11 Best Word Games for Kids
Word games for kids are a great way for children to learn new vocabulary in a fun way. This list of word games includes a range of spelling games, and vocabulary games for kids that will get them talking and help their language development.
Word Games and Vocabulary Games for Kids
Word games are a fantastic way to get your kids learning when they don’t realise it. These types of games help to build vocabulary, learn to spell, and communication in general. They are also really fun and most of them can be played almost anywhere.
If you are looking for board games that you can buy, check out our board games for kids post. These word games below don’t need much preparation, but if you don’t have time to prepare your own, you can also purchase a range of fun word games for kids HERE.
1. Hang Man
The Game: Arguably one of the most popular word games for kids is Hang Man. This word game can be played with minimum 2 players and is perfect for kids to practice their spelling. Player 1 thinks of a word and Player 2 (or more) has to guess it before they get “hung.”
How to Play: Player 1 writes down a line for each letter of the word they have chosen, so that the other player/s know how many letters there are in the word. Player 2 needs to guess a letter they think may be in the word. If the letter is correct Player 1 writes the letter down on the line or lines. If it is incorrect Player 1 draws part of the “hangman”. If the drawing is complete by the time Player 2 guesses, then Player 1 wins.
2. Words within a word
The Game: This is a great word game for kids that requires them to create their own words out of one large word.
How to Play: Choose one really long word with at least 8-10 letters. The longer the word the better. Then set a timer for 1 minute and start. Each player needs to try to make a list of small words out of the letters of the long word. So, for example the word COMPUTER includes: put, cot, term, core, mop, top, pet. Etc. This is a really fun word game to help children’s spelling skills.
3. I spy
The Game: A really easy and fun word game for kids that doesn’t need any materials at all and can be played anywhere is I spy. Guess what the person “spies”. Play this guessing game with as many players as you want in the car, on a walk, or even at dinner.
How to Play: Player 1 looks around and chooses an object that he or she can see then proceeds to say, “I spy with my little eye, something beginning with __” The other players then need to guess what the word is. Whoever guesses the correct words is next up to spy. Great game to play in the car.
4. Unscramble the words
The Game: This is a simple word game for children that needs a little preparation, but will get them really thinking. Kids will need to unscramble the letters to solve the word.
How to play: Write down a list of words on a page, but scramble the letters so that they are not in order. Kids will need to look at the scrambled letters to try to form the word. For younger children, it can be simple 3-4 letter words, for older ones to make it more challenging try some 5-8 letter words. This is a great vocabulary game for kids of any age that will really test their problem solving skills.
The Game: Bingo is such a fun and easy word game for kids. There are some really good versions on Amazon HERE. That you can buy, but you can also just make up your own. Kids must find the words on their bingo card and be the first to cross them all off.
How to Play: Draw a square grid on a page and choose a theme. Write out some words using the theme. It could be colours, shapes, animals, or even their sight words they are learning at school. For a group of players, make sure that all of them have slightly different words.
Make an extra copy of all of the words on every page then cut them up into squares and put in a bowl scrunched up. You and the kids can then take turns in pulling out a word and reading it out loud. Whoever has the word on their page covers it with a token). The first person to find all of the words calls out Bingo and is the winner.
6. I am going on a picnic
The Game: An old favourite, and a fun word game to help with your child’s memory and to get them talking. One person is going on a picnic and each person has to say what they are bringing along, but with a twist! The more you play this vocabulary game the better you get at it.
How to Play: This game can be played with 2 or more people. Player 1 starts with saying “I am going on a picnic and I will bring … (and chooses an item, eg sandwiches”
Player 2 then repeats what the first person said, and adds something of their own. So, for example “I am going on a picnic and I will bring some sandwiches, and some strawberries.
Player 3 (or back to player 1) then repeats what the first person said, then the second person, and adds something of their own. So for example “I am going on a picnic and I will bring sandwiches, strawberries, and a picnic rug.”
You keep going like this for each person around the circle and as you go, it gets more difficult to remember every item. The game ends when someone cannot remember them all.
The Game: Another simple vocabulary for kids to get them thinking is the Alphabet game where you go through the alphabet to name different subjects.
How to Play: Write down the letters A-Z on paper, and then choose a subject such as animals or places. Kids need to then go through the alphabet using each letter to write down something from that subject. For example, Ape, Bear, Cow, Duck, etc.
The person who has the most at the end is the winner. This word game can also be played out loud if you don’t have paper, taking turns with each player going through the alphabet until someone cannot continue.
8. Word Family Game
The Game: This fun vocabulary game requires children to rhyme and think of new words. It can be played with 2 players or even a group.
How to Play: Choose one word to start with, and then everyone needs to write as many words that rhyme with that word. For example if the word is “Mat”, answers could be: cat, sat, rat, pat etc. If you are playing in the car or on the go, you can do one word at a time. If you have paper, then start with a list of words and go through them all with a timer. The person with the most words wins.
9. Word Search
The Game: A fun but challenging word game for kids that encourages persistence is doing a word search. Kids need to find the hidden words within a grid.
How to Play: You can find lots of fun word searches online for free and print them out (as the one in the image above) Or you can make your own easily by drawing a grid of 10 x 10 squares. Once you have your grid, place as many words as you can within the grid. Words can go up, down, or diagonal. For older kids who need a challenge, make some letter overlap and used more than once.
Make sure to create a list on the side or bottom of the page of the words you have entered so the player knows which words to find. Once you cannot fit anymore words in, fill the blank boxes with a range of random letters.
10. Story prompts
The Game: This is a great vocabulary game to get kids talking and sparking their creativity by making up stories together.
How to Play: Kids need to take turns in saying sentences to make a story. Player 1 starts the story, and says the first sentence. Player 2 continues the story with another sentence. Player 3 (or back to Player 1) continues the story again with another sentence and so on. The stories can become very interesting as each person has different ideas.
These puzzles or word games involve a question or statement presented as a problem to be solved. The question is usually formulated in a clever way, often using metaphors, puns, or wordplay to make the answer difficult to guess.
How to play: See our list of riddles here> Riddles for Kids and take turns in asking and trying to work out the answer
Other Fun Learning Games for Kids
If you love these fun word games for kids then you may be interested in our other posts that are also educational and help kids with their vocabulary and communication.
- Best board games for kids
- Best car games for kids
- Best kids activities to do at home
- Fun and simple science experiments for kids
- Nursery rhyme lyrics
Best word games for kids of all ages
These word games will certainly encourage your kids to use new vocabulary and improve their spelling too.
The best thing about these word games for kids is that they can can be played with children of all ages. Even parents can join in the fun too. Just adapt the game to suit the age of the player. Let us know if you have a favourite word game for kids that we haven’t listed so we can try it out!