Children's Word Games and Activities

Children who practice their vocabulary are typically stronger readers and communicators. If you're looking for ways to engage your child in word games and activities at home, you can try some of the suggestions below.

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Language Development in Children

There are many ways to encourage your child to expand his or her vocabulary. Using flashcards can help prepare your child for vocabulary exams. Reading is another way to improve writing, spelling and communication. Children's word games can further boost reading and writing skills. Here are five word games and activities you can do with your child.

What Word Games and Activities Can I Use?

Finding Word Relationships

On a sheet of paper, write several sets of four words. Three of the words should be related and one word should have no relevance to the others. Have your child go through each set and select the word that doesn't belong. Alternatively, you can make sets of four words that are all related and ask her to explain what they have in common.

Creating Smaller Words from a Larger Word

On a sheet a paper, write a large word from which two or more smaller words can be made. Set a timer for two minutes and challenge your son to write down as many words as he can from the larger word. Then ask him to use each of the new words in a sentence.

Making Word Collages

For this activity, you'll need magazines or newspapers, scissors, construction paper and glue. If your child is a beginning reader, choose a letter from the alphabet and ask him to cut out words that begin with that letter and create a collage with them. He can also cut out images, such as a picture of a zebra for the letter 'Z.' If your child is a more advanced reader, have him make a collage of words that describe something or someone.

Playing with Word Endings

On a sheet of paper, write a list of word endings such as -ing or -ed. Ask your daughter to think of words with these endings and write them down. Go through the words once she's finished and add additional words, if necessary. Help her find the words that rhyme.

Using Descriptive Words

If you want your son to use more descriptive words when he is explaining things, try this game. Go into the kitchen and pull out five food items from your pantry, refrigerator or freezer. For each item, set a timer for two minutes and ask him to write as many words as possible that describe its texture or taste. After two minutes, you can add words of your own and teach him what they mean. As he makes word lists for the other food items, he can reuse words.

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