Games that Will Increase Your Children's Vocabulary

In today's article, we're going to share some games that will increase your children's vocabulary. You and your kids will love them.
Games that Will Increase Your Children's Vocabulary

Last update: 19 September, 2021

Children are like sponges when it comes to learning new words. That’s why playing games that will increase your children’s vocabulary is so important. You don’t have to play the games at school, so you can help them learn at home as well. 

Today, we’re going to share some games that will allow you to spend quality time with your family and will help increase your children’s vocabulary. Keep reading to learn more so you can all have fun playing these games!

Games that will increase your children’s vocabulary

A family laughing together on the couch.

Which one doesn’t belong?

First, you show your kids a list of words. Then, they have to think about the context of the words and choose the one that doesn’t belong. Here are the directions for the game:

  • Pick a category without saying it out loud.
  • Give them a list of 4-5 words that belong in the category, and include one that doesn’t fit.
  • Your child should pick the word that doesn’t belong.

The game requires a high level of thinking because you can’t tell your child what the category is. Instead, they need to listen to all the words and figure out how they’re related to one another and which one doesn’t belong.

You can make this game as easy or as difficult as you’d like. That will depend on your child’s age and whether or not they’re able to overcome simple challenges. Here are some examples of a difficult round and an easy round:

  • Apple, peach, banana, tuna, orange. “Tuna” is the word that doesn’t belong because it’s not a fruit.
  • Book, sock, bed, plate, pillow, blanket. All the words except “plate” are things that you can find in a bedroom, so “plate” doesn’t belong.

A bird flies, one of the games that will increase your children’s vocabulary

Teach your children to use words that demonstrate actions (verbs). You can teach them with this easy game. Here’s how to play:

  • Choose an animal, person, or object, such as a bird.
  • Ask your child to think of an action a bird does. For example, a bird flies, a bird chirps, a bird sings, a bird jumps.
  • Take turns choosing your words and actions.

What am I?

This game teaches children comprehension skills through solving riddles. Here’s how to play:

  • Choose an animal.
  • Describe it in a riddle. For example: “I’m thinking of something that lives in the sea, has sharp teeth, and swims very fast. What is it?”
  • Once your child has guessed the animal, it’s their turn to choose an animal and make up a riddle.

This game also encourages creative thinking. You and your child will be making up riddles and finding interesting ways to describe the animal you’re thinking of.

It’s best to play this game using the same theme, like animals, for a few rounds so your child understands how it works. Then, you can try a different topic, like professions. For example: “I wear a long coat, I work in a hospital, and sometimes I do operations. Who am I?”

Once upon a time…

Making up stories is a great way to develop your child’s vocabulary, as well as their creativity and imagination. Here are 3 ways to make up a story:

  1. For younger children, you can start with a story they’ve heard of before. Flip through the storybook and take turns “telling” the story on each page. Your child will be able to remember parts of the story from having heard it before and will use the pages as clues.
  2. Use a picture book your child hasn’t heard before and flip through it. Take turns making up the story based on the images. Follow your child’s lead and continue the story based on each others’ interpretations and ideas.
  3. Make up a story without a book. This is a great game to play in the car or at bedtime. Make up the beginning by starting with something like, “Once upon a time there was a snake in the jungle…” Take turns adding one line to the story at a time.
Mom reading children's stories.

Keep it up

You can play this game anywhere, but it’s best while you’re driving or traveling by bus or train. This game will increase your children’s vocabulary, especially their understanding of nouns. What’s, it’ll teach them to think more quickly. Here’s how to play:

  • As you drive past different places, take turns naming as many things as you can. For example, you could say “tree, building, sign, traffic light, store, chair, lawn, clouds…”
  • Try to keep the chain of words going throughout the entire journey.

This game is a lot of fun and requires a lot of thinking. Your child really has to focus and think so they don’t break the continuous flow of words. Once you start to get the hang of the game, you and your kids won’t want to stop playing. 

Conclusion

As you can see, there are a lot of games that will increase your children’s vocabulary. You can play the ones we shared with you every day, and you can play them over and over. Your children will love playing with you!

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  • Muñoz García, A. (2010) Psicología del desarrollo en la etapa de educación infantil. Editorial: Pirámide
  • Montava, M. A. M. (1999). Juegos y actividades para enriquecer el vocabulario. Arco/Libros.