Monday, September 4, 2017

12 Best Word Games for Writers

The Best Non-Digital Games for Writers

If you want to keep your word prowess sharp, whether you're a writer, a teacher, a parent, or a child, this list is for you. Games engage the mind and when the game is FUN, you're likely to remember new knowledge. So choose a game from this list, grab some friends, and have a wonderful WORDY time!

12 Best Word Games for Writers || writing games, word games, popular games for writers, board games for writers, verbal word games, word games to play with writers

Board Games

While their are dozens of games to choose from, these games are likely to be your best bet when it comes to gaming with words. Some are classics, but the rest should be.

  1. Scrabble. This is the epitome of the classic board game for writers. Of course, millions of non-writers play this game too. Build words and win points. The most clever wordster will win.
  2. Boggle. A noisy option for a word game. Shake the plastic container and let the letters fall in place. Race against others - and the egg timer - to see who can make the most words from the letters you're dealt.
  3. Upwords. Similar to Scrabble, but you can build on top of previous words. And the scoring is different. Growing up, I played this game with my mom all the time. So, this is one of my personal classic favorites.
  4. Bananagrams. If you haven't heard of this game, you're missing out. A little yellow pouch shaped like a banana holds all the letter tiles. Each person shouts SPLIT, PEEL, and DUMP in a race to build words crossword puzzle style. The winner gets to shout BANANAGRAMS.  
  5. Balderdash. This game is a trivia and bluffing game. Be prepared to laugh out loud with this one. The trivia categories are weird words, movies, notable people, incredible initials, and laughable laws. You are using your "storytelling" skills to convince others of the right definition, especially when you don't have a clue. With categories that have to do with words and initials, a writer could really fall in love with this game.
  6. Apples to Apples. Even teachers use the Apples to Apples for Kids version in classrooms to help children learn the value of comparisons. You have to stretch your mind to find the best description from a handful of cards to match a different - perhaps seemingly unrelated - item on a another card. This word game is sure to make you laugh!

Paper Games

While there may be many more word games out there that only use paper and pencil, these seem to be among the most popular, even iconic.

  1. Crossword Puzzles. This is the iconic symbol of writers everywhere. What writer has never worked a crossword puzzle? If you're a writer and you've never done a crossword puzzle, I'd LOVE to know in the comments. When I was a kid, I got a giant wall crossword puzzle for my birthday one year. I spent many, many hours working on that puzzle, with my nose stuck in a dictionary. Unfortunately, I never did finish it. I got pretty close, but honestly, I think there were lots and lots of errors (and no solution available). At least I couldn't "cheat" right?
  2. Word Search Puzzles. Another favorite among wordsters. You can buy books with a theme. Cats. Dogs. Animals. You name it. Not as rewarding to some as the classic crossword, but it still passes the time and your brain learns to look for patterns.
  3. The Daily Jumble and Cryptoquips. These two games are typically found in the comics section of your local newspaper (along with crosswords and word searches). They are both forms of unscrambling. The Daily Jumble scrambles up common words and there's a puzzle at the end to describe an illustration. Cryptoquips are coded messages that you must figure out what each letter stands for. For example: P XT X SLPBOL would decode and read "I AM A WRITER."
  4. Word Lists. Another fun one, especially in classrooms, is when a long word or a short phrase, such as HAPPY VALENTINE'S DAY is used as a "letter bank" for children to create as many words as possible. It's a fun little challenge and usually the one who writes the most words wins a prize.

Verbal Games

Finally, here are two simple games you can play, even if you don't own one of the board games above or if you don't have pencil or paper handy.

  1. Alphabet Trip. Remember the looooong "list" game? "I'm going on a trip to _______ and I'm going to take with me an A_______ (apple)." Then the next person repeats from A, B, C, etc. and fills in with the next letter on their turn. "I'm going on a trip to _______ and I'm going to take with me an Apple, a Bear, a Candy bar, and a Dinosaur." You can even make it more challenging by limiting it to only food, or fruit, or animals, or office supplies!
  2. License Plates. This is a game if you really ARE going a trip, even if it's just to the office supply store down the street. There is no winner in this game. It's just to see who can come up with the funniest phrases the fastest. License plate: WHB. Of course you can use any words you like, but to challenge yourself, try for adjective, noun, then verb. For example, Watery Horses Blubber. 

Sooooo... the next time you're trying to think of a word game to play, choose one off this list. They're some of the best games for writers out there!

Got another favorite word game? Share in the comments!

Keep on keepin' on...



  1. I remember countless road trips spent playing the alphabet game with my siblings!

  2. Rebecca, road trips are awesome! My siblings and I played the alphabet game while bouncing a ball back and forth between us.


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