10 Fun English Word Games for Kids
A list of fun English word games for kids to help improve children’s spelling, reading, and vocabulary. Recommendations 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.
1. Hang Man
Probably one of the most famous word games for kids is the popular Hang Man. Player 1 thinks of a word and Player 2 has to guess it before they get “hung.”
Player 1 writes spaces for letters are written 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.
2. 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.
Such an easy word game to prepare for kids. Draw a square grid on a page and choose a theme. Write out some words using the theme. Eg, 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.
4. 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.
5. 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.
6. Unscramble the words
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.
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 10-15 categories. 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.
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.
8. Words within a word
This word game requires kids to create their own words. Choose one really long word with at least 8-10 letters. The longer the better.
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. 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.
9. I am going on a picnic
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.
10. 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.
This conversation activity helps kid’s imagination, as well as building their vocabulary.
Fun English word games for kids of all ages
These fun English word games for kids can be played with children of all ages and also with adults just by adapting certain aspects of the game to suit the age of the player. This list of fun word games for kids will keep kids entertained for hours on end without feeling like they are actually learning.