5 Word Games to Play with Kids

Children are fast learners. If you have ever scrolled through videos of babies on YouTube, Facebook, or Instagram, you know that these tiny tots, who can hardly stand up, use their nimble little fingers to scroll, swipe and click on their parents’ phones. As a new parent, you should know that the first five years of a newborn are the most important years for a child’s social and cognitive skill development – which is why you should engage your kids in various activities.

 A mother and daughter playing a word game with cards.
I did it, Mom! I guessed all the words!

Alphabet and word knowledge can be pretty volatile and kids may let it slip, especially during summer vacation. Here are a few fun word games for kids that will help them improve their spelling, vocabulary, and reading skills.

Word Bingo

If you’ve played Bingo, you might have guessed what Word Bingo might be like.

Basically, you will have to cut out tiny cards and make a grid on each of them. Then, write a few words within the grid on each of the cards.

Make a copy of all these words and create slips for each word. Make sure to throw in a few extra words and put them all in a bowl.

Now, gather the kids and give them each the card you made. Pick up one slip at a time from the bowl and read out the word. Ask the kids to strike the word on their card if you call it out. The first one to get all the words on the card wins!

To make the game fun and to help kids associate words with one another, you could create a theme. Say, for example, school. Here’s what one of the cards can look like:

School bus

Black board
Play area

Word Family

This game gets kids to think of rhyming words

Call out a word and ask the kids to write down as many rhyming words as possible.

You could give them a time limit of about 3 minutes and the one with the most number of words at the end of 3 minutes wins.

I would play this game with my kids when they were much younger. After a point, they would get bored of writing the words on plain sheets of paper. So, I would write words on different coloured cards and ask them to arrange the rhyming words next to each other.

Here are a few word families you could get started with


Rhyming words
Bat, rat, sat, mat, hat, pat, flat, …
Rhyming words
Bun, fun, dun, run, one, pun, ton, none, done, …
Rhyming words
Air, fair, fare, chair, glare, mare, rare, share, scare, wear, …

Read and Find

You could play this game with your kids to brush up their reading and observational skills.

Find a few things around the house and put them all in a box. Then, make a list of all the things you’ve collected and give it to your child.

Ask the child to read each word aloud and pick up that particular thing from the box of things.

Here are a few things you could use for the game:


Words within a Word

Children can find this game challenging as it involves jumbling letters to create words. Pick a long 8-12 letter word and ask the kids to make as many words as they can using the letters.

Here’s an example to get you started:

Words within the word

Hang man

I play this game with my teenage kids to this day. You have to think of a word and let your kids guess what the word is.

On a sheet of paper, put down as many blanks as the number of letters in the word. So, if the word you have in mind is ‘Astronaut’, you put down 9 letters on the sheet.

The children will have to take turns to guess the letters of each word. If they get a letter right, write it down in the blank. If they don’t get it right, you can start drawing the picture of a man hanging by the gallows, line by line. If you finish drawing the picture, you win. If the child guesses all the letters, he or she wins!

Here’s a picture of the hang man that you should draw line by line each time you kid gets a letter wrong:

These are just a few of the many word games you can play with your kids. You can alter the games as per the child’s age.

What word games do you play with your child? Let me know in the comments.


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