Family game night is a wonderful way to bond, relax a bit, and have fun during these challenging times. Here are two easy vocabulary-building games you can play as a family.

I’m Thinking of a Word…


Photographs, pictures, or objects that represent words may be used. (Pairing words with visuals offers more support for young children)


This game is very similar to “I Spy,” except clues include the meaning of words or examples of how the word is used.

  1. Parent explains: “I will tell you some information about the word, but I won’t say the word. It’s your job to tell me the word you think I’m talking about. Let me show you how…” 
  2. Provide the meaning of a target vocabulary word. Here’s an example: “I am thinking of a word that describes how you feel when your birthday is coming soon. We could say when your special day is coming, you feel very  ___________ about it.”
  3. The child provides the correct word, in this case, “excited.”
  4. If the child is unable to come up with the word, provide more information, or even provide the first sound of the word or separate syllables of the word. /ik/ or ex…ci…ted.

Examples of Rich Vocabulary & Clues:

  • Excited: the way you feel when your birthday is coming soon
  • Exhausted: the way you feel when you are really, really super tired
  • Curious: the way you feel when you want to know more about something
  • Determined: the way you feel when you keep trying and don’t give up

Vocabulary Charades

We’ve turned this classic party game into a learning experience!


Objects around the house that may help provide clues for your vocabulary word.


An adult or older sibling thinks of a word that can be acted out and then whispers it to the person whose turn it is. That person then acts out the word while family members try to guess.

Examples of Rich Vocabulary & Acting Clues:

  • Comfort: use a doll to demonstrate ways to comfort a baby
  • Outgrown: try to fit into a coat that she/he has outgrown
  • Search: pretend to be looking carefully for something
  • Ignore: look away and pretend not to pay attention to anyone

Interested in a more structured form of talking, reading and playing with your child? Enjoy daily lessons delivered by real educators.

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