20 Awesome Family Word Games That Build Vocabulary Skills

games with vocabulary

Whether it’s bonding over a board game at home or going on a spontaneous adventure hike with your kids, spending time doing fun family activities is one of life’s greatest pleasures.

Family game night is one of the best ways to bring your crew together for bonding and laughter. If you’re on the prowl for fun new board games for your family, consider spicing things up with word games with vocabulary. After all, a family that plays together stays together (or something like that…)!

Learning doesn’t have to be boring. Word games with vocabulary are a stealth way for kids and teens to build their vocabulary skills while having fun. These games benefit all types of learners–visual, verbal, auditory, and kinesthetic.

One of the easiest ways to bolster your child’s writing and reading comprehension is to add new words to their written vocabulary. There are many ways to do this; playing interactive language learning games is just one of them.

What Are the Benefits of Playing Games with Vocabulary and Word Building Strategies?

Here are just 10 of the benefits of playing word games:

  • Makes language learning interactive and fun
  • Helps hands-on learners
  • Reinforces spelling rules
  • Boosts memory
  • Builds and extends vocabulary
  • Encourages problem-solving skills
  • Improves processing speed so children are able to problem solve faster
  • Develops verbal reasoning and grammar skills
  • Boosts self-esteem
  • Forces the brain to exercise, work, and be active

The Best Games With Vocabulary & Interactive Language Learning Strategies 2021


games with vocabulary

Dabble is a fast, fun word game that’s easy to play and educational — great for all ages! To play, say GO and race to spell 5 words using your 20 tiles. The first person to do it WINS! Includes English and Spanish Rules & Tiles, 2-4 Players, Ages 8+. Can play Solo or in Teams.


games with vocabulary

Looking for games with vocabulary building? Perfect for traveling or at home, Bananagrams is a grab-and-go game for the whole family. Get ready – shout SPLIT and race to create your individual word grid. Interactive and exciting – Can you become the Top Banana?


word board games

How to play: Listen to a definition and race to respond! The first player to “Blurt” correctly moves ahead on the game board. Make it around first and you win. Example: What word means “a partially dried grape”? Be the first to shout “raisin” and you’re on your way to winning this riotous game with vocabulary to help increase rapid word recall. Build vocabulary: Brain-boosting Blurt helps develop auditory comprehension, word recall, and vocabulary! Perfect for family game night—includes rules for junior version.


vocabulary games for kids

All ages can play this fast-paced game because even short words like at, of, and zoo can lead to a win! 1-10 players. Exercises both vocabulary and spelling skills. For grades 2 and up.


games on vocabulary

High-stacking, word-building games with vocabulary! The higher you stack, the higher you score. In Upwords, each player starts with 7 letter tiles. Play words across or down to make new words or stack on top of tiles to change a word! Earn points for every tile put down. Fun for players of all skill levels to compete with each other. With a lazy Susan design, players can easily place their tiles on the Upwords game board. When it’s your turn, simply turn the game board in your direction to play your word.

Poetry for Neanderthals

board games with words

Poetry for Neanderthals is a competitive word-guessing card game from Exploding Kittens where you must speak well or get hit with a NO! stick.
Using only single-syllable words, give clues to your team trying to guess your secret phrase. If you mess up and use a big word, you get bopped on the head with a 2-foot-long inflatable club. So, instead of saying “broccoli,” you’d say something like “green thing you eat to live long and have good health.” It’s a board game that forces you to explain complicated ideas using simple vocabulary. It’s a game that even forces you to sound a little bit dumb.

Mad Gab

games with vocabulary words

​It’s not what you say, it’s what you hear! In Mad Gab, teams work to decipher groups of unrelated words into real phrases before time runs out. Teams have two minutes to sound out three puzzles. The faster you guess, the more you score. Repetition is key. Try this: DEW WINO HUE. Repeat the words a few times aloud, and you’re sure to guess that you are actually saying, “Do I know you?” Play is sure to spur laughter as friends speak the strange language, and then say the answer without even knowing it!
​This game is for 2 or more players. Ages 10+.


best games of 2021

Jabuka is a fast-speed board game with 108 coffee bean game pieces. It is the perfect game for all ages. Similar to Scrabble and Bananagrams, but with a whole new dimension. Turn the wooden, coffee bean-shaped game pieces to form different letters and words. Perfect mornings at the coffee shop, game night for couples, teens, families, and parties. Recommended for 8 years old and up and groups of 2-8 people. Word games and games with vocabulary like Jabuka are a great way to learn to spell and improve memory, strategy, reading skills, and brain function. Great for a teacher toolbox for school classrooms.

Word Slam

word games for the entire family

Family-friendly, fast-paced, charades-style game. Two teams compete at guessing the same keyword at the same time. Storytellers select cards with words to show their team and the first team to guess the correct word wins the round. The team with the most points after 12 rounds wins! Word Slam Family uses fun categories to help teams start guessing quicker. For 3 or more players. Ages 10+.


board games educational

Get teammates to say the Guess word without saying the forbidden words. Say a forbidden word and get the squeaker! Game-changer die lets players change up the game. Players race against the timer in this fun and fast-paced party game. For ages 13+.


educational board games

Classic head-to-head word search game. Find the most words to win. Shake up the letters, flip the timer, and spot the words fast. Play solo and try to beat your high score. For ages 8+.

Four Word Thinking

games with vocabulary

The simple game mechanics and the four-letter limit on words make this game easy to learn and play, even for kids. Four Word Thinking pairs the matching aspect of dominoes with the quick wordplay of Bananagrams or Boggle for a unique game you’ll love! Anyone who likes wordplay, or word and spelling games, will love Four Word Thinking. For ages 8+.

Pun Intended

games with vocabulary

These puns are silly, witty, clever, painful at times, and sometimes downright stupid. It’s side-splitting, bust-a-gut, crack-up, and unforgettable fun. In fact, a pony that recently played laughed so hard it became a little horse! Tons of people do it every day, so why not play a game and see who’s a Pun Lover. Bring the fun to your next game night or family party. When the nut left a recent party it said, “cashew on the flip side.” For ages 13+.

Scrabble Slam

games with vocabulary

Scrabble Slam is the best-selling, fast-paced, and easy-to-play card game version of Scrabble. Start with any 4-letter word on the table like “CAKE” and yell out “Ready, Set, Slam!” The race is on. Quickly change the existing word, 1 letter card at a time, to create a new word like “BAKE.” Then change it to “BIKE” and so on. The first player to play out all their cards wins! For ages 8+.


rhyming word games

Describing a word without actually saying it but no rhyming words are allowed and racing against the 30-second timer makes it a true challenge. Multiple categories and special turns that involve everyone playing instead of just one team. An ideal board game for adults and kids which can be played by 4 to 20+ players. For ages 12+.


fun word games for kids

Telestrations for 8 players is what got the party started! Over 1,700 words, 8 erasable sketch books, 8 dry erase markers, and 8 clean-up cloths included. Perfect for families, small parties, or friends. Playing time is 30 to 60 minutes. No Drawing Skills Required; Stick figures & sense of humor welcome! For ages 12+.

Speedy Words

vocabulary building games

A Quick Game for Quick Minds: With numerous international editions now popular around the world, Speedy Words challenges players to quickly come up with words that start with a given letter and that represent a certain category (e.g. words starting with the letter D that represent a profession – possible answers: detective, driver, dentist…). Use easy rules when playing with children or “expert” rules for teenagers and adults. Speedy Words can be taught and learned in seconds, making it both a party game and an excellent educational game broadening players’ general knowledge and vocabulary.

P is for Pizza

new family games

Tuck into this fast-paced family board game where the aim is to shout out a word that links the letter on one card to the category on another. A BALD CELEBRITY THAT BEGINS WITH A B? A string instrument that starts with G? Or C? Or V? You’ll have to be quick to win your slice of the pie in this family board game. The first player to collect nine pizza cards and build their giant pizza slice wins! For ages 8+.

word searches build vocabulary

Goliath Word Search contains 20 different word search puzzles. It’s a fast-paced, exciting game for the whole family! Teaches children spelling and word recognition and encourages strategic thinking. For ages 7+.


One of the easiest ways to bolster writing and reading comprehension is to add new words to your written vocabulary. Playing word games and puzzles is one way to improve your vocabulary!

Family bonding time is important and rewarding. If you’re looking for more indoor activities to do together, try one of the games mentioned above. Learning can be fun!

Don’t see one of your favorite word games on the list? Give it a shoutout in the comments section!

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  1. Amanda Jean

    I love these games ! Some of them bring back great memories! Thank you for sharing
    My daughter will be soon ready to play them !