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5 Best Word Games For Children

Word games are not just entertaining for the entire family to play, but they have a lot of benefits as well. For instance, they can stimulate your child’s mind, increase their vocabulary, strengthen their working memory, and more. As a fan of word games myself, I couldn’t wait to introduce my children to my favorites once they were old enough to read. Now, we regularly play word games when having family board game nights.

Here are a few reasons to play word games with your children PLUS five word games they will love to play!

5 Best Word Games For Children

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Benefits of Playing Word Games for Children

First of all, let’s look at some of the benefits of playing word games for your children.

Enhances Concentration Skills

Playing word games can help your child enhance their concentration skills significantly. Their minds will focus on arranging letters or finding the right word while ignoring external distractions. In a world full of distractions nowadays, developing such skills at an early age will benefit your child. It can help them study better and focus on the task at hand.

Increases Vocabulary

No matter how old you are, word games will always introduce you to new words that you’ve never heard of before. The more your child plays, the more their vocabulary will broaden. Such essential skills will help them in their practical day-to-day life.

For example, years ago, I remember learning contrail while playing Balderdash with a friend—a contrail is the path a jet leaves behind in the sky. More recently, I learned beeswing while playing with my daughters—that’s the fine layer of scum you find on old wine. Not every word in Balderdash is useful or memorable, but it’s always fun to consider what the words mean.

Improves Spelling Skills

A lot of word games demand you know the exact correct spelling for words to be able to play. So, playing word games with your child will make them familiar with the proper spelling of words. It will also teach them the skill of using their dictionary and searching for the spelling of words and their definitions.

We allow the use of a dictionary while playing Scrabble to double-checking spelling of words before playing. Boggle is more fast-paced so there isn’t time for a dictionary, but we can discuss spelling of words afterward when going through our word lists.

Improves Reading Skills

Word games that just require a child to recognize a word on the board (or create easy words themselves) can help them with learning sight words. Sight words are important for children to recognize at a glance while reading. Board games can be a fun way to reinforce sight words and help your child memorize and recognize them.

Strengthens Memory

A lot of parents complain about their children having short memories. Word games can be one of the solutions for strengthening your child’s working memory. Enhancing the working memory will help your kid absorb information more quickly and remember them for as long as possible.

Reduces Stress

Your child needs to relax and have some time to play after a stressful school day. Playing educational and fun games such as word games can be a healthy way to use that free time. These give you a chance to connect with your child and can help you and your child escape from negative thoughts, reduce stress levels, and boost dopamine. Many word games can be silly (we always laugh during Balderdash!), which also helps with building that sense of togetherness and reducing stress.

Hosting a game night is a great way to bring the whole family together for a time of fun and laughter. If extended family members are visiting during the holidays, pull the board games out for hours of fun. ~ Jennifer Dawn, mom of three

If your kids aren’t old enough to read and start playing word games yet, check out these board games for preschoolers.

5 Word Games for Children

Boggle

Boggle is one of the most fun classic word games to play with your child. It comes with sixteen lettered dice that you can shake and let them settle randomly every time you play.

The idea of Boggle is to find as many three-letter or more words as possible with the randomly settled dice. However, you cannot use a die more than once. You should set the timer for 3 minutes for each round. The bigger the word you find, the more points you get.

Players write down the words they found on a piece of paper. At the end of the round, you all read out the words you found and any words found by more than one player get crossed out. Then you tally the points for the remaining unique words found.

Words With Friends

If you’re looking for a word-based video game, you should check out Word With Friends. It’s a multiplayer game that allows the players to build words in a similar crossword-style fashion.

If you want some great hacks and tricks for your kid when it comes to this game, you can check out the Words With Friends cheat tool!

Scrabble

Scrabble is a board game best for 2 – 4 players. The idea of the game is to simply place your tiles on the board, whether vertically or horizontally, to make a new word. Each tile must be touching another tile that has already been placed on the board. Points are scored based on the value of each letter plus the tile its played on (there are double and triple letter and double and triple word squares).

The game ends when one player uses their last tile or has made all possible plays.

If you’re struggling to come up with words for Scrabble, try a word unscrambling tool. You can enter a word that starts with “Ch” and see all the options available to you. This will not only help improve your vocabulary, but also help you become a better scrabble player.

Grandma and toddler playing Scrabble together.

Letter Ladder

This is another amusing game to play with your child to help them strengthen their memory and increase their vocabulary. To play the game, write a word on top of the paper and then make your child change the first letter in the column, create all the possible outcomes, and then move to the next column.

For instance, you can give your kid the word “Car,” and then they will write “Bar,” “Far,” etc.

This game can be played anywhere—on a road trip, in a doctor’s office. All you need in a pencil and a notebook to start having some fun.

Balderdash

Balderdash needs at least 3 players and is better with four or more. One player (called the “dasher”) chooses a card with a list of words on it; he or she then chooses one word from that list and reads it out for the other players, who write it on their sheets of paper. The dasher writes down the real definition of the word, while other players make up their own definition.

All definitions are then handed to the dasher, who carefully shuffles them and then reads them aloud in random order. The players must try to guess which definition is the correct definition. Points are awarded for guessing the correct definition or having other players guess your definition. If no one guesses the correct definition, then the dasher gets the points.

Family playing Balderdash together.

I recently started playing this with my girls (ages 6 to 14). Pearl (the six-year-old) sometimes needs a bit of help from the dasher with coming up with a good definition or writing it out, but she loves to be the dasher. The other girls are pretty good at writing definitions and are getting very good at guessing the right one as well. My 11-year-old has even won a few times. (Joey, my four-year-old, usually plays with the counters on the board game, so we just use a piece of paper to write down points.)

Start Playing Word Games Today!

Word games were, are, and will always remain fun for kids. At the same time, they also offer several other benefits to children. Hopefully, this article helps you pick a suitable word game for your child!

What are your favourite word games for children?

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