11 Great Word Games for Kids

11 Great Word Games for Kids thumbnail

Word games are a fantastic way to foster language development while having fun with family and friends!

While classic board games like Scrabble, on-the-go games like Hangman, and crossword puzzles are great word game options, we've curated a list of new and engaging word games that are not only lots of fun but also incredibly beneficial for language skills. These fun word games aim to make even the most hesitant young readers and writers enthusiastic about creative writing and storytelling. They're designed to boost literacy, critical thinking, problem-solving, language skills, and an overall love for creative expression.

Children playing a card game.


Consequences is a creative and engaging family game that fosters teamwork and creativity in a fun, group setting. It's a structured folding game with story prompts, and it offers players a chance to build a story together.

How to play

Gather the family in a circle and provide a piece of paper. Each player writes a part of the story on their section of the paper, then conceals it by folding the paper. Pass the paper to the next person, who adds their part of the story, continuing the folding tradition. After several rounds, the paper unfolds, revealing the complete, often hilariously nonsensical story that the family has co-authored.

Keep in mind that Consequences is more suitable for older kids who can enjoy the creativity and humor that come from the unpredictable nature of this game. It's a fantastic way to promote teamwork while exercising your child’s storytelling skills.

Here’s the standard framework:

  1. Adjective for man:
  2. Man’s name:
  3. Adjective for woman:
  4. Woman’s name:
  5. Where they met:
  6. What they went there for:
  7. What he wore:
  8. What she wore:
  9. What he said to her:
  10. What she said to him:
  11. The consequence (a description of what happened after):
  12. What the world said:

However, if you’d like to give it a Night Zookeeper spin you can follow this framework:

  1. Adjective for a magical animal:
  2. Magical animal’s name:
  3. Adjective for a magical animal:
  4. Magical animal’s name:
  5. Where they met:
  6. What they went there for:
  7. What the first magical animal wore:
  8. What the second magical animal wore:
  9. What the first magical animal said to the second:
  10. What the second said back to the first:
  11. The consequence (a description of what happened after):
  12. What the world said:

Telephone Whispers

Telephone Whispers is an excellent word game suitable for kids of all ages. It offers an entertaining way to practice retelling skills and introduces new words into your child's vocabulary.

How to play

Gather your children in a line or a circle. The first child starts a message and whispers it to the person next to them. This second person then conveys the message to the third child beside them, and so on. The chain continues until it reaches the last participant who shares the message with the whole group. The final message is then compared to the original. The goal is to accurately pass the message from start to finish, but in practice, messages often undergo amusing transformations, resulting in a lively and word game.

Telephone Whispers offers a fun way to exercise your child's memory and communication skills while introducing them to new words and phrases.

Child whispering into another child's ear.

Word Search

Word Search is a classic word game that provides a perfect opportunity to improve your child's reading and writing skills. It's a fantastic way to expand their sight words, spelling skills, and recognition of rhyming words through an entertaining challenge.

How to play

Word Search is all about finding hidden words within a grid of letters. Words can appear vertically, horizontally, or diagonally, and they can even overlap and be counted multiple times when they form other words.

You can either purchase pre-made Word Search puzzles or create your own from scratch. To make your own, draw a grid of squares and fill in as many words as possible, placing them in various directions. When no more words fit, fill the remaining blank squares with random letters.

To guide your children, provide a list of words at the bottom of the page that they need to find in the grid. For an extra challenge, try removing the word list, allowing your kids to search for words independently.

I Spy

I Spy is a fantastic verbal word game, perfect for younger kids to boost their imagination and creativity. It's an engaging way to broaden their vocabulary and thinking skills.

How to play

I Spy is a word game that requires nothing but your imagination. One player starts by choosing a word or object within sight for the others to guess. They then provide a clue to help the guessers identify the word or object. The clue can be the first letter of the word or an adjective describing it.

This word game begins with the player saying, "I spy with my little eye, something that begins with the letter __" or "I spy with my little eye, something that is __" (insert the adjective). Other players take turns guessing the word based on the clue provided.

The player who correctly guesses the word becomes the spy for the next round.

I Spy is not just a fun game but an effective way to stimulate creativity, enrich vocabulary, and encourage imaginative thinking in kids. It's a classic word game that brings endless entertainment and learning together.

Child looking through a telescope.

Find Words Within A Word


Find Words Within A Word is a simple yet highly effective vocabulary game. It challenges children to explore lengthy words and discover shorter words hidden within them. This game promotes spelling skills and encourages creative vocabulary exploration in a fun and engaging way.

How to play

To play this game, begin by presenting a long word, and then challenge your child to uncover shorter words hidden within it. The catch is that as long as the letters are contained in the longer word, players can create shorter words from it. The goal is to find as many words as possible within the given word.

For instance, let's take the word "ZOOKEEPER". Within this word, young learners can identify words like "zoo," "keep," "rep," "peek," "poor," "peer," "poke," and "poker." It's an enjoyable word game that not only enhances spelling skills but also encourages children to creatively explore and expand their vocabulary.

Find Words Within A Word offers a fantastic way for children to have fun while mastering letter words and broadening their vocabulary. It's an entertaining and educational game that makes learning words enjoyable.

Night Zookeeper

Night Zookeeper makes reading & writing fantastically fun for six to twelve year-olds!

Our program turns learning into a game, keeping children engaged and entertained while developing key reading and writing skills. Among our most popular activities are our word games, which include:

Sentence Dash

Sentence Dash boosts reading skills, having children race against the clock (and each other) to spot and press on the mistake before anyone else!

Sentence Dash, a word game on Night Zookeeper.

Word Hunt

A great vocabulary game for all elementary grade levels - Word Hunt challenges children to collect adjectives as they take the magical animal they create through the Endless Ocean in a submarine!

Word Hunt, a word game on Night Zookeeper.

Word Jumble

In this game, children are challenged to grab the falling rocks to complete correct sentences to get their magical animal across the waterfalls as fast as they can - they will also sometimes have to unscramble sentences.

Word Jumble, a word game on Night Zookeeper.

Word Hop

This is an awesome spelling game! Children help their magical animal escape an active volcano by jumping onto the platform with the correct spelling. How far can they go before falling into the lava?!

Word Hop, a word game on Night Zookeeper.

Word Climb

Children are challenged to choose the correct synonym to climb up the Whispering Wood’s tallest tree. The game challenges them to see how high they can climb by how many synonyms they can collect within one minute.

Word Climb, a word game on Night Zookeeper.

Our reading & writing program also offers thousands of other activities and resources, including interactive lessons, skill challenges, and printable worksheets!

Sign up today and get a FREE 7-day trial!

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