Let the games begin! There’s nothing better than a little friendly competition to get your kiddos to put on their thinking caps and sharpen their reading skills. With so many fun English games out there, we’ve chosen the 36 best word games for your kids! From printables, board games, and online challenges- this curated list has a ton of options for classroom word study stations and intentional “downtime”.Take a peek at some of our favorite word games and watch as your students’ love for language develops through gameplay!
1. Popsicle Words
We’ll start off our list with a hands-on word game that’ll help your kiddos learn their sight words with manipulatives! Simply write words across the two popsicle sticks of the same color and let them match up the pairs. You can use different colored sticks for emerging 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. Use this Wordle generator to create custom wordles for your kids using topic or spelling words that they know or might be learning at school. This DIY version is quick and easy to use and a favorite educational game among learners of any age.
Learn More: Wordle
3. Stop the Bus
This is a classic classroom game that can also be played with just a piece of paper and something to write with Your students will get assigned a letter and they have to come up with one word in each category that starts with that letter. It is a game of speed as they go up against the timer- putting their vocabulary skills to the test!
Learn More: ISL Collective
4. Online Hangman
Put a new spin on the classic game of hangman with this fun online version! Your kiddies will only get so many guesses as to which letters make up the mystery word or phrase. Instead of a hanged man, this man is floating above a hungry monster and each incorrect guess pops one of his balloons, bringing him closer to his doom!
Learn More: Cool Math Games
Bananagrams is a must-play word game for kids of all ages. Very similar to Scrabble, your kiddos will grab a plethora of letter tiles from a bunch and have to create their own word grids. The first player to use all of the tiles in their word grid will yell “bananas” and win!
Learn More: YouTube
6. Make a Wordsearch
A word search is a great starter or finishing activity to focus your learners and have them revise some target vocabulary. Why not create a custom word search for them using words from their in-class theme or even their spelling lists? You can even throw some silly words in the mix or add their names for a fun surprise.
Learn More: Discovery Education
7. Words In a Jar Storytelling Game
Storytelling games are a great way for your kids to develop their vocabulary. Have your students write five words on separate pieces of paper, then add them to a bowl, before mixing all the words up. Next, have them take five words back out of the bowl and challenge them to come up with a short story that uses each of these words!
Learn More: Small And Wild
Wordical combines cards and dice to form the ultimate educational board game! Your players will each receive five consonant cards and will have to roll the two vowel dice s to make the highest-scoring word possible. What a super way to let them have fun while they practice word-formation!
Learn More: YouTube
9. Toss the Balloon
This fun vocabulary game will have your kiddies jumping for joy as they practice their sight words! To start this sight word game, write a collection of words on a balloon, then toss the balloon in the air, and let the child who catches it read out whichever word is facing upwards in a sentence. Prompt your kids who can write to write the words on the balloon themselves!
Learn More: Gift Of Curiosity
10. Word Connect
Word Connect is a fun spelling game that your kids can play online. The task is to 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’s difficulty. This engaging game helps build your kids’ vocabulary as they discover new arrangements for the same set of letters.
Learn More: Mindgames
11. The Minister’s Cat
This classic game was a popular parlor game, but it can still be played to teach your 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. This game is a great way for your learners to work on listening skills and memory skills as they’re not allowed to repeat words!
Learn More: Wild Billy
12. Hink Pinks
Here’s a fun rhyming word game that requires a bit of brain power from your students! Hink Pinks are question-and-answer riddles where the question is a phrase and the answer is a rhyming set of words e.g. a silly rabbit would be a funny bunny! Give your kids some questions and see if they can come up with the rhyming answers!
Learn More: Hub Pages
Boggle is an enticing educational game that can be played over and over again! To play, your kiddies must find as many words as they can make with letters that are touching each other. Let your class try out this handy online version to play this challenging word game that saves you from needing multiples of the physical board game version.
Learn More: Wordshake
Blurt is a fun board game that’s perfect if you’ve kids in your class who always feel the need to blurt out an answer. Start by instructing one of your players to read out a description from a card and let the other players blurt out the word that is being described. Correct guesses will move your kiddos forward on the game board!
Learn More: YouTube
When it comes to word-based board games, few are as popular and well-known as Codenames! Your learners must call out a word that connects to one or more of the words on the playing cards and their team must guess the word without accidentally guessing words assigned to the opposing team. This fun online version is free and lets your 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. Just print out the free game cards and they’ll be working on their literacy skills while simultaneously minimizing screen time! We love that they include cards for different grade levels so whatever age your kiddos are, they can play together!
Learn More at 123 Homeschool 4 Me
17. Sight Word Splat
Who knew that a couple of fly swatters quickly turn a normal sight word game into a heated competitive activity!? To set up, write words on papers, laminated cards, or sticky notes, and let your kiddies slap them with their fly swatters as you call out each word. It’s guaranteed to be a lively game as they rush to show off their fundamental reading skills!
Learn More: You Clever Monkey
18. Silly Sentence Jenga
Here’s a great word game that will help your learners in developing their sentence structure! First, write some words on some Jenga blocks – make it a mix of nouns, verbs, adjectives, articles, etc. Then, as your kids pull the wooden blocks from the tower they’ll have to build sentences- the funnier the better!
Learn More: Childhood 101
19. Secret Words
This vocabulary game for kids is great for language development and practicing their initial sounds. Simply print out the cards and let your kiddies identify and record the initial sound for each picture. If you want to make it more hands-on, you can let your kids use magnetic letters, letter blocks, or Scrabble tiles to spell out the secret words.
Learn More: Fun Learning For Kids
20. Word Hunt
Even your most reluctant learners will love going on a word hunt! To set up, place some sticky notes around your classroom with words written on them. Next, give your kids a square grid with the matching words written in each block. They’ll then need to find all of the sticky notes and tally how many words were repeated to complete their grid and win the game.
Learn More: Walking By The Way
Rewordable is all about building and rebuilding words! Your kiddos will build one word each turn, adding to whatever their classmates have already made. They can add to the beginning or end of a word, or even put something smack dab in the middle! It’s awesome word study practice and great fun! Don’t have the budget for the board game? Check out the printable version in the link below!
Learn More: Rewordable
22. Word Scramble
This activity is the perfect starter for your next spelling lesson! Simple yet effective, this free online resource will scramble up any of your kiddos’ spelling and vocabulary words, giving them something to puzzle over. If any of your kids need extra practice with tricky letter combos (‘ei’ vs. ‘ie’ for example) you’ll even be able to customize their list and get them sorted!
Learn More: Mocomi
23. Spelling Bees
Your students will be buzzing about Spelling Bees! This free game is super fun because your kiddos will be able to play against both their classmates and students on the other side of the globe! It’s exciting and super simple; they’ll listen to a word read aloud and then they’ll need to spell the word to move on to the next round!
Learn More: Arcademics
24. Spell CVC Words
This one is for your littlest learners who are still mastering short vowels! They’ll love this fun online game where they need to unscramble the CVC words. With only a few options for unscrambling, as well as letter height hints, you’ll keep even your struggling learners free from frustration! It’s easy, effective, and engaging!
Learn More: Roy The Zebra
In this fun card game, your kiddos will be tasked with creating simple words from what’s in their hand. The next player uses the last letter played to start off their word, and so on, until someone runs out of cards. They’ll have no trouble catching on to this simple game that’s great for a variety of ages!
Learn More: Set Game
26. Which Initial Sound?
Although you’ll need to complete a free registration in order to access Spelling City, it’ll be well worth the effort! You can build individual games and tasks for your kiddos by entering their personalized spelling lists. There are a ton of games to choose from, like this one with an initial sound focus; perfect for in class or as a homework activity!
Learn More: Spelling City
27. Word Cloud Synonym Challenge
Looking for a friendly class competition? Then this free, online Word Cloud is just the resource for you! Start by giving everyone the same word to work with to start, such as “happy” then let them work independently or in pairs to think of synonyms, competing against each other to make the biggest word cloud they can!
Learn More: ABCya
28. Read My Lips Word Game
This is fun for everyone, but you speech-language pathologists will especially love it! Get your students to practice their articulation skills with this funny, silent game. Give each of your kiddos a multi-syllable word to mouth out to each other and have them work in pairs to try to guess each other’s words by the lip movements their partner makes. The only sound they’ll hear is laughter as they try to decipher the words!
Learn More: Aha Slides
29. Roll A Word
This simple dice game packs a big phonetic punch! Give your kiddies five dice each and they’ll roll to make as many words as they can. Then they’ll record their words on mini whiteboards after each turn; whoever creates the most words wins! Easy peasy!
Learn More: Junior Learning
30. Morse Code Word Challenge
Are your kids familiar with Morse code? They will be after this interactive online game! The computer will play out loud beeps that correlate with the letters in Morse code and it’s up to your kiddos to use their cheat sheet to guess the word within 21 goes!
Learn More: Morsle
31. Odd One Out
It’ll take a little prep work for this one but it’s easily differentiated for vocabulary and grammar practice. Pair your kiddos up with competing lists and have ’em take turns to find the ‘odd one out’. In this example, each row has an adjective for every four nouns, but you can build them however you’d like!
Learn More: Pinterest
Your little learners will really love this Spelligator game! They’ll pick tiles to make words by stacking up the letters one by one on their crocodiles. It’s also pretty cool because there are two different levels available for play: Rookie and Expert. Your kiddos can level up their spelling as the year goes on!
Learn More: YouTube
33. ABC Letter Game
Even if your kiddos haven’t seen the PBS show, ‘Super WHY’, this game will still entertain and teach. Its charming TV characters such as Princess Presto will help them develop their reading skills with letter recognition, sight words, and some silly sentences. They’ll be sure to love their new fictional phonics friends!
Learn More: University Games
34. Zingo! Word Builder
Whoever made this game sure did recognize the power of scaffolding! It’s a word-building game where your kiddos won’t have to start from scratch. Instead, they’ll build up partially created words with the letters they choose. There’s truly nothing better than that feeling of success!
Learn More: Think Fun
35. Letter Jam
Letter Jam- it’s not only phonics-based but cooperative! In this card game, there’s one turn per round and whoever’s turn it is can’t see their own letter, but they can see everyone else’s! With the information they have, they’ll try to make a word. And maybe, with a little critical thinking, they can even determine their own letters as well!
Learn More: YouTube
Set your timer for five minutes and let your kids at it! With this fun game, your kiddies will use their pyramid-shaped trays to try to build five words before the buzzer goes off. To add to the challenge, they’ll need words of different lengths…two letters, three letters, four letters, five letters, and six letters. No one said it was gonna be easy, but that doesn’t make it any less fun!
Learn More: Buffalo Lib