Why Word Games Are Important for Children

November 4, 2019
A lack of reading, the use of electronic devices, the growing use of abbreviations... All of these factors work against good spelling. Thanks to word games for children, you can help make learning how to write well fun.

One of the most common problems that teachers mention in schools is spelling mistakes. Encouraging our children to read more is a good first step, as this is said to help children learn to write better. However, there’s much more we can do. For example, we can enjoy playing word games with our kids so they can learn and have fun at the same time.

That’s what we want to talk about in today’s article.

The importance of spelling

Writing well isn’t something that’s important only for news reporters, teachers, and poets. But in this day and age, with automatic spell check, it’s hard to find a person who doesn’t make spelling mistakes.

The fact of the matter is, there are a lot of assumptions that society makes about people based on how they spell. Some contexts may seem insignificant, but every spelling mistake says something about us. An email or text message with mistakes in it simply isn’t professional. In fact, it can mark a difference when it comes to getting a job or not, or getting a promotion.

1. Lack of reading as a habit

If we spend half an hour reading each day, by the end of the year we’ll have read a million words. Our memory records those words somewhere in our brains. Therefore, when we write them, we have a better idea of whether or not we’re spelling them correctly.

Unfortunately, children today hardly read at all. Many never hold a book in their hands and flip through its pages. Rather, they spend their time staring at screens, video games, and movies.

Why Word Games Are Important for Children

2. The use of electronic devices

Today’s youngest generations were born with a cell phone in their hands – we can’t deny it. As a result, teaching methods have had to become more modern. Unfortunately, a lot of printed content is no longer motivating enough for children to get their attention.

Constant cell phone and tablet use has caused children to make more spelling mistakes. This is because many websites and applications aren’t concerned about good spelling.

3. Abbreviations

Finally, the excessive use of abbreviations and symbols is another threat to good spelling. Using the number “2” instead of writing “to.” Typing “ofc” instead of the words “of course.” Or just using a question mark instead of writing out a question…

These are all examples of habits that are becoming more and more common among children and young people. We can trace this back to cell phone use and our desire to respond as quickly as possible.

Word games for children

We can’t blame every modern problem on technology. Rather, we can use technology as a tool for improvement. For example, there are many word games that children can download or use online. These games help children improve their spelling and vocabulary every time they play.

What’s more, don’t forget about board games and card games! Unfortunately, many children today have never even played these family classics. But they’re perfect for a rainy day, a power outage, camping trips… Or just when you want your kids to take a break from technology!

Why Word Games Are Important for Children

1. Scrabble

Scrabble is one of the most popular word games of all time. Surely you played it while you were growing up with your friends and relatives. Each player uses the letters they draw from the pile to form words on the board and earn points. This is a great way for children to learn proper spelling and discover new vocabulary.

2. Password

There are a variety of versions of this popular game. From electronic and mechanical versions to card versions… You can even make your own version at home. Whatever the case may be, the objective is for players to guess a one-word answer based on one-word clues provided by their teammates. Here, children practice reading skills and, once again, practice and learn new vocabulary.

3. Taboo

This is another great option when it comes to word games. Like Password, the objective is for players to get their teammate(s) to guess a given word. However, the person offering the clues has a list of words he or she is not allowed to mention. Players race against the clock to see which team can guess the most words before the buzzer goes off.

Word games help children improve their spelling, reading skills, and vocabulary in a fun and playful context. So, what are you waiting for? It’s time to organize a family game night!

  • Barrena González, J. (1999). Juega con la ortografía. Campo Abierto: Revista de Educación.