A great way to instantly engage students in word learning is by incorporating vocabulary themed board games into your classroom routine. Who doesn’t love a great board game? After much research, and trial and error, I have complied a list of my favorite games that help students improve their word knowledge. Practice, practice, practice! Kids need up to 40 exposures to a word before it can truly become part of their conversational vocabulary. Of course, these games are also student approved 😉 !
An easy way to set up “game time” in your classroom is by setting up different stations. You could have all of the stations involve a board game or mix in some other word learning activities too. These games are also fun for family game nights!
Word Games for All Ages
This game is a best seller from Educational Insights. It has won many awards and causes lots of laughter. Kids don’t even realize they are learning! This game encourages quick thinking skills while helping students to improve their word knowledge.
- How does this game it work? Players are given a hint and asked to come up with the word in which the hint best represents.
- For example: A piece of iron shaped like a U and nailed to the bottom of a horses shoe. (Answer: Horseshoe)
This is a must have for any classroom! This game is all about the thrill of building words as quickly as you can, configuring the words in a crossword format. No pencil or paper needed!
- How does the game work? Players and their opponents aim to use all of their letters to build a word grid in a race to the finish. The first player to use all of their tiles is crowned “Top Banana”!
For kiddos younger than 7, try the My First Bananagrams set!
Word Games Best for Primary Grades (K-3)
This award winning game is Bingo with a twist. Students work to match the picture and words to their challenge card. While building language skills the kids quickly race to fill their board and yell out “ZINGO!”
This matching game has easy rules to understand and is great in a small or large group setting! Recommended for pre-readers and early readers.
Appletters is a beginner level spin-off of Scrabble making it perfect for early readers! Players take turns building a “word worm”. The first to use all their tiles by adding letters to the head or tail of the word grid wins!
Word Games Best for Upper Elementary Grades (4-6)
Wipeout! from Lakeshore Learning has an adorable surfing theme. Kids don’t even realize they are learning along the way! The way to surf to the finish line is by completing sentences with the correct vocabulary word.
There are some obstacles along the way as well, such as broken surfboards and big rocks in the water. This game could be played in teams of 2, allowing for up to 8 kids to play at once.
This game is a spin off of Scrabble. Along with filling up the game board, you can also build the letter blocks upwards! Play words across or down to make new words or stack on top of tiles to change a word.
Players do need a fair amount of word knowledge in order to play.
Teacher Tip: This is a more advanced word game, so I would suggest this to be played later on in the school year. To begin, I would suggest having kids work in teams of 2, this will help the creativity with trying to come up with words to play.
I hope you have found a new game to add to your classroom or household board game collection!
Please comment below with other game ideas. Playing is so important for the word learning of kids at all ages!
As always word lovers, make today meaningful 💕 !