Can playing video games improve vocabulary? Most games don’t require much in the way of reading or using an extensive vocabulary. However, kids can still expand their vocabulary through game play. For instance, games such as the Civilization series encourage kids to master words related to historical events, while games in the Legend of Zelda series require reading skills in order to navigate the game. Many apps, such as Brainpop Jr are also helpful in expanding vocabulary. Here are some great games to improve vocabulary that kids will love and can learn from at the same time:
Letris & Friends Letris & Friends is a word-puzzle app containing three unique mini-games in which to battle opponents. In the Snake mini-game, players are tasked with connecting random letters in a 4X4 grid to create as many unique words as possible. In the second game type, Letris, players face a combination of Snake and the classic game Tetris. Connecting letters to create words removes them from the play screen, making way for new letters. In the final game type, WordMatrix, players are with presented a grid of 36 letters, each assigned a specific point value. Using any combination of letters in any order from any location in the grid, players must score as many points as possible by forming words with three or more letters. Letris & Friends requires a fair amount of spelling and vocabulary and is recommended for ages 6 and up.
Chicktionary- Chicktionary is a chicken-themed spelling and vocabulary-building word game. Children create as many words as possible out of seven letters. Completed words can be tapped to view their definition. There are multiple levels, and children can choose a timed or untimed mode.
*Note: This is a noisy app — incorrect words receive scolding squawks.
7 Little Words for Kids 7 Little Words for Kids is a great way for younger children to increase their vocabulary and skills in word association, at the same time strengthening their understanding of prefixes and suffixes. Game play is simple. Players string together letters and “half words” from a world bank in order to find a combination that makes a word. Players have a set of eight clues for which they must find eight words. Once they match all eight words with the correct clue, they receive a score. The score is based on accuracy, and players lose points each time they ask for a hint. Once they accumulate a certain number of combine points they unlock the next level. This is a very straightforward game that targets primarily younger children of preschool and early elementary age and helps them to develop crucial spelling and vocabulary skills that will assist them as they progress through school. 7 Little Words for Kids is best suited for children ages 6 through 12, although it can be a fun and engaging game for anyone, as there are some levels with more difficult words.
Words with Friends Words with Friends is a word-building game that challenges players to earn more points than their opponent through the strategic spelling of words. Players are given seven letter blocks that must be placed on a large grid in order to create words. Once the first word is built all other words must build upon it, expanding either horizontally or vertically on the grid. Each letter is worth a specific number of points, and points can be multiplied if letters are placed on special tiles on the game board. As letter blocks are used, new ones replace the old ones until all blocks have been played. The player who accumulates the most points after all blocks have been played wins. Words With Friends features no inappropriate content and is suitable for all ages, but due to the basic reading and spelling requirements, is recommended for ages 8 and up.
Spelling City – This is a fun site that employs spelling and vocabulary words to play playing engaging games using any word list.