The Ultimate Word Games Guide
There are many sites out there professing to have the most educational or most entertaining word games ever made, so how do you know which ones to bother with? This guide is the perfect place to start. All of the word games listed below are high-quality, free to use, and are hosted on sites that won’t drive you too crazy with incessant ad bombardment or dead links. They’ve been grouped into categories for easy reference, so read on to find the kind of word game you’re looking for.
Word Games for Young Children
If you can successfully turn a lesson into a game, kids will be all the more enthusiastic about it. Little ones just learning to spell or read need as much practice as they can get and the games in this section are so much fun that kids may forget that they are actually learning. Parents and teachers will find scores of games to supplement school lessons – or to use in their own curriculum.
PBS Kids Spelling Games — If you have a new reader or pre-reader on your hands, check out all of the free educational games on this site. Kids can follow favorite characters from beloved children’s programs like Sesame Street, Caillou, Martha Speaks, and more. Scroll down on the landing page for more word-related game categories starring PBS Kids characters.
FunBrain Kids Word Games — FunBrain is an excellent resource for parents and teachers to find lots of free word games that will help young kids learn about words and pave the way for a lasting love of reading.
Primary Games – Reading — Primary Games is a free site with all kinds of fun games for young kids to play. Each activity focuses on exercising a particular skill like mastering the ABCs to reviewing Kindergarten “sight words.”
Dr. Goodword’s Word Wizard Club — This site, designed for elementary-aged kids, has lots of free vocabulary games. There are also teacher resources for designing lessons, and kids can become members to participate in daily word explorations and more.
Compound Word Game — This page contains everything you need to put together an ongoing lesson in compound word recognition and usage, including printables. The lesson is designed to be played like a game to help stimulate students to get excited about discovering and recognizing more complex words.
More Educational Word Games
The word games found in this section are inclusive of a wider audience than the children’s word games listed previously, but still focus on learning. The nature and difficulty level of these games make them well-suited for middle school and high school students. Adults, too, may enjoy brushing up on their vocabulary and usage skills with these fun and educational ideas from reputable sites.
Merriam-Webster Word Games — Merriam-Webster published the renowned Encyclopedia Britannica series, which served as the go-to knowledge bank for generations of pre-internet kids and adults. Now, they’ve taken their expertise online, and you can find tons of highly educational word games for all ages.
Fun Dictionary Activities — Try some of these fun dictionary-based games in class or at home to get kids thinking critically about words – there’s even one that lets them create their own words. It’s unexpectedly fun to explore the origins and usages of the words in our language.
Word Games from The Problem Site — The Problem Site has a nice collection of interactive word games for kids and adults. Try unique and fun games like a version of “hangman” where the computer purposely cheats or a guessing game where you try to figure out which word in a group isn’t really a word. It’s tougher than you might think.
Vocabulary.com — Vocabulary.com uses fun trivia games to help you build your arsenal of amazing words for all occasions. Enhance your personal lexicon while you challenge yourself with fill-in-the-blanks and Q&As.
Word Games for Learning English
It can be challenging to find fresh, fun ways to teach English to ESL students. Browse through the games and activities listed on the following sites for help. These word games are designed for people who are learning to speak and write in English. All of them are fun, free, and provide high educational value.
Word Games for ESL Kids — This site, created to help connect ESL parents, students, and teachers with learning resources, has a good-sized collection of fun word games and activities to complement an ESL curriculum.
Fun English Games — Fun English Games is a site with lots of free games to help teach English. The lessons can be useful for first language pre-readers as well as for ESL students.
ManyThings.org — ManyThings.org provides this page full of games to help ESL students learn English. All of the site’s content is free for anyone to access.
TESL Games — On this page, Teachers of English as a Second Language (TESL) share their favorite word games and fun activities for ESL learning. The site is purely nonprofit, and there are no ads anywhere.
Word Games for Grownups
Looking to challenge yourself, test your word skills, and have some good addictive fun while you’re at it? Entertaining word games have exploded in popularity over the last few years – you’ll see for yourself how many there are to choose from if you visit your favorite app center! The problem is figuring out which ones are worth your precious time. Try looking here to help you weed out the lesser word games and find a fun new addiction.
Top 10 Free iPhone Word Games — iPhone users, follow the link for tech site Mashable’s rundown of their top ten word games for the iOS. Each is accompanied by a short but thorough review.
Word Game Apps for Android — This well written blog lists several fun and challenging word game apps available for Android devices. The author includes comprehensive reviews with for each app listed.
Scrabble Online — The classic word game is played much the same online as it is at home. You’ll have to sit through an ad or two, but gameplay is free and unlimited. You can play against the computer without logging in and if you create a (free) account, you can play against other users.
Oxford Word Games — Oxford Dictionaries has a page filled with surprisingly addictive and refreshingly unique word games for the real word-connoisseur. Games are categorized by difficulty level and cross-referenced by type. One thing that stands out about Oxford’s games is that they are refreshingly unique. Just don’t venture out of the easier sections unless you’re ready. The games there are labeled “fiendishly difficult” for a reason.