Night Zookeeper’s List of 7 Great Word Games for Kids

We’ve compiled a list of fun word games for improving literacy, communication skills and enthusiasm for writing.

Young or old, writing games are a fantastic way to spend quality time with a loved one off-screen. They are also a great way to sneak in some healthy learning. We’ve compiled 7 classic word games for kids that you can try with your children. These word games focus on a range of skills that will help with your child’s cognitive development. From verbal games, to writing exercises, to group activities, we’ve included a diverse grouping of word games and storytelling activities to get your child more interested in creative writing. 

Here’s 7 Fun Word Games to help inspire even the most reluctant readers and writers to start loving creative writing and storytelling. These games focus on improving literacy, language skills and overall enthusiasm for creative writing. 


Consequences is a fantastic group exercise. It challenges kids to work together in a group and be creative. Consequences is a structured folding game with story directions on each fold. The players sit in a circle and pass around a piece of paper to each other. Each player writes a piece of the story on a section of paper and then folds it so that it’s hidden. Once folded, they hand it off to the next player to complete the next part of the story. At the end, the completed story is read aloud and hilarity ensues!

Here’s the standard framework:

  1. Adjective for man:
  2. Man’s name:
  3. Adjective for woman:
  4. Woman’s name:
  5. Where they met:
  6. What they went there for:
  7. What he wore:
  8. What she wore:
  9. What he said to her:
  10. What she said to him:
  11. The consequence (a description of what happened after):
  12. What the world said:

However, if you’d like to give it a Night Zookeeper spin you can follow this framework:

  1. Adjective for a magical animal:
  2. Magical animal’s name:
  3. Adjective for a magical animal:
  4. Magical animal’s name:
  5. Where they met:
  6. What they went there for:
  7. What the first magical animal wore:
  8. What the second magical animal wore:
  9. What the first magical animal said to the second:
  10. What the second said back to the first:
  11. The consequence (a description of what happened after):
  12. What the world said:

Telephone/Chinese Whispers:

Similarly to Consequences, Telephone is a great group activity. This one relies on listening. This game focuses on the art of retelling. Have your group of children line up (or at least have them sit in a circle). The first child comes up with a message and then whispers it into the ear of the person next to them. That second person repeats the message to the third person sitting next to them, and so on. When you finally reach the last player, that person repeats the message out loud to the entire group. This is then compared to the original message. While the intention is to pass along the same message all the way through to the last player, usually the messages are drastically different – to hilarious effect!

Word Search:

For those parents wanting to increase literacy skills within your children, Word Search is a great game to provide such a challenge! Basically, you are challenging the player to find as many words as they can within a grid of words. Words can go up, down and diagonally. They can overlap and can be counted more than once if they form other words. You can purchase pre-populated versions of this game, but it’s also easy to make it from scratch! Draw a grid of squares, placing as many words you can within the grid, in whatever direction. When you can’t fit anymore words, make sure to add random letters into the remaining blank squares. Keep a list at the bottom with the words that your children should be looking for. If you want to increase the difficulty, don’t provide the list and let your children search on their own (they might find more words than intended!). 

I spy (with my little eye!):

I spy is a classic verbal word game for kids. For younger children, verbal games are a really good option to kick-start their creativity and imagination. We recommend trying I spy! This game is appropriate for a broad age range. All you need for this game is your imagination! The first player looks around and picks a word or object for the other players to guess. They then give the other players a clue to help them guess the word or object. The clue can either be the first letter or an adjective. The first player then goes, “I spy with my little eye, something that begins with the letter __”. Or, they can say, “I spy with my little eye, something that is green!” The other players then need to take turns guessing the word. Whoever wins gets to be the spy, next! 

Find Words Within A Word: 

For this game, you’re going to want to brush up on your longer words! Basically, you introduce a long word and challenge the player to find smaller words within the longer word. As long as the letters are in the long word, players race to see how many words they can form from it. For instance, let’s use the word ZOOKEEPER. From this word, you can create words like zoo, keep, rep, peek, poor, peer, poke and poker! This game helps children with their spelling and challenges them to creatively think about vocabulary. 

Birthday Cards:

Having your child write out birthday cards to loved ones and friends is a great way for them to be involved in celebrating, while also getting them to practice their writing! The nice thing about this, is that the other person can keep that piece of writing as a memento. This adds significance to the child’s writing and may encourage them to put more effort into what they are writing. Within the card you can also encourage your child to include some drawings! Creativity really can flourish here. 

Night Zookeeper – Game Centre:

At Night Zookeeper, we’ve always believed in the power of games to help with cognitive development. In fact, we’ve developed an entire gaming centre of creative literacy games for children. Okay, okay; there are more than seven games in this article, but the game centre is accessible in one place. So we’re counting it as the seventh and final option!

Here are the Night Zookeeper literacy games we’ve developed:

Sentence Dash: The whole class can participate together! ‘Sentence Dash’ boosts reading comprehension skills, having children race against the clock (and each other) to spot and press on the mistake before anyone else!

Word Hunt: Children can take the magical animal they create through the ‘Endless Ocean’ in a submarine! This game challenges children to collect adjectives as they go! 

Word Hunt.png

Word Jumble: Children are challenged to grab the falling rocks to complete correct sentences to get their magical animal across the waterfalls as fast as they can! 

Screenshot 2019-04-24 at 15.57.27.png

Word Hop: Children help their magical animal escape an active volcano by jumping onto the platform with the correct spelling. How far can they go before falling into the lava?!

Word Hop.png

Word Climb: Children are challenged to choose the correct synonym to climb up the Whispering Wood’s tallest tree. The game challenges them to see how high they can climb by how many synonyms they can collect within one minute. 

Screen Shot 2019-04-24 at 14.32.13.png

Here at Night Zookeeper, we’re constantly thinking of new ways to make our platform into a fun-to-use accessible program that encourages children to love creative writing. Night Zookeeper offers children the chance to explore their potential and get better at creative writing! Get your child started today!

Try out these helpful games to encourage your child to want to write. Do you have something to add to this list? Please let us know in the comments!

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