7 Fun Family Literacy Games

This is a great time of year to find great deals and stock up on some really awesome family fun games. Board games are really authentic ways to develop your child’s literacy skills. Many of them require reading, listening, speaking and thinking by the players. Here are a few, we recommend that every family add to their collection and play this holiday season.  These are games kids, teens, and adults will all enjoy playing together.  This holiday season, introduce these fun games to your family for hours of rousing entertainment and embedded learning. We recommend these games for kids with a grade 3 reading level and above.

Apples to Apples Junior

This is a game of crazy comparisons that expands both a child’s vocabulary and thinking skills. Children are learning grammar as they select the best nouns that correspond to the verbs, displayed on cards, to win each round.  Another great thing about this game is, you have to be persuasive and get the judge of each round to select your card combinations as the best choice.  Therefore, speaking and making a rationale argument are also skills that are being developed.  This game is great for any child reading on a third grade level and their family. A minimum of four players is needed, but the more the merrier. Kids love this game, and grown-ups do too, as it provides hours of learning and fun without the kids even realizing that school is in session.

Kid’s and Family Scavenger Hunt

Scavenger Hunts are loads of fun for kids and adults alike. This game is really great because it has options for both indoor and outdoor play.  It also can be enjoyed by a multi age level group of players and it requires cooperation as teams must work together to win against opposing teams.  There are two levels of playing cards for kids and adults. The kid cards are for non-readers and have pictures on them. The adult cards can actually be used by children reading on a third grade level and above.  This game also incorporates lots of movement so you are sure to get a little workout as you race to find your items and get back before the other team. A great game to sharpen vocabulary skills and also creative thinking as sometimes you have to think of ways to present items that are not readily available.


Calling together music lovers of all ages, this hilarious game is good for hours of family fun.  You simply hear a word and begin belting out the lyrics to songs that reference the word in it. No Talent is required, just enthusiasm and spontaneity.  The great thing about this game is that it has such great crossover appeal and it bridges the generational divide while introducing an eclectic range of music genres as music from various eras are showcased. Fun way to find out what your children have been listening too! You may be very surprised by their range of musical knowledge and influences.  Great for small and big groups, family game nights and parties. Memory recall is improved and word association skills developed while playing this game. It can also be played numerous times because each game is unique to the players and the trigger words they use. Thinking skills are also required while playing this game as Spontuneous challenge cards provide for an opportunity for even greater fun.


Children really love this game, and the adults have big fun too, as they try to figure out what person, place or thing is on their head.  A great spin on the traditional guessing game. Literacy is incorporated by asking a series of questions that will get each player closer to being able to guess the name on the card on their head, which everyone can see except them.  There are 6 head bands available, however additional players can be added by modifying the game. The game is for ages 8 and above. However, some mature 6 yr. olds have shown themselves to be very skillful at this game. Prepare yourself for hours of laughter and great family fun.

Don’t Say It

This is a great variation of the popular adult game Taboo. Great for kids ages 6 and up along with their families.  Similar to Taboo, the objective of the game is to get your team to say a word without using three commonly associated words. The guess words selected are simple enough for kids to be able to provide clue words that will get their team to figure out the word, without much parental assistance. Also, there are different levels of word difficulty that the adults can choose to use throughout the game. This game is much more affordable than Taboo Jr., a great price for the value. Literacy skills such as word association and vocabulary are being improved while playing this fun game.


An award winning, National Parent Seal and Teachers Choice Award, game that develops memory, concentration and imagination.  Great for children 6 up and the entire family.  Parents can assist attentive 4 and 5 year olds. Each player is given an image that they stare at and pay attention to the details before the timer runs out.  The images are captivating to look at and very kid friendly.  The children are asked questions about the image and advance throughout the game as they answer questions correctly.  This game keeps kids and adults thoroughly entertained.  The literacy skills that are strengthened by playing this game are visual recall and reading to recall details.

5 Second Rule Jr.

This is a fun game that is suitable for a mixed age group. You must name 3 things in a category in 5 seconds.  It is a fast pace game that generates lots of laughs as the pressure of the timer lends to some interesting responses.  The game is played by three or more players and you can play as many rounds as time permits. A round is when every player is given a category to begin with.  Naming three answers in a category, within 5 seconds, gets you a card and the play passes to the next player. The round is complete when each player has had a turn. You can modify the game by creating a point system. For example, the first player to reach 10 or 21 wins the game. Each card is given a point value. The fun can last for as long as you like or end according to what is best for your time constraints.

Literacy education doesn’t have to be boring for kids! In fact, it can be a great deal of fun. These games provide wonderful opportunities to enhance and develop your child’s literacy skills through meaningful interactions with friends and family.

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