Are you looking for something nerdy-fun to do at home? As a former librarian and English major, I love playing word board games. Discover some of our favorite word games for book lovers, writers, and families, including classics like Balderdash, Scrabble, and Boggle plus newer and adults-only games, too.
I grew up in a household filled with board games. We had Hungry Hippos, Pictionary, Operation, Battleship, and of course, card games like Uno and Old Maid. Can you tell what era I grew up in? I also obsessively watched Garfield and Friends on Saturday mornings.
As I got older and found my true love–books, books, books–my gaming habits matured and got a little more geeky-fabulous. I loved playing word board games like Taboo and Scattergories. Our coat closets nearly burst from the seams with word-themed board games, and as I moved from state to state, I kept a few with me.
With so many games out there today, though, how do you choose the best word board games? Which games are perfect for adults, the whole family, and children? What are the newest word games that everyone is talking about?
Below, discover some of our favorite classic word games along with newer games that are perfect for a rainy day inside with friends and family.
Classic Word Board Games
What are some sentimental classic word games that remind you of your childhood? Here are a few of mine:
Although I’ve never been amazing at Boggle–my mind just doesn’t work like that–set the timer, shake up letters, and watch where they fall. Try to make as many four-letter plus words as you can before time runs out. Super Boggle is a tad bigger so each round lasts for 3-minutes.
Scrabble is probably one of the most well-known classic word board games perfect for ages 8+. Players take turns making words with letter tiles to earn points.
Bananagrams is a word board game like Scrabble fit for the whole family. Players attempt to make crossword word grids and is all about spelling. Bananagrams is super portable and great for traveling. You may also like Pairs In Pears.
One of my favorite word games as a kid, every household needs Scattergories. Roll the letter dice and in a set amount of time, fill in categories using only words that start with that letter. The more unique and longer, the better.
I feel like something about Hangman might not be so PC these days… But, magnetic hangman is perfect for the fridge and travel. If you really want to go old school, grab paper and a pen or chalk and chalkboard.
Mad Libs were all the rage in the 90s. I’m not sure if everyone considers them a ‘board game,’ but they are a fun word game for writers in the making. Grab a pen to fill in the blanks for a half-completed story. Each blank asks for an adjective, noun, or something slightly more specific. Make your narrative as silly or as serious and real as you like.
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Word Board Games Like Scrabble
Are you looking for word board games similar to Scrabble? Try these:
Dabble is a word game that the entire family can play. Recommended for 8+ years old, players race to spell out 5 words using their 20 tiles. Two to four people can participate, and this word creation game is perfect for spelling and vocabulary building.
A fast-paced game perfect for 1 to 10 players, Quiddler asks participants to organize the letter cards in their hands into short words. With each round, players take on more cards and the highest score wins.
Upwords is exactly like Scrabble except that players can build words on top of existing ones. The higher you stack your letters, the more points you earn. Upwords is for 2-4 players, ages 8+.
Be the first person to make a word out of the tiles flipped upside down in the center of the table. But, beware as players can steal your word by adding their own letters.
Family-Friendly Word Board Games
What are some of the best word board games that you can play with the entire family? Here are a few:
There are a ton of versions of the word game, Boggle, and Super Big Boggle is one of them. Imagine Boggle but with a 6×6 letter grid. Players have 6-minutes to create as many words as they can.
Pass The Pen is a fun and fast-paced game for families that incorporates words and drawing. You have 10 seconds to draw a picture while all of the other players have to guess what it is. If someone guesses correctly, you earn points. If not, you pass the pen to the next player.
A lesser-known game of words, Crazy Letters is a fun family-friendly word game for older children, 10+. Can you read a word when its letters are all flipped around? There are both easy and hard words.
Players must think of a word that is pictured on one of their cards. The word must begin with the last letter of the last word used. When you shout out your word first, you discard the card. The first player to get rid of all their cards wins.
Word A Round is an award-winning board game that is fun for everyone. Words are positioned in one continuous ring. Players must figure out where the word starts and be the first to read it aloud.
Created by Ellen DeGeneres, Danger Word is best for ages 10+. Guess the winning word to win, but if you accidentally say the danger word, you lose the card.
If you love games like charades and Pictionary, try It’s In The Bag. There are three rounds: describe the word, describe the word using only one word, and act out the word.
If you need a word guessing board game for family game night, Blank Slate asks players to predict what everyone else is thinking. Write a word to complete the phrase, and earn points if you match only one other person.
Word Board Games For Adults (and Teens)
In need of word games for adults and teens? Try these:
A game recommended for 17+, 4-Bidden Words’ players compete against a timer to guess the Buzz Word without using any of the forbidden words. This adult guessing word board game is recommended for holidays, reunions, and party nights.
Balderdash is the perfect board game for tweens, young adults, and adults. Players roll the dice for one of 5 categories: famous people, words, initials, laws, and movies. Each player writes down what they think the real definition or explanation is while one player records the correct answer. Players then vote on which answer they think is right.
Codenames is a contemporary and social word board game recommended for ages 14+, best with 4 players. Teams compete to see who can make contact with all of their secret agents first. Spymasters give one-word clues, which indicate multiple words on the board. Teammates must avoid guessing words that belong to their opponents. Don’t get caught by the assassin.
A classic word game for adults and teens, Taboo is recommended for 13+. We love to play this one around the holidays. Guess the word based on clues without saying the forbidden word.
Recommended for 17+, compete to create the funniest memes. What Do You Meme? is a newer word board game for adults only that is sure to make you laugh. You can also order expansion packs.
What Other Word Board Games Do You Love?
What are some of the best word board games that you’ve played or created? Are there any word games that we are missing that you absolutely love? Let us know in the comments.