Building your child’s vocabulary is one of the essential ways to develop their ability to communicate. For children who are verbal and even those who are non-verbal but have the ability to learn to read, vocabulary games can make learning words and phrases a fun and interactive way to expand their understanding of the world around them. Some children learn best when repetition and exposure are coupled with the knowledge that they already contain. Games that incorporate visual learning and interactive methods can appeal to different types of learners.
Vocabulary-building games help children understand the basic concepts of grammar and how to build their arsenal of words using prefixes and suffixes. For those who are already reading, games that encourage creating new words using a jumble of letters teach kids how to problem solve and look at words in an alternative way.
Although the games on our list are designed for kids, they’re also a useful tool for new English speakers who want to improve their language skills.
Make learning fun for all with these interactive word-building games for kids.
1. ThinkFun Zingo Word Builder
Practice word recognition, spelling and letter sounds with the ThinkFun Zingo Word Builder. Designed for new readers and featuring enough pieces to be played by two to six players, the Zingo Word Builder teaches players how to complete words in a fun and interactive way. The award-winning game includes a letter dispenser that players use to fill out their game card and complete it with a series of short words. Zingo also makes a game for learning numbers and one that includes pictures for players who are not yet reading.
Pros: The game comes with cards divided into two levels of play including beginner and advanced.
Cons: There are a limited number of words that can be built using the game and may not provide enough stimulation for more advanced readers.
2. The Learning Journey Match It! Spelling
For kids who are new to reading or have not yet started reading, The Learning Journey Match It! Spelling game offers a fun and educational bridge to associating commonly found images with the words used to spell them. Players must use problem-solving and visual skills to find the matching puzzle pieces and fit them together, which also helps with fine motor skill development. The puzzle pieces will only fit together with their correct match, making this a game that kids can play without direct parent supervision.
Pros: Match It! includes three and four-letter words for more of a challenge.
Cons: The images don’t fill all three or four puzzle pieces which can make it difficult for children to match each piece and form a completed puzzle.
3. Scrabble Junior Game
For a twist on a classic board game that is geared towards young readers, we recommend the Scrabble Junior Game. The revised version comes with a two-sided board that includes a traditional, empty Scrabble board for more advanced players and a junior edition that already has words printed on the board, which players must match with their own Scrabble pieces. The game grows with players and comes with four fun board pieces and can be played with two to four players.
Pros: Scrabble also teaches math skills since users must add up the points they’ve accumulated based on all their completed words.
Cons: Unlike traditional Scrabble that uses wooden tiles, the Junior version has cardboard tiles that easily move on the board.
4. Trend Enterprises Sight Words Bingo
For a fun and educational spin on a popular game, we recommend the Trend Enterprises Sight Words Bingo. Great for large groups, the Sight Words Bingo uses commonly found words instead of letters. Players must make a line or formation on their card to win, using reusable plastic discs to mark their words. Designed for new readers, the game comes with a caller card, 36 playing cards and 46 sight words.
Pros: The Bingo game includes enough cards for up to 36 players, making this a great option for birthday parties, camps and classroom use.
Cons: The boards and cards are made from cardboard and may show wear and tear early.