vocabulary through board games

Vocabulary as Game with Board Games and Books

Games Kids Like to Build Vocabulary

I found this article that I thought made a lot of sense called Vocabulary: Five Common Misconceptions:

Misconception 1: Definitions do the trick.

Misconception 2: Weekly vocabulary lists are effective.

Misconception 3: Teachers should teach all hard words, especially those printed in bold or italics.

Misconception 4: The study of Latin and Greek roots is too hard for young learners.

Misconception 5: Word learning can’t be fun.

Let’s focus on Misconception #5: Word Learning Can’t Be Fun. Let’s spin that on its head and declare: Word Learning Should Be Fun. Now let’s make it fun! Instant fun below. I think this is the right speed for summer learning.

What board games and word games do you and your kids enjoy? Please share!

p.s. More Fun and Educational Board Games here.


Fun Board Games that Teach Vocabulary

Tile Lock Scrabble

With Tile Lock Scrabble, your words won’t be slip slidin’ away thanks to the special board’s clever design. There are also soft pads on its bottom that allow you to effortlessly slide the board across a table or rotate it for a better view. And, the compact size of the board (10″ x 10″), tiles and racks, make the game ideal for travel. You can play Scrabble in a car, train, plane or boat with no worries!


After all these years, it’s still hard to get a triple word score, the tiles are still made of wood, and there’s only one “X” in the whole box. The game of Scrabble has sparked feuds and a near-cult following. All the fuss is over a spelling game that hasn’t had an upgrade in 50 years. It takes a little luck and a lot of skill to make high-scoring words out of seven little letters, sometimes with an overabundance of vowels and letters that don’t go together–sometimes there’s Q without U. Two to four players battle it out on the board, and while some players might be proud of impressive words (“I spelled gestalt!”), skilled players know how to use the premium letter and word squares on the 225-square board to their best advantage. This crossword game has strict rules (no names, no slang) and comes with a warning label: “Choose a dictionary first to avoid any ugly word disputes.” –Lynne Sampson


Twist & shake, set it and play! The BOGGLE game now comes in a compact case that’s never been easier on the hands, ears or eyes. Just twist and raise the lid, shake the letter cubes in the quiet case, then search for words as the 3-minute timer counts down. The built-in timer changes color, then beeps softly to let you know time’s up. And with no loose parts to worry about, it’s as easy to store and take along as it is to play!Your favorite word search game is now easier to play than ever!


Link letters up, down, sideways, and diagonally to form common and not-so-common words. Roll the 16-lettered cubes, line them up in a 4 x 4 grid, and start the timer. Whoever finds and writes down the most un-duplicated words in 3 minutes, wins. Longer, more unusual words earn more points. For 2 or more players.


Balderdash is the classic Adult Party game where bluffing your friends moves you closer to victory! For up to 6 players, with 5 hilarious categories – Weird Words, Peculiar People, Incredible Initials, Marvelous Movies, & Laughable Laws – Balderdash will keep you and your friends laughing for hours! For ages 12 and up.


The Anagram game that will drive you bananas. The award-winning word game that needs no pencil, paper, or board. Fast and fun. Players race against each other to build crossword grids and use all their letter tiles first. Great for travel.

Electronic Pictionary

Pictionary Man combines Pictionary with Charades to take this classic game to a whole new level of hilarity and fun. Get your electronic clues from Pictionary Man himself, and use fun interactive accessories to help your teammates along. Just look at the bottom of Pictionary Man’s foot to get your private clue. Then it’s up to you to draw them, act them out and get your teammates to guess the right word. For 2 or more teams. Requires 3 “AAA” batteries, not included.

Pictionary Junior

It’s sketch-and-score fun for kids! This version of America’s favorite quick-draw game is designed for kids 7 to 12. Each card has a theme that gives the guessers an instant hint. The words are geared for a younger player’s vocabulary, and the cards feature two levels of play. It’s a great way for kids to enjoy their own game of Pictionary, or to play with the whole family. Check out the fresh cardware. Includes gameboard, timer, 2 playing pieces, 2 pencils, pad of paper, 144 cards (1,440 words), die and rules. For 3 or more players.

Pictionary 25th Anniversary EditionOne team member draws clues to try to get the rest of the team to guess the secret word or phrase before time runs out. For 3 or more players. Ages 12 – Adult.

DabbleDabble is a great learning tool for kids and fun for the entire family. At the core of the game lies a fast-paced word game that will help children and adults develop many useful skills – including vocabulary, spelling, and quick thinking.Dabble has won the following awards: Dr. Toy’s 10 Best Games 2011 Dr. Toy’s 100 Best Children Products 2011 Creative Child Magazine Word Game of The Year 2011 2011 Top 10 PAL Award Winner – PAL stands for Play Advances Language Winner of the Oppenheim Toy Portfolio Platinum Seal Award 2011 Parents’ Choice Gold Award 2011 The Washington Post Great Games for 2011 The Noise on Toys Award of Exxcellence

Fun Word Game Books That Teach Vocabulary

Mad Libs


Crossword Puzzles


Word Scrambles


Fun and FREE Sites with Word Games

Free word games from Word Games.
Mad Glibs … basically free online Mad Libs.
Vocabulary Learning Games
Vocabulary.com for anyone who can ace the verbal SAT
To examine any book or game more closely at Amazon, please click on image.
image from HowPark.

By Mia Wenjen, PragmaticMom


  1. vanita

    scrabble and pictionary jr are definitely our favorites!
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  2. Mia

    You never cease to amaze me with all your resources! I had read that even weekly spelling lists didn’t improve spelling. Therefore it doesn’t surprise me about the weekly vocabulary lists. My son is not being taught to spell at his school. I had not heard of the bananagrams game and can’t wait to pick this up for our travels!

    Thanks for the reminder on the mad libs. My son is super silly and this will be a great fit for him!

    Dr Rajka recently posted…Their pee pee is different. And why god made mothers?My Profile

    • Hi Dr. Rajka,
      I have noticed that my oldest was able to study and ace her weekly spelling tests but her spelling remained atrocious when she wrote. I thought that was a great article and am glad that you enjoyed it also. I guess everything is turning into a game these days but if it helps kids connect with vocabulary learning, I am all for it.

  3. Ann

    Vocabulary I think is really hard to learn. What seem to work for me is to see a word, look it up, then run into that word a few more times that week. I am pretty thick!

    Using games for fun word exposure is a great idea! Always wanted to try the banana game and my kids love Mad libs. Now I have a really good reason to get these!
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    • Hi Ann,
      Your method is a great way to learn vocabulary. I used flashcards to study for the SAT but kids would find them boring. I had forgotten how kids love MadLibs … my son found some in a magazine and did it with great delight. I will be getting some too…perfect for those camp care packages too!

  4. Mark

    Another fun way of learning. I am an advocate of making learning fun. I think being kids, learning should be introduced to them in a way on which they will be enthusiastic. I believe these games are really a good way to help them learn.

    • Hi Mark,
      Gaming seems to be the big thing now to get kids AND adults engaged in learning. I wonder if this is overboard? I guess things swing from one side to the other but I do agree that gaming makes learning fun.

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