fun word games for kids

Best fun words games for kids

If you enjoyed the parts of speech games, then you are definitely going to love this post on fun word games.

Word games are really great because they help children focus on sounds and letters, and develop the skills they need for reading, writing, and spelling. By playing word games with our kids, we give them the benefit of our company, as well as demonstrating to them that playing with words can be lots of fun.

Here is a list of fun word games for kids to help improve children’s spelling, reading, and vocabulary. We highly recommend that your preferences should include word games that encourage conversation and early literacy that you can play on the spot or prepare yourself with just some paper and pencil, which is why most of these games are fun word games for middle school. This ensures that there is fun for all.

Fun Word Games To Play

Some of these games are purchasable and you need to get to the store to play them. However some of the others are activity games that you can play with the most minimal equipment. 

Hang Man – This is probably one of the most famous word games for kids. One player thinks of a word and the second Player has to guess it before they get “hung.”

Player 1 writes spaces for letters on the page so they know how many letters there are in the word. Player 2 proceeds to choose a letter they think may be in the word. If it is correct Player 1 writes the letter down where it goes. 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. The beauty of hangman is that you can play it as a virtual and also with just a pen and pieces of paper.

I spy – A really easy and fun word game for kids is I spy. You don’t need anything for this game except your imagination. Player 1 thinks of a word and tells the others the first letter. “I spy with my little eye, something beginning with __” The other players need to guess the word. Whoever wins gets to be the spy! This is a really great car game for kids too and helps to build vocabulary. Children of almost any age can play.

Bingo – Such an easy word game to prepare for kids. There are some really good versions on online stores, such as Amazon. You can purchase the game, or use it as an example to make your own. You can do this by simply drawing a square grid on a page and choose a theme. Write out some words using the theme. Examples are, beach: swimming, sand castles, water, sea shells, dolphin, sunbeds, picnic etc. Make an extra copy of the words ensuring there are a few extra than the amount on the page. Cut them up into squares and put in a bowl scrunched up. Take turns in pulling out a word and reading it out loud, then finding it on your page. The first person to find all of the words calls out ‘Bingo’ and is the winner. This fun word game for kids helps with reading and talking aloud.

Word Family Game – This game requires children to rhyme. Select one word and everyone needs to write as many words as they can that rhyme with that word. Eg. If the word is “Cat”, answers could be: hat, bat, rat, sat etc. This is a great word game to help build kids vocabulary and help their language skills.

Word Search – Another fun but challenging word game for kids is a word search. Draw a grid of 10 x 10 squares and place as many words as you can within the grid. Words can go up, down, or diagonal, and letters can overlap to be used more than once. Create a list on the side or bottom of the page of the words you have entered. Then once you cannot fit anymore words in, fill the blank boxes with random letters. Kids will need to find the words as quick as possible. This can be a fun word game to do individually or as a team. For kids who like to compete, you can make identical grids and see who finishes first. This word game encourages persistence and helps to improve their literacy skills.

Unscramble the words – this is A simple word game for children that will get them really thinking! Write a list of words down on paper but scramble the letter order while writing. Kids will need to look at the letters and try to work out what the word is and guess it. This can be quite a competitive word game, but it helps to really get their mind ticking.

Categories – While this is also an official board game, you can also make it yourself quite easily. Each player has a piece of paper and pencil. Select as many categories as you want or can. These can be anything you like but remember they should be popular enough that you can guess something with most letters. Eg. Country, Movie, Body Part, Actor or Actress etc. Once you have your categories it is time to choose a letter. Without a dice, the easiest way is to write the letters randomly on a piece of paper. Then one person closes their eyes and points to a letter. When the letter has been chosen, players have 2 minutes to fill in the gaps with something in each category starting with that letter. The Winner is the one with the most filled in at the end, or the first to finish. This is a really fun and competitive word game for kids that helps to improve their vocabulary, spelling, and conversation skills.

I am going on a picnic – this is A great game to help with your child’s memory and to get them talking. One person starts and says “I am going on a picnic and I will bring some… fruit”. The next person says what the first person said, and adds something of their own. “I am going on a picnic and I will bring some fruit, and some sandwiches. The next person says what the first, and second person said, and adds something of their own. “I am going on a picnic and I will bring some fruit, some sandwiches and some ice-cream. You continue on and on and it gets more difficult to remember everything. We usually can get to at least seven or eight, and surprisingly my pre-schooler can often remember more than me! This conversational game helps with memory, and also learning new vocabulary.

Story prompts – This word game involves making up a story by taking turns in saying sentences. One person starts the story, and says the first sentence. The second person continues the story with another sentence, and so on. The stories can become very interesting as each person has different ideas. Bilingual flashcards are great for this or you can find a great version online. This conversation activity helps kid’s imagination, as well as building their vocabulary.

Rhyming Animals – Give kids a rhyme and have them come up with the animal, food, or place that’s on your mind. For example: “I rhyme with new. I am a (zoo).” I rhyme with log. I am a (frog).” “I rhyme with make. I am a (cake).”

Word Hunting – Perfect for kids who are practicing their alphabet skills, this game is all about collecting words you see around you. Give your children a notebook of “tasks” to fulfill, or words to find, as they look at their surroundings, such as “words that begin with D.” Encourage your kids to write down the letters in the words they see, then read the words aloud back to them. For children who’ve started reading, make it more complex with specific tasks like “words on restaurant signs” or “words with double letters,” and prompt them to read the words aloud on their own. Another great game for car rides.

One Letter Change-Up – This is great for school-age kids. Find a short word, four or five letters, and let kids come up with as many words as they can by changing one letter at a time (set a timer). For example: park – dark – dare – mare – mark – bark – bare – bars – bags – bogs – logs – legs – less (and so on).

Big Words, Little Words – Also known as words within a word. This word game helps kids to learn big words as well as practice remembering the ones they knew before or even ones they were not aware of.

Here’s how you play it. Write a big word on a piece of paper, a really long word with at least 8-10 letters. The longer the better. It doesn’t matter so much that kids know it, as it does that it has a nice collection of letters. The aim of this word game is for kids to try to make a list of small words out of the letters of the long word

Give your child a time span (a minute or two) to write down all the smaller words they can make from that big 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. This is a great one for would-be Scrabble champs too. Parents, go ahead and play too!

Call My Bluff – Excellent for groups of older kids, this game is based on an old British game show and can be fun at sleepovers or playdates. Divide kids into teams and give each team a list of words that might be somewhat unfamiliar (but are still common enough to be useful). Then, have teams look up the words and write down the real meaning, as well as two alternate ones. For a word like “baffled” the definitions might look like this: a) Bewildered or confused; b) Unable to catch a ball; or c) To be built on the side of a hill. The other team must guess the right definition to get a point; otherwise, the point goes to the inventors of the false definition that fooled their opponents. The trick to these activities is that they work best when you’re not focusing too much on the end game. Instead of checking sight words off a list or worrying about reading levels, just enjoy some silliness and know you’re inspiring an appreciation for words and language.

The Prime Minister’s Cat – Start with A and work your way through the alphabet using an adjective beginning with a different letter each time. For example, the first person might say “The Prime Minister’s cat is an angry cat,” and the second person would respond, “The Prime Minister’s cat is a beautiful cat.” See how far you can get.

Aunt Annie’s Holiday – Another alphabet game, this one also tests your child’s memory skills. The first person says: “My Aunt Annie went on a holiday and brought back [something that starts with A — let’s say an apple].” The next person says: “My Aunt Annie went on a holiday and brought back an apple and a brick.” And so on.


Questions – Pick a topic or a “scene” (for example, two teachers supervising the kids at recess) and start acting it out with each person taking a turn to say a line. The catch: Each person has to ask a question. For example: The first person says, “When is recess over?” The second person says: “Why do you want to know?” The first says: “Do I have time to go to the bathroom?” and so on. Another variation on this game is to pick a number and allow only sentences with that number of words, rather than questions. So if the number is 3, A might say, “Recess over soon?” and B might reply, “Check your watch”.

The Name Game – in this game the aim is to Have each child write their name, one letter per line, down the left-hand side of the paper. Then use each letter as the initial letter of an adjective or phrase to describe them. Alternatively, the letters can become the initial letters of words in a sentence. So Daniel might write: daring, adventurous, nice, intelligent, extra-strong, likes spaghetti in the first version, or Daring anything new, I eagerly leap.

Change a Letter – The first person starts off by writing down a word of between three and six letters. The next person tries to change one letter to make a new word. The next person (or the first person again) tries to change one letter to make a different word, and so on until no more words can be made. For example: games, gates, mates, mites.

Licence Plate Phrases – this is an exceptionally fun game to play while you are on the road and are looking to entertain the kids, especially if the trip is going to be a long, long one. While on a road trip, give each child a piece of paper, and have them write down the letters only from, for example, five licence plates they see around them. They have to then use those letters in order, as the first letters of the words in a short (and ideally funny) phrase or sentence. For example, if the licence is AAYC 665, you write down AAYC and the phrase you could get might be: alligators avoid yellow cars. The only snag to this game is that it requires a lot of cars if you are going to be playing for a long time.

Guess the animal – Give children a rhyming word and have them guess the animal. “I rhyme with mat. I am a …”

Make a word – If you have plastic letters, magnet letters, or letter blocks, you can play this as soon as your child is old enough to spell. Play it mentally with older kids, or with paper and pencil. Simply give your children some letters and challenge them to make words from those letters. Great beginning for board games like Scrabble.

Hink Pink – Kids adore this game! One person thinks of two-single syllable rhyming words, like fat cat. She works out a clue that should lead (eventually!) to the answer “fat cat.” One clue could be “an obese mouse-catcher” or “a pet that eats too much,” depending on the age of the guesser. The guesser tries to work out what the two rhyming words are. The game can be extended to Hinky Pinky (two syllable rhyming words), like happy chappy = “joyful fellow.” Or Hinketty Pinketty (three syllable rhyming words, much harder), like mellower bellower = “less angry bull.” Mix and match with Hinky Pinketty or Hinketty Pink! Here are some Hink Pinks you can use to get you and your child started.

Clues 1. seafood platter 2. huge oinker 3. head cover that’s been squashed by a truck 4. warmed up joint between two ropes 5. Rained-on puppy

Answers 1. fish dish 2. big pig 3. flat hat 4. hot knot 5. wet pet

If your child has trouble working out how many syllables are in a word, play a game where you tap the syllables on her arm as you slowly say the word: “butt(tap)-er (tap)-fly(tap).” Or march and dance the words, making strong body movements for each syllable. There is nothing more joyous than the sight and sound of 30 youngsters marching about, chanting the syllables in given words! Once older kids are used to the game, it can provide a lead-in to crossword puzzles, and then cryptic crossword puzzles. All of these word games are great for developing thinking skills, as well as giving the whole family a way of celebrating the joy of language.

Word Game: this game might be familiar to a lot of people, even if the name is not really popular. One person, A, thinks of a five-letter word. A tells B the first letter of the word. B makes guesses at the word and finds out if letters are correct and in the correct place, correct but in the wrong place, or not correct at all. B gets five chances to guess the word. Here’s an example. A – My five-letter word starts with D.

B – Is it drive?

A – It’s not drive. There are no correct letters.

B – Is it donut?

A – It’s not donut. The N is correct and in the right place. The U is correct but in the wrong place.

B – Is it dummy?

A – It’s not dummy. The U is correct and in the right place, the N is correct and in the right place.

B – Is it dunks?

A – Yes! That’s it. The word is dunks.

This game is much easier if you use pencil and paper to keep a record. But doing it mentally is very good memory training! Our family tends to play for fun, but you can keep a running score if you want – the guesser gets 5 points for guessing the word first go, four for guessing on the second go, three for third, two for fourth, one for fifth, and none for missing the word in five guesses. Try four-letter words with younger kids.

Of course this list would not be complete without the addition of online games. So far, for the purpose of the kids we are considering, http://www.wordgametime.com/word-games has the best lineup of online word games for kids, and they are grouped by age and class grade so you can monitor the difficulty while your kids still have fun.

Also, you can check out https://learnenglishkids.britishcouncil.org/word-games . This site has lots of great word games for you and your kids to play. You can choose from lots of different topics and have fun playing games and learning English at the same time. You can also post comments!


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