Lack of reading habits, the never-ending screen time, and the growing use of abbreviations in these modern times; all work against vocabulary development and good spelling skills among kids. But thanks to word games, which are a cheap yet super fun and engaging way to encourage kids to learn new words and mentally stimulate them from an early age. Word games enhance a kid’s language ability and teach them essential life skills that they may or may not learn inside the classroom. Apart from boosting a child’s vocabulary, comprehension, spelling, and creativity, word games promote problem-solving abilities, increase concentration, and instill patience in them, all while having a good amount of fun and making tons of memories.
Without further ado, here we present a few exciting word games that are a fantastic way to build your child’s literacy skills from a young age while enjoying some quality time with friends and family.
Bananagrams is a fast-paced and fun word game requiring no pencil, paper, or board. It involves each player working independently to create words in the form of a crossword faster than their opponents. As in the classic Scrabble, players put letter tiles together to create words, but there is no game board and scoring to keep track of, and the added pressure of a time limit makes the game more interesting. You may rearrange your grid in different directions at any time throughout the game to accommodate new letters.
The banana-shaped pouch includes 144 tiles, and the first player to form words using all their drawn tiles yells “Bananas!” and wins. The game has many benefits for children as it helps enhance creative thinking and build their vocabulary skills.
As you may already know, Word Search is a classic word puzzle, where you have to search for words in a grid of jumbled letters. As you locate each of the hidden words, they are circled on the grid and marked off on the list. An entertaining yet educational word game, Word Search can help improve your kid’s spelling and vocabulary, sharpen their mind, and improve context clue fluency. Besides, it will provide them a sense of achievement or accomplishment as they hunt down the words, and trust us, the time spent doing Word Search puzzles is far better than being glued to the screens. An oldie but good, they are excellent activities to unwind before bed or to keep your kid occupied in their free time.
Played with a Boggle set, paper, and pens, the game involves shaking up cubes with a letter of the alphabet on each side. Boggle aims to write down as many words as you can by looking at the 25 letters revealed on the Boggle board. Each dice shows a single letter, apart from Q, and you create words by connecting them. At the end of a round, each player shares the list of words they created. The longer the word, the more points a player gets. You may connect the dice horizontally, vertically, and diagonally to create as many words as possible, with each round of the game lasting only 3 minutes. Simple, fast, and fun, Boggle is a great game to reinforce basic spelling skills and teach your kids new short words they may have missed.
Another fun, vocabulary-building game, Scattergories involves players starting the round with a category list. After rolling a letter die, players race against the timer and pen down as many words which fit the category and start with the particular letter. For example, if the category is fruits, you must name a fruit that starts with the chosen letter, let’s say, “B”. You score points for writing down words which no one else did, and the more creative the answers, the more points you get.
Call My Bluff
This exciting word game is an excellent way to encourage vocabulary expansion, practice dictionary work, and improve presentation skills among kids. Divide kids into teams and give them a word which they must look up in the dictionary and write down 3 meanings for it; the correct one and two false ones. The other team must guess the correct definition to receive a point, and if they get it wrong, the point goes to the first team.
Another fast-thinking word game, Dabble challenges contestants to be the quickest to make 2, 3 4, 5, and 6 letter words from twenty letter tiles, all in five minutes. The first player to use all their tiles to accomplish the goal wins the round and receives points from their opponent’s leftover tiles. The challenge of creating words of a specific length will force kids to rearrange their tiles and work through words of varying difficulties until the task is complete. Dabble is a fantastic game to stimulate your child’s brain and improve their quick thinking ability.
An old-school favorite, Hangman is the go-to game for many to help their kids learn words, expand their vocabulary, and improve spelling skills. The player is presented with a set of blank spaces that represent the missing letters they need to find and reveal the hidden word. Each time you guess a letter that is not in the word, you lose a life, and the hangman is drawn piece by piece. Kids must solve the puzzle before the hangman dies. The classic word game boasts several educational benefits and remains a surefire way to expand your kid’s vocabulary and interest in reading and writing, and improve spelling.
Not all children are good at learning from hefty workbooks or vocabulary worksheets, as many are hands-on learners. Instead of making a kid sit for hours and write spelling and vocabulary words over and over or read a dry list of words, how about incorporating word games into the learning process. Word games are an easy and intriguing way to assist their learning in an engaging and fun way. Besides improving their literacy skills, word games are fantastic mental stimulators as they hone their problem-solving abilities and sharpen their imagination and long-term memory.