Word games are great to play with children, as they can help children learn to focus on sounds and letters. These games can help children to develop the skills that they will need for reading, writing, and spelling. By playing word games with your kids, they’re benefiting from your company, but are also seeing that playing with words can be fun. There are lots of word games that can be bought, but these can all be played with things you already have at home. We have no doubt that these seven word games to play with kids will be played on repeat this summer!
Seven word games to play with kids
- Guess the animal. Give your child a word that rhymes with the animal that you’re thinking of, and have them guess what it is. For example, “I rhyme with log. I am a…”
- I spy. This is a classic word game that everyone knows. Choose something nearby, and give the kids the letter it begins with. Children need to look around and guess what you can see, and then you guess something that they spy. This game helps with spelling and vocabulary.
- Make a word. If you have letter blocks, magnet letters, or the letters from a game like Scrabble, you can play this with any child old enough to spell. Play mentally, or with paper and a pencil. Give your children some letters and ask them to make any words as they can. Use a word unscrambler to see what other words they could have made.
- Categories. On a piece of paper, draw a grid, and then right out some categories down one side. You could have categories like names, flowers, animals, or foods. On the other side of the grid, write the alphabet. The aim is to think of a word starting with each letter for each category.
- Aunt Annie’s Holiday. There are lots of variations of these game, such as packing to go on holiday or funny grocery lists, but the basic principle is always the same. One player says, “My Aunt Annie went on holiday, and she brought back…” and then names something beginning with A. The next player must remember the A object, and add one of their own beginning with B. The next player takes C, and so on. This is a memory game that helps with memory, the alphabet, and learning new words.
- The Name Game. Have the child write their name, with one letter per line, down the left-hand side of a piece of paper. Ask them to use each letter as the first letter of an adjective that describes them. So a child named Jake might write, ‘jumps high, adventurous, kind, enjoys cake.’ This helps children learning to spell their own names, and with learning some new words.
- Change a letter. The first player writes down a word between three and six letters. The next player changes one letter to make a new word. Keep going until no more words can be made. For example, games, gates, mates, mites.
Word games can fun to play as a family, and your children won’t even realize that they’re learning as they play.