Word games are a great resource for learning new words, building your vocabulary, and getting a rush of the feel-good hormones all at once, and that is just as true for adults as it is for kids. Word games can help people of all ages by stimulating their brains, improving their spelling ability (which is just as important in the workplace as it is in the classroom), as well as enhancing their cognitive and concentration skills. So, instead of planning to watch a movie during your next family night, why not try out one of these top word games that are perfect for the whole family?
A tried and tested classic, Scrabble is a game that can be enjoyed by the whole family (but will most likely give your most gifted linguist the most satisfaction). This word game was invented by American Architect Alfred Mosher Butts during the Great Depression, whose goal was to create a game that could lift the spirits of the many people who were suffering from the effects of economic turmoil and the mental strain of living with an uncertain future. Now sold in over 120 countries, with the license for the USA version owned by Hasbro, Scrabble remains a go-to game for family game nights. If you are playing with younger members of the family and don’t have access to Scrabble Junior, a site like Unscramble.me, which is an English language anagram word unscrambler, could help them even the playing field a little bit.
A derivative of Scrabble that has since gained its own share of fans thanks to its unique twist on the classic, Upwords is a popular game choice for kids and adults alike. Instead of focusing on building words on a flat board like Scrabble, Upwords tasks players with building words upwards, stacking letters higher and higher for higher and higher scores. The higher the stack, the more it is worth, making strategy and word choice key factors to achieving victory. Played with two to four people, players start with seven letter tiles and, unlike in Scrabble, every tile is worth the same amount. This makes scoring a lot easier overall. Bonus points are awarded should a player be able to use all seven tiles in a single turn, making longer words more valuable overall.
Codenames is a deceptively easy board game that can be played in-person or online by two to eight players. This guessing game tasks two teams of players with the job of deciphering a series of codenames based on clues given out by the rival team’s spymaster. The trick is that all of the words they can choose from are also related to the codenames, with some of them belonging to the enemy team (these are to be avoided at all costs). This 2016 winner of the prestigious international game awards, the Spiel Des Jahres, has several different editions, including some specifically designed with families in mind. For example, the Codenames: Disney Family Edition is geared towards younger players and features a 4×4 grid rather than the standard 5×5 grid used by the original version.
Word games are a great addition to a family fun night, as long as no one takes the scoring too personally. These are just some of the fantastic word game options available to players looking to improve their vocabulary and impress their friends, family, and coworkers. For gamers catering particularly to younger players, there are a host of free and paid apps available online that can help take your game night to the next level.