Word games ideas

List of 50 Great Word Games for Kids and Adults

By Ali Hale

If you want to improve your writing, maybe it’s time to ditch all the writing books and podcasts and play some word games instead.

Yes, seriously! Word games and writing games are great ways to develop your vocabulary, to help you think more deeply about words, to have fun with story and structure, and to get a lot of fun out of writing.

But games can be a great way to:

  • Develop your vocabulary
  • Help you think more deeply about words
  • Become more fluent in English (if it’s a foreign language for you)
  • Invent and develop characters

… and much more.

After the list of 50 writing games, I’ve given you a top ten that I think are particularly great for kids who want to practice their writing skills. Many of the other games are suitable for children, too, so by all means try out other games as a family if you want to.

Of course, there are loads of online games (and quizzes and tools) that you can use to improve your writing skills, and I will be talking about some of the best of those. But there are also lots of tried-and-tested classic games that you can play with pen and paper, or using cards and dice … and we’ll be taking a look at those first.

5 Pen and Paper Word Games

I’ll start with the simplest games: pen and paper ones that you can play pretty much anywhere, so long as you have a pen.

All of these are suitable for children, and some (like crosswords) are enjoyed by many adults too.

#1: Hangman (2+ players)

Hangman is a classic word game for two players. One player thinks of a word and writes down dashes to represent the number of letters. The other guesses letters of the alphabet. Correct letters are inserted into the word; incorrect letters result in another segment of the “hangman” being drawn.

This is a great game for developing spelling and vocabulary. If you’re playing it with small children, you can do it without the perhaps rather unpleasant “hangman” element, and just count how many guesses each player takes!

#2: Crosswords (1 player)

A crossword is a grid of white and black squares, where each white square is one letter of a word. The words intersect. You can find crosswords in many newspapers and magazines (on all sorts of subjects), and you can buy booklets and books full of them. Some crosswords are “cryptic”: great if you like brainteasers. Others have more straightforward clues.

Crosswords are great if you want to learn new words and definitions, or (at the cryptic end of the scale) if you enjoy playing with words and language. Simple ones are suitable for fairly young children, with a little help.

#3: Word searches (1 player)

A word search has a grid (often 10×10 or more) filled with letters, and a number of words written alongside or beneath the grid. The person completing the word search needs to find those words within the grid.

Most word searches are easy enough for children, though younger children will struggle with backward and diagonal words. They’re a good way to get used to letter patterns and to improve spelling – and because word searches rely on matching letters, even children who can’t read well will be able to complete simple ones.

#4: Consequences (2+ players, ideally 4+)

This is a fun game with a group of people, as you get a wild and wacky mix of ideas. Each player writes down one line of a story and folds the paper over before passing it around the table to the next player. The very simple version we play has five lines: (1) A male name, (2) The word “met” then a female name, (3) “He said …” (4) “She said …” (5) “And then …”

Once all five stages are complete, the players open out the papers and read out the results. This can be great for sparking ideas, or as a way to encourage reluctant writers to have a go.

#5: Bulls and Cows (2 players)

This game, which can also be called “Mastermind” or “Jotto” involves one player thinking up a secret word of a set number of letters. The second player guesses a word; the first player tells them how many letters match in the right position (bulls) and how many letters are correct but in the wrong position (cows).

Our five year old loves this game, and it’s been a great way to develop her spelling and handwriting as well as logical thinking about which letters can or can’t be the correct ones after a few guesses.

10 Board and Dice Games

These are all games you can buy from Amazon (or quite probably your local toyshop). They’re fun ways to foster a love of writing within your family, or to share your enjoyment of words with your friends.

#1: Scrabble (2+ players)

A classic of word games, Scrabble is a game played with letter tiles on a board that’s marked with different squares. (Some squares provide extra points.) Letters have different points values depending on how common they are. The end result of scrabble looks like a crossword: a number of words overlapping with one another.

If you want to develop your vocabulary (particularly of obscure two-letter words…) then Scrabble is a great game to play. It’s suitable for children too, particularly in “Junior” versions.

#2: Boggle (2+ players)

This is less well known than Scrabble, but it was one I enjoyed as a child. To play Boggle, you shake a box full of dice with a letter on each side, and the dice land in the 4×4 grid at the bottom of the box. You then make as many words as you can from the resulting face-up letters.

Again, this is a good one for developing vocabulary – and it can be played by children as well as by adults. You need to write down the words you come up with, which can also be good for developing handwriting.

#3: Pass the Bomb (2+ players)

It’s very simple to play: you deal a card for the round pass a “bomb” around the table and when it goes off, the person holding it loses. Before you can pass the bomb on during your turn, you need to come up with a word that contains the letters on the card.

It’s a fun family or party game, and can work well with a wide range of ages. It’s a great way to help children think about letter patterns, too, and to develop vocabulary and spelling.

#4: Story Cubes (1+ players)

There are lots of different versions of these available, and they all work in a similar way. The open-ended game has a set of cubes that you roll to create ideas for a story that you can tell along with the other players. If you prefer, you can use them to come up with stories that you’re going to write on your own.

There are lots of different ways you can use them: as writing prompts for a school class or group, to make up a bedtime story together with your children, for getting past your own writers’ block, or almost anything you can think of.

#5: Apples to Apples (2+ players)

Apples to Apples has red cards (with the name of a person, place, thing, etc) and green cards (with two different descriptions): the player with a green card selects one of the descriptions, and others have to choose a card from their hand of red cards. The judge for that game decides which red card best matches the description.

If you want to develop your vocabulary (or your kids’), this could be a fun game to play. There are lots of expansions available, plus a “junior” version with simpler words. (If you’re playing with adults, you might also want to consider Cards Against Humanity, a decidedly not-kid-friendly game that works in a very similar way.)

#6: Letter Tycoon (2+ players)

In this game, you have a hand of 7 cards which you can use in conjunction with the 3 “community cards” to create a valuable word. It’s a more strategic game than some others, with aspects of finance (like patents and royalties) involved too – if you’re a budding tycoon, you might really enjoy it.

Because not all the game strategy depends on simply being good with words, it doesn’t matter if some players have a larger vocabulary than others. It’s suitable for children, too, so you can play it as a family game.

#7: Dabble (2+ players)

Dabble is a family-friendly game where you compete with other players to be the first to create five words (of 2, 3, 4, 5 and 6 letters) using your 20 tiles. It’s very simple to get the hang of … but coming up with the words might be more challenging than you expect!

If you enjoy Boggle or Scrabble, you’ll probably have fun with Dabble. It’s a great way to develop both spelling and vocabulary, and to have fun with words.

#8: Upwords (2+ players)

Upwords is like 3D Scrabble: you can stack tiles on top of other tiles to create new words. The board is smaller than a Scrabble board (and doesn’t have double and triple word score squares) so it’s not as complex as it might initially sound.

Like similar games, it’s a great one for building vocabulary and for developing your spelling. It’s suitable for kids, too, so it could be a great game for the whole family.

#9: Tapple (2+ players)

Tapple has a wheel, with most of the letters of the alphabet on it, and lots of different “topic cards” that cover 144 different categories. There are lots of different ways you can play it – the basic rules are that each player has to think of a word that fits the topic within 10 seconds, but that word can’t start with a starting letter that’s been used previously.

While small children might find it a bit too challenging or frustrating, due to the short time limit, this could be a great game for older children looking to extend their vocabulary. All the categories are suitable for kids.

#10: Last Word (2+ players)

In Last Word, players have to come up with answers to “Subject” and “Letter” combinations, racing to get the last word before the buzzer. It works a bit like a combination of “Tapple” and “Pass the Bomb”.

You can easily play it with a large group (there are tokens for up to 8 players, but you could add more without affecting the gameplay). It’s a great way to develop vocabulary and, to some extent, spelling.

5 Roleplaying Games

While my geeky tendencies have been reined in a bit since I had kids, I’ll admit I have a great fondness for roleplaying games: ones where you come up with a character (often, but by no means always in a magic-medieval setting) and play as them. These are some great ones that you might like to try.

#1: Dungeons and Dragons (3+ players)

Although you might never have played Dungeons and Dragons, I’m sure you’ve heard of this classic roleplaying game that’s been around since 1974 and is now onto is 5th edition. It takes rather longer to get to grips with than a board or card game: to play, you need a “Dungeon Master” (essentially the storyteller of the game) and at least two players (who each control a character), plus rulebooks and a lot of different dice.

It’s a great game for developing the “big picture” aspects of writing, like the ability to construct a plot and a story (if you’re the Dungeon Master) and the skills involved with creating a character, giving them a backstory, and acting “in character” as them (if you’re one of the players).

#2: Amazing Tales (1 parent, plus 1 or 2 children)

This is a kid-friendly RPG aimed at parents who want to create a story with their child(ren). It’s like a very simple version of Dungeons and Dragons, and has straightforward but flexible rules. You can play it with a single six-sided dice – though it’s better if you have four dice (with six, eight, ten and twelve sides).

If you want to encourage your child’s creativity and have fun creating stories together, this is a wonderful game to play. The rulebook contains lots of ideas and sample settings, with suggested characters and skills … but you can come up with pretty much any scenario you like.

#3: LARP (Live Action Roleplay) (lots of players)

Over the past decade or so, LARP has become a bit more mainstream than it once was. It’s short for “Live Action Roleplay” … which basically means dressing up as your character and pretending to be them. It’s a bit like Dungeons and Dragons crossed with improv drama.

The nature of LARP is that it needs quite a lot of people, so unless you have loads of friends to rope in, you’ll want to join an organised LARP – there are lots out there, covering all sorts of different themes, from traditional fantasy ones to futuristic sci-fi ones. Some are suitable for children, but do ask event organisers about this. They won’t necessarily involve any sort of writing, but can be a great way to explore characters and dialogue.

#4: MUDs (lots of players)

MUDs, or “multi-user dungeons” have been around since the early days of networked computing in the ‘70s, and are the forerunners of games like Fortnite and World of Warcraft. They’re now distinctly retro-looking text-based online games, where players create a character and interact with other characters and the world.

Like other types of roleplaying game, they’re a great way to practice storytelling and character-development skills. They also involve a lot of writing – so they can be useful for things like vocabulary and spelling. Some are suitable for children, but as with anything online, do ensure your children know how to be safe (e.g. by not giving out their full name, address, etc).

#5: Online Forum Games / Forum Roleplaying (2+ players)

Some fan communities write collaborative fanfiction through forums (here’s an example), with different people posting little pieces as different “characters” to continue a story. These can be quite involved and complex, and they can be a great way to learn the skills of telling a long, detailed story (e.g. if you’re thinking of writing a novel).

They’ll probably appeal most to writers who are already producing fanfiction on their own, and who have a fair amount of time for the back-and-forth required for forum roleplaying. Again, if your child wants to get involved with this type of roleplaying, do make sure you monitor what they’re doing and who they’re interacting with.

10 Word Games You Can Play on Your Phone

These days, many writers are more likely to have their phone to hand than a pen and paper … and to be fair, there’s nothing wrong with that. You can easily make notes on a phone, whether by tapping them in or by recording them. If you find yourself with a bit of time on your hands, why not try one of these writing-related games?

Note: all of these are free to download, but most allow in-app purchases, and you may find you need to make a purchase to get the most out of them.

#1: Bonza Word Puzzle

This game is a bit like a deconstructed crossword: you get bits of the puzzle and you drag them together to form words that will all match with the clue. If you’re a fan of crosswords and want something a bit different, you might just love it.

It’s a great way to think hard about letter patterns and how words are put together, so it might be a good game for older children who’re looking to develop their spelling and vocabulary, too.

#2: Dropwords 2

Dropwords 2 (a rewrite of the original Dropwords) is a word-finding puzzle where letters drop from the top of the screen: if you remember Tetris, you’ll get the idea. It’s a bit like Scrabble or Boggle, and you have to race the clock to make letters out of the words on the screen.

With six different modes (“normall”, “lightning”, “relax”, etc), it’s suitable for children and for people who are learning English, as well as for those wanting to really challenge their vocabulary skills.

#3: Spellspire

Spellspire is a fantasy-style game where you select letters from a grid to create words: the longer the word, the bigger the blast from your magic wand! You can kill monsters, buy better equipment, and make your way to the top of the Spellspire.

If your kids aren’t very motivated to practice their spelling, this could be a great game for them. (Or, let’s face it, for you!) You can also choose to play it against your Facebook friends, adding a competitive element.

#4: TypeShift

This is a relatively simple game that lets you create words from letters arranged on different dials. There are a couple of different ways you can play: by trying to use all the letters on the dials at least once to create words, or by tackling the “Clue Puzzles”, which are a bit like crossword clues.

Again, if you want to develop your spelling and vocabulary, this is a straightforward game that you can use to do so. You can buy extra puzzle packs at a fairly reasonable price, if you find that you want to play it a lot.

#5: Wordalot

This crossword app uses pictures rather than written clues, which is a fun twist. You can use coins to get hints (you can earn these through the game, or purchase them with real money).

If you enjoy doing crosswords but want something a bit different, give this one a try. You might find that as well as helping you develop your spelling and vocabulary, it’s a great way to develop your lateral thinking as you puzzle out the clues.

#6: WordBrain

This game is another one where you have to find hidden, scrambled words within a grid. There are loads of different levels (1180!) and so this could keep you busy for a long time. You can purchase hints – this could potentially see you clocking up quite a spend, though.

All the words are appropriate for children (though some are tricky to spell), so your kids might well enjoy this game too, as a way to develop their spelling and vocabulary.

#7: Ruzzle

Ruzzle works like Boggle, with a 4×4 grid of letters that you use to make words (the letters must be adjacent to one another). You can play it against friends, or simply against random players.

Like the other apps we’ve looked at, it’s a good one for developing your vocabulary and spelling. Some players said it included too many ads, so this is something to be aware of if you plan to use the free version rather than upgrading.

#8: WordWhizzle Search

This is a word search type game with loads of different levels to play. If you enjoy word searches, it’s a great way to carry lots around in your pocket! You can play it alone or with Facebook friends. It’s easy to get to grips with, but the levels get increasingly tricky, so you’re unlikely to get bored quickly.

As with other apps, this is a great one for developing your spelling and vocabulary. Each level has a particular description (words should match with this), so you have to avoid any “decoy” words that don’t match.

#9: 7 Little Words

This game works a bit like a crossword: each puzzle has seven clues, seven mystery words, and 20 tiles that include groups of letters. You need to solve the clues and rearrange the letter types so you can create the answers to the mystery words – so it’s also a bit like an anagram.

There are five different difficulty levels (“easy” to “impossible”) and each game is quick to play, so this could be a good one for kids too. Again, it’s a great way to develop vocabulary and spelling.

#10: Words With Friends

This classic word-building game is hugely popular, and you can play against your Facebook or Twitter friends, or against a random opponent. It works just like Scrabble, where you have seven letter tiles and add them to a board.

You can chat with the opponent in a chat window, so do be aware of this if you’re allowing your kids to play. The game is a great way to develop vocabulary and spelling, and you can play it fairly casually because there’s no time limit on your moves.

10 Word Games You Can Play in Your Browser

What if you want a writing-related game you can play while taking a break at your computer? All of these are games that you can play in your browser: some involve a lot of writing and are essentially story-telling apps, whereas others are essentially digital versions of traditional pen and paper games.

Unless otherwise noted, these games are free. With some free browser games, you’ll see a lot of ads. If this annoys you, or if you’re concerned that the ads may be unsuitable for your children, you may want to opt for premium games instead.

#1: Wild West Hangman

This is a digital version of Hangman, which we covered above. You choose a category for words (e.g. “Countries” or “Fruits And Vegetables”) and then you play it just like regular Hangman.

It’s simple enough for children – but it only takes six wrong guesses for your cowboy to be hanged, too, so it could get frustrating for younger children.

#2: Word Wipe

In Word Wipe, you swipe adjacent tiles (including diagonals) to create words, a bit like in Boggle. The tiles fall down a 10×10 grid (moving into the blank spaces you’ve created when your word disappears from the grid) – your aim is to clear whole rows of the grid.

Since the easiest words to create are short, simple ones, this is a great game for children or for adults who want to get better at spelling.

#3: Sheffer Crossword

As you might expect, this is a crossword game! There’s a different free puzzle each day, and you can choose from puzzles from the past couple of weeks. It looks very much like a traditional crossword, and you simply click on a clue then type in your answer.

The clues are straightforward rather than cryptic, though probably not easy enough to make this a good app for children or for English learners. If you’re a fan of crosswords, this will definitely be a great way to develop your vocabulary, though.

#4: Twine

Twine is a bit different from some of the other games we’ve looked at: it’s a tool for telling interactive stories (a bit like the old “Choose Your Own Adventure” books, or a text-based adventure game). You lay out your story as different cards and create connections between them.

If you want to experiment with interactive fiction, this is a simple, code-free to get started – as reviewer Kitty Horrorshow puts it, “if you can type words and occasionally put brackets around some of those words, you can make a Twine game”. It’s a great way to deepen your understanding of story, plot and narrative.

#5: Storium

Like Twine, Storium is designed to help you tell stories … but these stories are written in collaboration with others. (There’s a great review, with screenshots, here on GeekMom.) You can either join a story as a character within it, or you can narrate a story – so this is a great game for building lots of different big-picture fiction-writing skills.

It’s suitable for teens, but probably involves a bit too much writing for younger children. If you’d like to write fiction but the idea of creating a whole novel on your own seems a bit overwhelming, or if you enjoy roleplaying-type games (like Dungeons and Dragons), then you might just love Storium.

#6: Words for Evil

This game combines a fantasy RPG setting (where you fight monsters, get loot, gain levels and so on), with word games to play along the way. It could be a good way to encourage a reluctant young teen writer to have fun playing with words – or you might simply enjoy playing it yourself.

The word games work in a very similar way to Word Wipe, so if you found that game frustrating, then Words for Evil probably isn’t for you!

#7: First Draft of the Revolution

This game is an interactive story, told in the form of letters (epistolary). It comes at writing from a much more literary angle than many of the other games, and if you’ve studied English literature or creative writing, or if you teach writing, then you might find it particularly interesting.

The graphics are gorgeous – playing the game is like turning the pages of a book. To play First Draft of the Revolution, you make choices about how to rewrite the main character (Juliette’s) draft letters – helping you gain insight into the process of drafting and redrafting, as well as affecting the ongoing story.

#8: Writing Challenge

Writing Challenge can be used alone or with friends, creating a collaborative story by racing against the clock. You can use it as an app on your phone, as well as on your computer, so you can add to your stories at any time.

If you struggle to stay motivated when you’re writing, then Writing Challenge could be a great way to gamify your writing life – and potentially to create collaborative works of fiction.

#9: Plot Generator

Plot Generator works a bit like Mad Libs: you select a particular type of story (e.g. short story, movie script, fairytale) then enter a bunch of words as prompted. The website creates the finished piece for you. There are also options for story ideas (essentially writing prompts), character generators, and much more on the site.

If you’re stuck for an idea, or just want to play around a bit, Plot Generator could be a lot of fun. Some of the options, like Fairy Tale, are great to use with young children – others may not be so suitable, so do vet the different options first.

#10: The Novelist ($9.99)

The Novelist follows the life of Dan Kaplan, a struggling novelist who’s also trying to be a good husband and father. You can make choices about what Dan should do to reach his goals in different areas of his life – and the decisions you make affect what happens next in the game. You are a “ghost” in the house, learning about and influencing the characters.

While there’s not any actual writing involved in the game, it could be a thought-provoking way to explore how writing fits into your own life.

10 Games to Help You Learn to Type

Typing might seem like an odd thing to include on a list of writing games. But so much of writing involves being able to type – and if you’re a slow typist, you’ll find that your fingers can’t keep up with your brain! While most people find that their typing does naturally improve with practice, these games are all quick ways for you (or your kids) to get that practice in a fun way.

Obviously, all of these games should help to improve typing skills: those which involve whole words may also help with spelling and vocabulary. Unless otherwise mentioned, they’re free.

#1: Dance Mat Typing

This game is designed to teach children touch type (type without looking at the keyboard). It starts off with Level 1, teaching you the “home row” (middle row) keys on the keyboard. Other letters are gradually added in as the game progresses.

It’s very much aimed at kids, so teens and adults may find the animated talking goat a bit annoying or patronising! Unlike many other free games, though, it doesn’t include ads.

#2: Spider Typer

This typing game took a while to load for me: you too many find it’s a bit slow. In the game, you type the letters that appear on chameleons that are trying to catch a spider (the chameleons disappear when you hit their letter). The spider keeps rising up into a tree, and if it safely gets there, you move on to the next level.

It’s suitable for kids, and starts off very easy with just letters: if you set it to a harder difficulty, you need to type whole words.

#3: NitroType

This is a competitive typing game where you race a car against friends (or total strangers) by typing the text at the bottom of the screen. It’s a good one for practicing typing whole sentences, including punctuation – not just typing letters or words.

Older children might enjoy it, and any adults with a strong competitive streak! You can compete as a “guest racer”, or you can create an account and login so you can level up and gain rewards like a better car.

#4: TypeRacer

TypeRacer is similar to NitroType: you control a racing car and the faster you type, the faster your car moves. You can practice on your own, enter a typing race, or race against your friends if you prefer.

If you create an account and login, other users can see your username, score, average speed and so on – and they can also send you messages. This could potentially open you up to receiving spam or unwanted communications, so do be aware of this, particularly if you’re allowing your child to play.

#5: The Typing of the Ghosts             

In this game, you destroy ghosts by typing the word on them. The graphics are pretty rudimentary, though it is a free game and a good way to practice quickly typing words. It’s suitable for children, and the sound effects (there’s a noise for every letterstroke) may appeal to kids.

You don’t need to create an account or login: you can simply start playing straight away.

#6: Typing Chef

In this game, you type cooking-related words (usually types of equipment). It involves single words and a few double words with a space between at the early levels.

There’s nothing particularly unusual about this game compared with others, though it wasn’t so ad-heavy as some and doesn’t require any registration. It’s good for teaching words and phrases, but not for helping you to learn to type whole sentences.

#7: TypeTastic

This is a fun typing game aimed at young kids, so it starts with the fundamentals. You start by building a keyboard from letter blocks, then learn how to spot letters on the keyboard quickly before learning where those letters are located.

Teachers or parents might be interested in reading about why the game starts with mapping the keyboard. The interface and graphics are pretty good, given that it’s a free game, and it’s designed specifically with young children in mind.

#8: Typer Shark! Delux

This is a free typing game, where you’re a diver exploring the seas. You can choose from different difficulty levels, and – in a mechanic that’s probably by now quite familiar if you’ve played any of the other typing games – you get rid of creatures like sharks by typing the word written on them.

Again, this can help you with your typing speed and accuracy. I found it was a bit slow to load, but it’s not full of ads like some other games.

#9: Typing Attack

In this game, you’re a spaceship, facing enemy spaceships – each with a word written on them. I expect you can guess what you need to do: type the word correctly to destroy the spaceship. Some words are shorter, some longer, and as with other games, there are multiple difficulty settings.

You’ll need to watch an ad before the game loads, which can be annoying, and means that it isn’t necessarily suitable for children.

#10: The Typing of the Dead: Overkill ($14.


This game is definitely aimed at adults rather than kids, because it’s a bit gory. It also costs $14.99, so it’s probably one that’ll suit you best if you’re really keen to improve your typing speed – perhaps you do transcription, for instance, or you’re a freelance writer.

To play the game, you type the words that appear in front of the enemies and monsters: each type you type a letter correctly, you send a bullet at them. If you like horror games and films, it could be a fun way to learn to type faster – but it won’t necessarily improve your accuracy with whole sentences.

10 Word Games that Are Particularly Suited to Kids

While I’ve tried to indicate above whether or not the games are suitable for kids, I wanted to list the ten that I’d particularly recommend if you want to help your children get a great start as budding writers.

Several of these are games I play with my five-year-old already; others are games I’m really looking forward to using with her and my son as they get older. I won’t repeat the full descriptions: just scroll back up if you want those.

#1: Word searches (pen and paper) – you can buy whole books of these, or print off free ones. Older kids might have fun creating their own for their friends or siblings.

#2: Bulls and Cows (pen and paper) – you can play this with just a pen and paper (or if you’ve got a really good memory, with nothing at all).

#3: Boggle (board game) – this is simple enough for quite young children to get the hang of it: my five-year-old enjoys playing it with her Granny.

#4: Story Cubes (dice game) – your child can use these on their own to come up with ideas for a story, or you could use them with a group of children – e.g. in a classroom or as part of a club.

#5: Amazing Tales (roleplaying) – this child-friendly RPG is a great way to introduce big-picture storytelling skills, particularly developing a character.

#6: Spellspire (phone app) – a fun spelling/word-creation game your child can play on your phone (and probably a bit more educational than yet another game of Angry Birds).

#7: Wild West Hangman (browser game) – if your child likes hangman but you don’t always have the time to play it with them, this is a good alternative.

#8: First Draft of the Revolution (browser game) – if your teen is interested in writing and/or the French revolution, they might really enjoy this intriguing game based around redrafting letters.

#9: Dance Mat Typing (typing game) – this game from the BBC is high-quality, and designed to appeal to young children. It teaches good typing practice from the start, by explaining correct finger placement on the keys.

#10: TypeTastic – this is another typing game aimed at young children, and this one starts with putting together a keyboard – a great place to begin.

Do you have any favourite writing games – of any type? Share them with us in the comments.

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Fun Vocabulary Games & Activities in English: #1 List in 2022

You found our list of fun and simple vocabulary games for adults.

Vocabulary games are activities that include language and wordplay. Example games include Word Association and Hang Man. Players can enjoy vocabulary games in person or online. The purpose of these games is to strengthen vocabulary skills. These games are also known as “vocab games”, “letter games” and “vocabulary building games.”

These games make great online classroom activities and communication games, and can be used as online fun activities for employees.

This list includes:

  • vocabulary games for adults
  • simple vocabulary word games for adults
  • fun online vocabulary games and activities
  • English vocabulary games
  • vocabulary games in English
  • games to improve vocabulary
  • vocabulary building activities
  • vocab review games
  • vocabulary games for students

Get ready to play!

List of vocabulary games

From Pictionary to word scrambles to synonym memory, here is a list of fun word games to play in classrooms, at parties, or during meetings.

1. Vocabulary Pictionary

Pictionary is a game of charades where players draw words instead of acting them out.

To play:

  1. Split the group into teams.
  2. Each round, assign one team member to draw.
  3. Give the drawing team member a word.
  4. Allow up to sixty seconds for teammates to guess.
  5. If the team guesses correctly, then assign one point.

You can give other teams the opportunity to steal, or move onto the next team’s turn. The game is a great way to practice new vocabulary, as players connect the word with an image. Pictionary is a fun game for virtual parties or in-person affairs.

To play Pictionary online, draw on the whiteboard app feature on your online meeting software.

2. Word Association

Word Association is one of the best vocabulary games for kids and classrooms since playing does not require a large vocabulary. The rules are simple and easy to understand. Typically, the game involves two players.

To play:

  1. Player one says a word.
  2. Player two responds with the first word that comes to mind.
  3. Player one either chooses a new word or responds to player two’s word.
  4. The game continues until one player repeats a word or pauses too long.

The rapid pace of the game generates excitement and occasionally results in funny answers.

If a student makes a mistake, then the teacher can pause the game and ask the student to explain or find a more fitting word. Ideally, gamemasters should allow players a few extra seconds to respond. Players should never feel embarrassed. There are no wrong answers in word association, but the game can serve as a learning opportunity to find better words.

If playing via Zoom, then player one or the teacher speaks a word, and other students answer in the chat. The class counts up matching answers and discusses different responses, guessing the reasoning behind each answer.

3. Vocabulary Hangman

Hangman is a classic chalkboard word game that translates easily to online play, thanks to digital whiteboards.

To play:

  1. Assign a player a word.
  2. The player draws a series of blanks corresponding to the number of letters in the word.
  3. Other players guess letters.
  4. If the letter is in the word, then the “executioner” fills in the blank. If not, then the executioner draws one portion of the gallows.
  5. The game ends when players guess the word, or when the picture is complete.

The best words to use for hangman contain less-used letters like z, x, and q. Examples of hard hangman words include zigzagging, razzmatazz, and quadrants.

4. Word search

Word searches are common classroom vocabulary games. These activities work well for handouts, and you can play during video calls by using the whiteboard feature and enabling annotation.

We made a sample word search you can use.

To make the game more competitive and exciting, turn the challenge into a race and award prizes to the first players to complete the puzzles.



Crossword puzzles consist of a series of interconnecting boxes, each of which starts blank but contains one letter by the end of the game. Under the puzzle are two lists of clues, across and down respectively. Solvers need to consider the meaning of words, number of letters, and surrounding words, making the game strategic as well as literary.

Here is an example of a crossword puzzle you can use with your class or team.

Here is the answer key.

Crosswords are great word games for any age or skill level because puzzle makers can adjust the difficulty to suit players. To make your own crossword puzzle, use an online crossword creator.

6. Word Scramble

Word scrambles make great games for English class, and adults enjoy these language brain teasers as well. Simply mix up the order of the letters and ask players to unscramble and identify the original words.

Here is a sample to start with.

And here is the answer key.

To make your own word scrambles, use an online letter randomizer.

7. Scrabble

Scrabble is one of the most popular word games for adults or children. Players must use letter tiles to assemble words on the game board.

To play:

  1. Each player draws seven letter tiles.
  2. During turns, players can play tiles or exchange them for new letters.
  3. Players build words on the board, with each new word connecting to an existing word.
  4. Tiles have a point value assigned depending on the challenge of the letter. When a player makes a word, tally the letter and add the score to the point board.

More challenging letters have higher point values. For example, E is one point, while Z is ten. To find the point values for each tile and read more gameplay tips, check out this guide from Hasbro.

To coordinate the game for language lessons, assign higher scores for vocabulary words, and ask players to use the words in a sentence for extra points.

Scrabble is easy to play online, too, making it one of the best online vocabulary games. To play virtually, simply find a multiplayer online version of the game, such as Words With Friends.

8. Scattergories

Scattergories is one of the most fun and simple word games for adults. The game challenges players to think up words all starting with the same letter.

To play:

  1. One player rolls a letter die or uses a letter generator to pick the first letter.
  2. The timekeeper puts 60 seconds on the clock.
  3. Players write down one answer per category starting with the letter.
  4. When time runs out, players read the answers.
  5. Players receive a point for every answer.

Alliterative phrases count for double or triple points. If two players have the same answer, then they must cross it out and neither receives points. Of course, a player will not receive points for blank answers either. At the end of each round, the player with the most points wins.

Here is a list of sample Scattergories categories:

  • A boy’s name, girl’s name, or gender neutral name
  • Capital cities
  • Four letter words
  • Types of drinks
  • Holidays
  • Careers or professions
  • Cartoon characters
  • Websites
  • Desserts

You could create more inventive categories for the game, or challenge players to make up prompts.

To play virtually, use the chat, screen-share, whiteboard functions in your virtual meeting platform. You can also share a Google Doc or Form, or join a multiplayer online Scattergories game together.

9. Tree or Bob Ross

Tree or Bob Ross is a fun video conference game that challenges players to guess a word by asking questions.

The player who conjures the word is The Post. The Post answers This or That questions whose answers help players narrow down the word.

The first question of the game is usually “is it more like a tree, or more like Bob Ross?” and The Post must answer accordingly. For instance, a rose is probably more like a tree, but Pinnochio presents an interesting challenge.

Each turn, the guesser adds a new word. For example, the second question might be, “is it more like a tree or a fern?” The game continues until players guess correctly. For more excitement, introduce a time limit, or award more points if players guess the word during earlier rounds.

10. Vocabulary Pyramid

Pyramid challenges players to guess words from context clues. The pyramid is a collection of six words, arranged with three on the bottom, two in the middle, and one at the top. To win, teams must guess all words within the pyramid in the allotted time.

To play:

  1. Divide the group into teams.
  2. Give one player on each team the pyramid.
  3. The pyramid holder must give hints to teammates describing each word without using the actual name of the item.
  4. When players guess correctly, the pyramid master can move to the next word. Or, players can say “pass,” and return to the word later.
  5. Teams receive a point for every correct guess.

When determining the time limit, consider the age of your players and the difficulty of the words. In general, 30 seconds per word, or three minutes total, is a good place to start, but add or take away time to increase or decrease the challenge.

11. Invisible Bridge

Invisible Bridge is similar to six degrees of Kevin Bacon. In both games, you must figure out a way to connect two seemingly distant concepts. Six degrees of Kevin Bacon uses actors, while Invisible Bridge uses words.

To play:

  1. A player suggests two unrelated words.
  2. Player one gives a number of planks. This is how many steps other players must use to relate the two words.
  3. The other players think up words that share similar traits, synonyms, or connector words to move from one term to another.

An example round might look as follows:

Tiger, Astronaut, eight planks

Tiger – Balm – Lip – Service – Customer – Happy – Pills – Capsules – Space – Astronaut

Meanwhile, Tiger, Astronaut, two planks might look like this:

Tiger – meat eater – meteor – Astronaut

One fun aspect about this game is there can be more than one correct answer, and opposing teams can dispute far-reaches. Invisible bridge encourages players to think about the nature of language and the relationship between words.

12. Poetry Improv

Poetry Improv is an exercise that challenges participants to craft verses on the spot.

To play:

  1. Pick a poetry style, such as sonnet, haiku, acrostic, limerick, or free verse.
  2. Give participants vocabulary words to use within the poem.
  3. Allow five or ten minutes for groups or individuals to complete the verses. If playing online via meeting software, then send groups to breakout rooms to work.
  4. Ask poets to share the masterpieces aloud.

For extra fun, turn other players into judges by asking them to rate the poems by holding up scorecards. To make the game more fast-paced, ask players to finish each others’ phrases on the spot for a true poetic improv.

13. Synonym Memory

The rules of Memory are easy: flip over two cards at a time and look for matching pictures or words. When players find pairs, they take the cards off the board. The player with the most pairs of cards at the end of the game wins.

Synonym Memory puts a challenging spin on the simple game. Instead of hunting for exact matches, players pair up words with synonyms.

Here are some sample matches:

  • enticing/tempting
  • assume/suppose
  • patience/restraint
  • revoke/rescind
  • impact/collision

The game encourages players to think in different ways, as participants will need to remember the location of the cards as well as consider meanings of words.

To play online, make your own virtual synonym memory game with an online tool and share screens to play, with one player flipping over the cards at other players’ request.

List of words to use for vocabulary games

Here is a list of great words to use in word games:

  • serendipity
  • fortitude
  • akimbo
  • sumptuous
  • ineffable
  • zephyr
  • incorrigible
  • medallion
  • mauve
  • bombast
  • denouement
  • contemporary
  • gossamer
  • inane
  • hippodrome
  • concession
  • ideology
  • quintessential
  • prescient
  • regurgitate
  • gnash
  • cataclysmic
  • knell

For further inspiration, use a random word generator or consult online lists of difficult or intersecting words.


Vocabulary games and activities test and strengthen players’ communication skills. These word games minimize frustration by disguising language lessons in the form of an exciting challenge. Not to mention, simple word games are fun for adults and kids alike, and make great icebreaker activities during meetings. Most games only require words and a way to share them, so playing word games online via Zoom or similar platforms is easy.

For even more smart fun, check out our posts on problem solving games, question games and team building brain teasers.

FAQ: Vocabulary Games

Here are answers to common questions about vocabulary games and activities.

What are vocabulary games?

Vocabulary games are word and language games you can play with students, coworkers, or family and friends. These games challenge players to hunt for words or definitions, brainstorm terms, deduce phrases based on clues, or create words under certain conditions. Language games are a great way to teach new vocabulary and help students practice recognizing and using new words. These activities are also known as “vocabulary building games” and “vocab games”, and are similar to “word games” and “letter games”.

What are some fun word games for groups?

Some fun word games for groups include Pictionary, Tree or Bob Ross, and word scrambles.

What are some online vocabulary games?

By using virtual meeting software like Zoom, you can play any word game online. Some good virtual vocabulary games include Scrabble, Scattergories, and online crossword puzzles.

What are good ESL word games?

The best ESL word games are easy to understand and play yet expand the vocabularies of participants. Good ESL word games include word association, word searches, and hangman.

What are fun ways to teach vocabulary?

Word games are one of the most fun and easy ways to teach vocabulary. While some kids get frustrated with straightforward reading or language exercises, word games disguise vocabulary lessons as a fun challenge. Plus, playing language games together is a great teamwork exercise.

Word games • Arzamas

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Primer “A. B. C. Trim, alphabet enchanté. Illustrations by Bertal. France, 1861 Wikimedia Commons

Oral games


Game for a big company. The host briefly leaves the room, during which time the rest decide which of those present they will guess (this may be the host himself). Upon returning, the player asks the others questions - what flower do you associate this person with, what vehicle, what part of the body, what kitchen utensils, etc. - in order to understand who is hidden. Questions can be very different - this is not limited by anything other than the imagination of the players. Since associations are an individual matter and an exact match may not happen here, it is customary to give the guesser two or three attempts. If the company is small, you can expand the circle of mutual acquaintances who are not present at that moment in the room, although the classic version of "associations" is still a hermetic game.

Game of P

A game for a company of four people, an interesting variation on the "hat" theme (see below), but does not require any special accessories. One player guesses a word to another, which he must explain to the others, but he can only use words starting with the letter "p" (any, except for the same root). That is, the word "house" will have to be explained, for example, as follows: "I built - I live." If you couldn’t guess right away, you can throw up additional associations: “building, premises, space, the simplest concept ...” And at the end add, for example, “Perignon” - by association with Dom Perignon champagne. If the guessers are close to winning, then the facilitator will need comments like “about”, “approximately”, “almost right” - or, in the opposite situation: “bad, wait!”. Usually, after the word is guessed, the explainer comes up with a new word and whispers it into the ear of the guesser - he becomes the next leader.

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Primer "A. B. C. Trim, alphabet enchanté. Illustrations by Bertal. France, 1861 Wikimedia Commons
Say the Same Thing

An upbeat and fast-paced game for two, named after a video clip by the inventive rock band OK Go, from which many people learned about it (the musicians even developed a mobile application that helps to play it from a distance, although it is currently unavailable). The meaning of the game is that on the count of one-two-three each of the players pronounces a randomly chosen word. Further, the goal of the players is, with the help of successive associations, to come to a common denominator: for the next time, two or three, both pronounce a word that is somehow connected with the previous two, and so on until the desired coincidence occurs. Suppose the first player said the word "house" and the second player said the word "sausage"; in theory, they can coincide very soon, if on the second move after one-two-three both say "store". But if one says “shop”, and the other says “refrigerator” (why not a sausage house?), then the game can drag on, especially since it’s impossible to repeat - neither the store nor the refrigerator will fit, and you will have to think, say, before "refrigerator" or "IKEI". If the original words are far from each other (for example, "curb" and "weightlessness"), then the gameplay becomes completely unpredictable.


A game for the company (the ideal number of players is from four to ten), which requires from the participants not only good imagination, but also, preferably, a little bit of acting skills. As usual, one of the players briefly leaves the room, and while he is gone, the rest come up with a word, the number of letters in which matches the number of participants remaining in the room. Next, the letters are distributed among the players, and a character is invented for each of them (therefore, words that contain "b", "s" or "b" do not fit). Until the word is guessed, the players behave in accordance with the chosen character - the leader's task is to understand exactly what characters his partners portray and restore the hidden word. Imagine, for example, that a company consists of seven people. One leaves, the rest come up with a six-letter word "old man" and distribute roles among themselves: the first, say, will be with indoor, the second - t erpel, the third - a secondary, the fourth - p asylum, the fifth - and mane and sixth - to ovary. The returning player is greeted by a cacophony of voices - the company "lives" their roles until they are unraveled, and the host asks the players questions that help reveal their image. The only condition is that as soon as the presenter pronounces the correct character - for example, guesses the insidious one - he must admit that his incognito has been revealed and announce the number of his letter (in the word "old man" - the sixth).

Primer "A. B. C. Trim, alphabet enchanté. Illustrations by Bertal. France, 1861 Wikimedia Commons
Recognize the song

A game for a company of four to five people. The host leaves, and the remaining players choose a well-known song and distribute its words among themselves - each word. For example, the song “Let there always be sun” is guessed: one player gets the word “let”, the second - “always”, the third - “will be”, the fourth - “sun”. The host returns and begins to ask questions - the most varied and unexpected: "What is your favorite city?", "Where does the Volga flow?", "What to do and who is to blame?". The task of the respondents is to use their own word in the answer and try to do it in such a way that it does not stand out too much; you need to answer quickly and not very extensively, but not necessarily truthfully. Answers to questions in this case can be, for example, “It’s hard for me to choose one city, but let today it will be Rio de Janeiro" or "Volga - into the Caspian, but this does not happen always , every third year it flows into the Black". The presenter must catch which word is superfluous in the answer and guess the song. They often play with lines from poetry rather than from songs.


A game for four people divided into pairs (in principle, there can be three or four pairs). The mechanics is extremely simple: the first player from the first pair whispers a word (a common noun in the singular) into the ear of the first player from the second pair, then they must take turns calling their associations with this word (in the same form - common nouns; cognate words cannot be used ). After each association, the teammate of the player who voiced it calls out his word, trying to guess if it was originally guessed - and so on, until the problem is solved by someone; at the same time, all associations already sounded in the game can be used in the future, adding one new one at each move. For example, suppose there are players A and B on one team, and C and D on the other. Player A whispers the word "old man" into player C's ear. Player C says aloud to his partner D: "age". If D immediately answers "old man", then the pair of C and D scores a point, but if he says, for example, "youth", then the move goes to player A, who, using the word "age" suggested by C (but discarding the irrelevant to the case "youth" from D), says to his partner B: "age, man." Now B will probably guess the old man - and his team with A will already earn a point. But if he says "teenager" (thinking that it is about the age when boys turn into men), then C, to whom the move suddenly returned, will say " age, man, eightieth birthday”, and here, probably, “old man” will be guessed. In one of the variants of the game, it is also allowed to "shout": this means that, having suddenly guessed what was meant, the player can shout out the option not on his turn. If he guessed right, his team will get a point, but if he rushed to conclusions, the team will lose a point. They usually play up to five points.

Primer "A. B. C. Trim, alphabet enchanté. Illustrations by Bertal. France, 1861 Wikimedia Commons

Game for a big company. Here we are forced to warn readers that, having seen this text in full, you will never be able to drive again - the game is one-time.

Spoiler →

First, the player who gets to drive leaves the room. When he returns, he must find out what MPS means - all that is known in advance is that the bearer of this mysterious abbreviation is present in the room right now. To find out the correct answer, the driver can ask other players questions, the answers to which should be formulated as “yes” or “no”: “Does he have blond hair?”, “Does he have blue eyes?”, “Is this a man?”, “He in jeans?", "Does he have a beard?"; moreover, each question is asked to a specific player, and not to all at once. Most likely, it will quickly become clear that there is simply no person in the room who meets all the criteria; Accordingly, the question arises, according to what principle the players give answers. "Opening" this principle will help answer the main question - what is MPS. The Ministry of Railways is not the Ministry of Communications at all, but m th p equal s seated (that is, each player always describes the person sitting to his right). Another option is COP, to then about answered n last (that is, everyone talks about who answered the previous question).


A simple game that can be played with a group of three or more people. One thinks of a word (noun, common noun, singular) and calls its first letter aloud, the task of the others is to guess the word, remembering other words with this letter, asking questions about them and checking if the presenter guessed. The facilitator's task is not to reveal the next letters in the word to the players for as long as possible. For example, a word with the letter "d" is guessed. One of the players asks the question: “Is this by chance not the place where we live?” This is where the fun begins: the host must figure out as quickly as possible what the player means and say “No, this is not“ house ”” (well, or, if it was a“ house ”, honestly admit it). But in parallel, other players also think the same thing, and if they understand what “house” means before the leader, then they say: “contact” or “there is contact”, and start counting up to ten in chorus (while the count is going on, the presenter still has a chance to escape and guess what it is about!), and then they call the word. If at least two matched, that is, at the expense of ten they said “house” in chorus, the presenter must reveal the next letter, and the new guesser version will already begin with the now known letters “d” + the next one. If it was not possible to beat the host on this question, then the guessers offer a new option. Of course, it makes sense to complicate the definitions, and not ask everything directly - so the question about "home" would sound better like "Is this not where the sun rises?" (with a reference to the famous song "House of the Rising Sun" by The Animals). Usually, the one who eventually gets to the searched word (names it or asks a question leading to victory) becomes the next leader.

Primer "A. B. C. Trim, alphabet enchanté. Illustrations by Bertal. France, 1861 Wikimedia Commons

Writing games


Not the fastest, but extremely exciting game for a company of four people - you will need pens, paper and some kind of encyclopedic dictionary (preferably not limited thematically - that is, TSB is better than a conditional "biological encyclopedia"). The host finds a word in the encyclopedia that is unknown to anyone present (here it remains to rely on their honesty - but cheating in this game is uninteresting and unproductive). The task of each of the players is to write an encyclopedic definition of this word, inventing its meaning from the head and, if possible, disguising the text as a real small encyclopedic article. The presenter, meanwhile, carefully rewrites the real definition from the encyclopedia. After that, the “articles” are shuffled and read out by the presenter in random order, including the real one, and the players vote for which option seems most convincing to them. In the end, the votes are counted and points are distributed. Any player receives a point for correctly guessing the real definition and one more point for each vote given by other participants to his own version. After that, the sheets are distributed back and a new word is played out - there should be about 6-10 of them in total. You can also play this game in teams: come up with imaginary definitions collectively. The game "poems" is arranged in a similar way - but instead of a compound word, the host selects two lines from some little-known poem in advance and invites the participants to add quatrains.

Game from Inglourious Basterds

A game for a company of any size that many knew before the Quentin Tarantino film, but it does not have a single name. Each player invents a role for his neighbor (usually it is some famous person), writes it on a piece of paper and sticks the piece of paper on his neighbor's forehead: accordingly, everyone sees what role someone has, but does not know who they are. The task of the participants is, with the help of leading questions, the answers to which are formulated as “yes” or “no” (“Am I a historical figure?”, “Am I a cultural figure?”, “Am I a famous athlete?”), to find out who exactly they are. In this form, however, the game exhausts itself rather quickly, so you can come up with completely different themes and instead of famous people play, for example, in professions (including exotic ones - "carousel", "taxidermist"), in film and literary heroes (you can mix them with real celebrities, but it’s better to agree on this in advance), food (one player will be risotto, and the other, say, green cabbage soup) and even just items.

Primer "A. B. C. Trim, alphabet enchanté. Illustrations by Bertal. France, 1861 Wikimedia Commons
Bulls and cows

A game for two: one participant thinks of a word, and it is agreed in advance how many letters should be in it (usually 4-5). The task of the second is to guess this word by naming other four- or five-letter words; if some letters of the named word are in the hidden one, they are called cows, and if they have the same place inside the word, then these are bulls. Let's imagine that the word "eccentric" is conceived. If the guesser says “dot”, then he receives an answer from the second player: “three cows” (that is, the letters “h”, “k” and “a”, which are in both “eccentric” and “dot”, but in different places). If he then says "head of head", he will no longer get three cows, but two cows and one bull - since the letter "a" in both "eccentric" and "head" is in the fourth position. As a result, sooner or later it is possible to guess the word, and the players can change places: now the first one will guess the word and count the bulls and cows, and the second one will name his options and track the extent to which they coincide with the guessed one. You can also complicate the process by simultaneously guessing your own word and guessing the opponent's word.


Writing game for the company (but you can also play together), consisting of three rounds, each for five minutes. In the first, players randomly type thirteen letters (for example, blindly poking a book page with their finger) and then form words from them, and only long ones - from five letters. In the second round, you need to choose a syllable and remember as many words as possible that begin with it, you can use single-root ones (for example, if the syllable "house" is selected, then the words "house", "domra", "domain", "domain", "brownie", "housewife", etc.). Finally, in the third round, the syllable is taken again, but now you need to remember not ordinary words, but the names of famous people of the past and present in which it appears, and not necessarily at the beginning - that is, both Karamzin and McCartney will fit the syllable "kar" , and, for example, Hamilcar. An important detail: since this round provokes the most disputes and scams, game participants can ask each other to prove that this person is really a celebrity, and here you need to remember at least the profession and country. Typical dialogue: "What, you don't know Hamilcar? But this is a Carthaginian commander!” After each round, points are counted: if a particular word is the same for all players, it is simply crossed out, in other cases, players are awarded as many points for it as the opponents could not remember it. In the first round, you can still add points for especially long words. Based on the results of the rounds, it is necessary to determine who took the first, second, third and other places, and add up these places at the end of the game. The goal is to get the smallest number at the output (for example, if you were the winners of all three rounds, then you will get the number 3 - 1 + 1 + 1, and you are the champion; less cannot be purely mathematical).

Primer "A. B. C. Trim, alphabet enchanté. Illustrations by Bertal. France, 1861 Wikimedia Commons

A game for any number of people, which was invented by one of the creators of the Kaissa chess program and the author of the anagram search program Alexander Bitman. First, the players choose several consonants - this will be the frame, the skeleton of the word. Then the time is recorded (two or three minutes), and the players begin to “stretch” vowels (as well as “й”, “ь”, “ъ”) onto the frame to make existing words. Consonants can be used in any order, but only once, and vowels can be added in any number. For example, players choose the letters "t", "m", "n" - then the words "fog", "cloak", "mantle", "coin", "darkness", "ataman", "dumbness" and other. The winner is the one who can come up with more words (as usual, these should be common nouns in the singular). The game can be played even with one letter, for example, "l". The words “silt”, “lay”, “yula”, “aloe”, “spruce” are formed around it, and if we agree that the letter can be doubled, “alley” and “lily”. If the standard "framework" is mastered, then the task may be to compose a whole phrase with one consonant: a textbook example from the book by Evgeny Gik - "Bobby, kill the boy and beat the woman at the baobab."

Chain of words

Game for any number of players. Many people know it under the name "How to make an elephant out of a fly", and it was invented by the writer and mathematician Lewis Carroll, the author of "Alice". The “chain” is based on metagram words, that is, words that differ by only one letter. The task of the players is to turn one word into another with the least number of intermediate links. For example, let's make a "goat" from a "fox": FOX - LINDE - PAW - KAPA - KARA - KORA - GOAT. It is interesting to give tasks with a plot: so that the “day” turns into “night”, the “river” becomes the “sea”. The well-known chain, where the "elephant" grows out of the "fly", is obtained in 16 moves: FLY - MURA - TURA - TARA - KARA - KARE - CAFE - KAFR - MURDER - KAYUK - HOOK - URIK - LESSON - TERM - DRAIN - STON - ELEPHANT (example of Evgeny Gik). For training, you can compete in the search for metagrams for any word. For example, the word "tone" gives "sleep", "background", "current", "tom", "tan" and so on - whoever scores more options wins.

Primer "A. B. C. Trim, alphabet enchanté. Illustrations by Bertal. France, 1861 Wikimedia Commons

A game for a company of four people, requiring simple equipment: pens, paper and a “hat” (an ordinary plastic bag will do). Sheets of paper need to be torn into small pieces and distributed to the players, the number of pieces depends on how many people are playing: the larger the company, the less for each. Players write words on pieces of paper (one for each piece of paper) and throw them into the "hat". There are also options here - you can play just with words (noun, common noun, singular), or you can play with famous people or literary characters. Then the participants are divided into teams - two or more people each; the task of each - in 20 seconds (or 30, or a minute - the timing can be set at your own choice) to explain to your teammates the largest number of words arbitrarily pulled out of the "hat", without using the same root. If the driver could not explain a word, it returns to the hat and will be played by the other team. At the end of the game, the words guessed by different representatives of the same team are summed up, their number is counted, and the team that has more pieces of paper is awarded the victory. A popular version of the game: everything is the same, but in the first round the players explain the words (or describe the characters) orally, in the second round they show in pantomime, in the third round they explain the same words in one word. And recently a board game has appeared, where you need not only to explain and show, but also to draw.


Game for any number of players. The players choose a word, for each letter of which they will need to come up with a part of the telegram - the first letter will be the beginning of the first word, the second - the second, and so on. For example, the word "fork" is selected. Then the following message can become a telegram: “The camel is healed. I'm flying a crocodile. Aibolit". Another round of the game is the addition of genres. Each player gets the task to write not one, but several telegrams from the same word - business, congratulatory, romantic (the types of messages are agreed in advance). Telegrams are read aloud, the next word is chosen.

even more different games for one or a company

Home games

Shadow theater, crafts and paper dolls from children's books and magazines of the XIX-XX centuries Ring and other games

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Children's room

Special project

Children's room Arzamas


  • Balandin B. B. Big book of intellectual games and entertaining questions for smart people and smart girls.

    M., 2008.

  • Bocharova A. G., Goreva T. M., Okun V. Ya. 500 wonderful children's games.

    M., 1999.

  • Geek E. Ya. Entertaining mathematical games.

    M., 1987.

  • Fedin S. N. The best games with words.

    M., 2001.

  • Firsova L. M. Games and entertainment. Book 1.

    M., 1989.



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The best mind games for advanced companies

A true life hacker is designed in such a way that he just needs to periodically "sharpen his brain" - like cats sharpen their claws to be constantly in shape. May holidays are coming soon, summer is coming, and many of us will have a rest in the company or travel with friends. We want to offer you some cool logic games to have fun in the company and once again train your brains. Games were selected according to the principle:

- no special props (such as cards, chips, dice, etc.)
- the ability to play in any environment (on the train, on the bus, in the country, by the fire or somewhere else).


Perhaps one of the most popular party games.

Number of players: minimum 3 people.

Rules: the host thinks of a word, a noun in the nominative case, a common noun, and announces to everyone the first letter of this word. The rest of the participants take turns asking questions-definitions, trying to guess what they have planned.

For example, I thought of the word "lifehacker", the first letter is "L". To the question "Is this not a predatory animal?" I need to quickly issue an answer that satisfies the conditions, that is, a predatory animal with the letter "L". Answer: "No, it's not a lion." Further similar questions without clarification (“Is this not another predatory animal?”) Are prohibited.

Participants need to come up with a question, the answer to which at least two of them know, but the host does not (whispering and agreements are prohibited).

For example: "Is this not such an auxiliary statement for the proof of the theorem?" The answer is unknown to me, but one of the players understood what it was about. In this case, he shouts: "There is a contact!" and starts the countdown from 10 to 1. On the count of “1”, the players shout out the correct option in unison. If they voiced the same thing, the contact is considered completed. In this case, the host calls the second letter of the hidden word, and the game continues in the same vein until the whole word is guessed. The author of the correct question becomes the next presenter.

"Keeper of the Secret"

Mind-bending and very exciting game. The host thinks of a phrase, slogan, quote known to all participants. Names the number of words in it. The players ask the "keeper" any questions. Each answer must contain a word from the hidden phrase. The answer must fit in one sentence.

Example: I thought of our slogan “Life is not perfect. Fix it!" I can ask 4 questions.

Vasya: What did you eat for breakfast today?
Me: All my life I eat only sandwiches with tea for breakfast.
Petya: Do you like Zemfira's last song?
Me: I don't listen to it, modern music is imperfect for my taste.

...and so on. After that, the participants analyze what they heard for some time (it is better to specify in advance how much exactly) and give out their version of the original phrase. It is allowed to record the host's answers: write them down on the phone or just on a piece of paper.


Number of players: even, minimum four

Everyone thinks up 5-10 words, nouns, common nouns, and writes them down on pieces of paper. Then all the pieces are collected in a heap and mixed. Players are divided into teams in pairs. In 30 seconds, you need to explain to your partner as many words as possible from randomly selected pieces of paper (we draw one at a time). Single-root words are prohibited in explanation. The opposing team turns on the stopwatch on the phone and keeps track of the time. We leave the successfully solved shreds to ourselves, put the unsolved ones back in a pile. Until the papers run out, the game continues. At the end, the teams count their points and determine the winner.


Good old detective fun. Danetka is a word puzzle, a confusing or strange story, part of which the leader tells, and the rest must restore the sequence of events.

Learn more