Best Word Games for All Ages

Word Games

Word games are perfect for linguistically talented children, but they’re also a perfect (and fun) way to boost your child’s reading, writing, and/or spelling skills if it’s not their area of strength.  Whether you’re looking for a birthday present, a Christmas present, or a new game to add to your collection, these games are sure to spark your child’s interest, and they’re fun for the whole family too!


Quiddler is a fast-spaced short word game, and you don’t need to have a huge vocabulary to play.  The goal is to use up all of your cards by building words.  I’ve played this game with students as young as 2nd grade, and I even enjoy it myself, so it definitely appeals to a wide age range.

Word Thief

This game is a little more challenging than Quiddler, and it requires some strategy.   I think this game is better suited for children learning at an upper elementary level or higher.  Students in the primary grades might be better off pairing up with an older friend or family member.  With that said, Word Thief is quite a bit of fun! Build words and place them in front of you.  Stack chips on top for the point value.  If your word is built in one suit, your word is word locked, and it’s safe!  If it’s not, someone can still it and the points with it!  


Word-A-Round is a fast paced game that my students LOVE.  It seems that they can play this game any number of times, and they haven’t memorized these cards yet.  This is also a perfect game to have in a classroom because it can be played for any duration — play for just a few minutes or play until the deck is gone!  


Tapple is like a fast-paced and more active version of Scattergories.  I find that younger children get frustrated with Scattergories when they can’t think of a word for several of the listed categories.  In Tapple, players shout out words related to the category that start with each letter, and the goal is to “tap” all the letters before the timer runs out.  


I love Bananagrams! Bananagrams is like a fast-paced version of Scrabble, and it works really well for younger players because you don’t earn points.  The goal is to use “all of of your tiles,” and using short words works really well!  

For younger players, I like to let them build words without the restriction of putting the words together into a crossword.


Scrabble is a classic game that should be in everyone’s board game collection.  Scrabble is designed for 2 to 4 players; however, you can play with even more players by creating teams!  Creating teams is a great way to incorporate younger players who might not be quite ready to play on their own yet.  If you’re playing as a family, you can also allow younger children with lower word and spelling skills to swap out tiles a certain number of times per game.  

You’ve Been Sentenced

This is a fantastic family game night activity. It can be played with up to 10 players, so it works great for holidays, parties, and other social gatherings too.  This game is recommended for kids ages 10 and up, and it’s a lot of fun for adults too.  It works well for children reading at a 4th/5th-grade level or higher.  Lower-level readers may have a harder time with this game.  


If you love the Wordle Digital Game, you’ll love this screen-free version!  Players take turns writing down a 5-letter Secret Word. Everyone else tries to guess it in the fewest tries.

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