English word games are a fun way to get kids to learn new vocabulary skills, sharpen their existing reading skills, and develop their writing skills all in one go. There are tons of fun games to help foster a love for language at a young age and teach them valuable literacy skills along the way.
Here is a look at 20 cool games that put a new twist on classic word games or introduce you to some new approaches to learning vocabulary skills.
1. Popsicle Words
This word game for kids is easy to set up. Simply write words across the 2 popsicle sticks of the same color and let kids match up the two halves of the sticks. Use colored sticks for young readers or one color to make it a bit more difficult.
Learn more: Good and Beautiful
2. DIY Wordle
Wordle is the online word game that has taken the internet by storm. Create custom wordles for kids using words they know or might be learning at school. This DIY version is quick and easy to use and a favorite educational game among learners.
Learn more: Wordle
3. Stop the Bus
This is a classic classroom game that can also be played at home with just a piece of paper. Kids get assigned a letter and must produce one word in each category starting with that letter. It is a game of speed so their language skills are truly out to the test and truly the easiest paper game to set up.
Learn more: ISL Collective
4. Online Hangman
Hangman is one of the best classic word games out there but this fun online version puts a new spin on it. The man is floating above a hungry monster and each incorrect guess pops one of his balloons, bringing him closer to his doom. Don't miss the chance to play this fun new version of one of the most popular word games of all time.
Learn more: Cool Math Games
Bananagrams is a must-play word game for kids of all ages. It uses Scrabble-like letter tiles and players grab tiles and form words. Adding the element of time really puts their spelling skills and concentration skills to the test.
Learn more: Triple S Games
6. Make a Wordsearch
Create a custom word search for kids using words from their in-class theme or that link to a theme at home. You can even throw some silly words in the mix to make it more difficult or add their names for a fun surprise. This classic paper-based puzzle game remains a firm favorite word game.
Learn more: Discovery Education
7. Storytelling Game
Storytelling games are a great way for kids to use their spoken word skills. A spinner or story dice will give prompts for the story and dictate which direction it must go in. Kids can only use one word or one sentence at a time in this conversational game, forcing them to think quickly and creatively.
Learn more: The Colorful Apple
This should be a new addition to family game night as Wordicle combines a card game and a dice game to form the ultimate educational board game. Players roll the dice for random letters and use the letters on the cards in their hands to make the highest scoring word possible.
Learn more: UI School Supply
9. Toss the Balloon
To start this sight word game, write a collection of words on a balloon. Toss the balloon in the air and let your child catch it. Whichever word is facing upwards should be read out loud and used in a sentence. Prompt kids who can write to write the words on the balloon themselves. This fun vocabulary game will have kids jumping for joy as they try to catch the balloon.
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10. Word Connect
Word Connect is a fun spelling game that kids can play online. Simply connect the letters in the circle to create words using the same letters. Each level adds one more letter to the circle increasing the game difficulty. This game for kids helps build kids' vocabulary as they discover new arrangements for the same letters.
Learn more: Mindgames
11. The Minister's Cat
This classic game was a popular parlor game but can still be played to teach kids all about adjectives. Each player recites the phrase "The minister's cat is a ..." and adds an adjective to describe the cat, moving along the alphabet. An adorable cat, a bouncy cat, a cool cat, and so on. This is a great way to work on listening skills and memory skills as they cannot repeat words and hone alphabet skills as they should determine which letter to use next.
Learn more: Wild Billy
12. Hink Pinks
This fun word game for children is all about rhyming. One player must think of a rhyming phrase like "flat hat" or "wet pet". They should then use another phrase to describe it like "smashed fedora" or "soaked dog". It is up to other players to guess the rhyming 2 words.
Learn more: Hub Pages
Boggle is a fun and educational game that has unlimited replayability. This handy online version allows you to play this challenging word game without buying the board game and is always handy on a mobile device.
Learn more: Wordshake
When it comes to word-based board games, few are as popular and well-known as Codenames. Players must call out a word that connects to one or more of the words on the playing cards. Their team must guess the word without accidentally guessing words assigned to the opposing team. This fun online version is free and lets kids play on their own too.
Learn more: Codenames
16. Sight Word Candyland
If you already own the Candyland board game, this adaptation is the perfect simple word game for your kids. This game works on literacy skills and minimizes screen time simultaneously and all you need to do is print out these free game printables. There are also cards for different grade levels so kids of many ages can play together, making it the perfect game for family time.
Learn more at 123 Homeschool 4 Me
17. Sight Word Splat
A couple of fly swatters quickly turn a normal sight word game into a very competitive word game. Write words on papers, laminated cards, or sticky notes, and let kids slap them with their fly swatters as you call them out. It is guaranteed to be a lively game as kids rush to show off their fundamental reading skills.
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18. Silly Sentence Jenga
Write parts of a sentence on some Jenga blocks and let kids build sentences as they pull the pieces out in a hilarious game of Jenga. This printable word list will give you a good foundation for the game or you can replace them with your own words according to a theme or what your children like to learn about.
Learn more: Childhood 101
19. Secret Words
This vocabulary game for kids is great for language development. Print out cards that spell out a word using simple pictures to spell out a word. An apple would represent an "a" and a ball will represent a "b" for example. Kids can use magnetic letters, letter blocks, or scrabble tiles to decipher the secret words.
Learn more: Fun Learning For Kids
20. Word Hunt
Even the most reluctant learner will love going on a word treasure hunt. Put some sticky notes all over the house with words printed on them. Give kids a square grid with the matching words written in each block. Kids must find the sticky notes and complete their grid to win the game.
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