone or with other members of the family. See if you have a good eye for spotting words, and improve your vocabulary in the process.

Hangman - if you are looking to kill time with the kids, hangman is a classic game to play. Simply come up with a word and give kids an opportunity to guess letters to figure out what the word is and if they give an incorrect letter you slowly build a person one body part at a time.

I spy – An adult looks around, finds a suitable object and provides the sound or letter it begins with. The children must then look around and try to identify the object that was spied.

Upwords - this game as you can imagine is very similar to Scrabble. Each player is given 7 tiles and on their turn they are trying to create words given the letters on their tiles. However, in Upwords, players can build on top of already established tiles in order to create new words. If you really enjoy Scrabble, than Upwords is a game worth playing as it provides a fun twist.  

Candy Grams - this is another fun twist to similar games like Bananagrams and Pairs in Pears, in which players must build their own color-coded crossword with their 25 letter tiles. During this game, players work on creating different words that must connect with certain letters from previous words which is determined by the roll of a dice each round. The player who is able to get rid of all their tiles first is the winner.

Whim - this is a risky word game that requires players to place 1-3 of their chips on certain letters around a pie that they feel might be useful in creating a word that fits the chosen category. Once players have chosen which letters they would like to place their chips on, then a dice is rolled to determine if players must incorporate those letters in beginning, middle, or end of a word. After that is determine a card is flipped over to determine the category in which players must come up with words. If you like betting and taking chances this game is worth trying.

Dabble - this is a challenging game where each player has twenty tiles and in 5 minutes they have to create a 2-3-4-5-6 letter word. If after 5 minutes, no player is able to accomplish the task, then players can trade in their tiles for ones face down in the middle before the second round begins. The game continues this way until one player is able to successfully complete a 2-3-4-5-6 letter word.

Mad Libs - this is more of a fun activity rather than a game but it is sure to bring out the giggles from the kids. Mad Libs are extremely popular among kids, as they always seem to enjoy hearing the silly stories they create through the words to complete sentences. these booklets are great to have around as it is always useful when the kids start to get bored and need a good laugh.

Word Search - this is a great leisure activity to do with the kids. The great part of word searches is that you can create them on your own on the internet or you can purchase books online. Nonetheless, word searches are always great fun for kids and they are perfect for keeping kids busy.  

Conclusion: Word games are a great way to help kids build their vocabulary. With these games, kids will be flipping intensely through the dictionary to explore whether their opponents answers are actual words. Kids will be able to discover new words and definitions that they never would have never thought existed. In addition, word games are fantastic ways to improve kids spelling. The more kids play these games, the more they will become familiar with the way certain words are spelt. There are endless benefits for getting kids involved with word games. Not only are these games educational but most importantly they will improve your bonding time with them.

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