10 Awesome Word Games For Dads to Play with Kids

Alright, let’s get this dad-powered game time rolling with a blend of classics and a dash of fresh twists to keep those little rascals engaged and maybe, just maybe, accidentally learning something. Buckle up, because we’re diving into the land of wordplay, where dads become heroes armed with nothing but their wits and possibly a dad joke or two (or ten).

All the games in this list we are focussing on games with these characteristics:

  • They don’t require any special pieces or preparation
  • They are constructive, meaning they offer some brain exercise and educational value
  • They can be played almost anywhere
  • Family-friendly
  • Promotes listening and attention skills
  • The rules can be adjusted as needed

Got it? let’s get started!

Word Game Ideas that Dads Can Play With Kids

1. Dad-libs

It’s like Mad Libs, but with more groans and eye rolls. Dad creates a story with words provided by the kids. 

Dad starts by asking each kid who is playing the game for words/names to use in his story. Send me something like “Timmy give me a name for an ugly alligator”. Timmy would say something like “Grumbly Greg”. 

Then ask each other child for a silly word for any of the people, places, or things that will be in the story. Kids offer up their most creative ideas without knowing the context. Dad then takes these suggested words and uses them to craft 

2. Sneaky Words

Ever feel like your kids aren’t listening to you? Sneaky Words is a game all about paying attention. It provides great practice for kids who could use some help hanging onto every word mom or dad says.

To play sneaky words dad and kids take turns trying to sneak a random word into a casual conversation without anyone noticing. If someone detects the sneak, they shout “Sneaker!” 

Points go to whoever catches the word. If no one notices the word, then the sneaker gets a point. 

3. Rhyme Time

Simple, classic, and yet, a minefield for the unprepared. Dad says a word, and the kids have to come up with as many rhyming words as possible. For an extra challenge, Dad can require rhymes all fit a specific category. For example, only things you find in the kitchen or the zoo.

Example: Dad says broom. Kids would list as many words as they can that rhyme with broom. Zoom, doom, room, tomb, um plume? See it is harder than you think.

This game is an easy way to spend quality family time. If you are looking for more ideas for family time, check out this list of family-friendly games.

4. Alliteration Assault

I play this with my five-year-old any time we are waiting somewhere like a restaurant or waiting room. The game is simple, try to come up with the longest sentence possible using only words that start with the same letter. 

For example: Leo leopard lazily lets loose. Or, sister sits so simply somewhere. 

The sentence needs to make sense, it can’t just be random words thrown together. However, we play loose with the grammar.  Most words in a sentence wins!

5. Alphabet Soup

Sometimes you need a simple game that can occupy and entertain a group of kids for a short period. Alphabet Soup is a perfect game that works a bit like I Spy in reverse. 

Each player gets a letter of the alphabet, and they have a set amount of time to find objects around the house that start with that letter. It can be done around the house or any other setting where the kids can run around a bit without causing trouble.

This is a great game to entertain kids at social events and other occasions where there isn’t much activity that will interest kids (think any social gathering where adults are sitting around visiting).

Let’s face it, sometimes it’s just about occupying kids to keep them from causing trouble or squabbling with one another. In some situations that is easier said than done. For more ideas, you may be interested in this list of things to do with kids when the power goes out

6. Story Chain 

Dad starts a story with one sentence. Each kid adds a sentence, but here’s the twist: each new sentence must start with the next letter of the alphabet. 

For example, if Dad says “A long time ago in a dirty, dusty, town there lived an old cowboy.” The next person up would need to start their sentence with a “b” word.

Watch as the story turns from a simple tale into a wild, alphabetical adventure

7. Synonym Rolls

Like cinnamon rolls, but for your brain. Dad says a word, and the kids have to come up with as many synonyms as they can. For every synonym, dads and kids can pretend to eat an imaginary synonym roll. 

This goofy pastime will delight and educate young minds and hopefully satiate their appetites until dinner!

8. Homophone Hustle

This is another word game that is so much fun the kids won’t even realize they are learning. It will also challenge Dad to know is homophones, or at least have a list prepared ahead of time.

Each child will take a turn. Dad throws out a homophone pair (like “night” and “knight”), and the child must come up with a sentence that includes both. They must do this successfully in a pre-determined amount of time to be awarded a point.

After a set number of rounds, with each child having the same number of attempts, the winner is determined and crowned the “Homophone Hustler”.

9. Secret Word

in this contest to see who can guess the secret word. Everyone playing is grouped in teams of two. The goal is simple: Try to guess the secret word based on clues given by your Teammate.

The teammate providing the clues cannot say the secret word. They must give hints to their teammate to help them guess it within a set amount of time. 

Teams alternate Who is giving the clues and who is guessing the secret word. After a certain number of rounds, each team has had an equal number of chances in the game. 

10. Globe Trotters

While technically this may not be considered a word game, it can be played by just talking and doesn’t require any other game pieces. So that this way even though it is more of a Geography style game, you can still play it in a car or about anywhere just using words.  

It’s a very simple game where. The goal is to name cities that are further apart than your opponents.

Kids and dad would start the return by saying “I live in the blank and I am going to travel to blank”. For example, someone could say “I live in Atlanta, Georgia and I am going to travel to Beijing”. Then someone else would say “I live in Houston, Texas and I am going to travel to Tokyo. 

After everyone has said the city they live in a city they want to travel to this phone to look up the distance between those cities whoever’s cities are furthest apart wins.

Wrap Up

There you have it, a treasure trove of dad-approved word games that will make you the reigning monarch of merriment in your household. Just remember, the real victory here is not in winning, but in joyfully passing the time while you wait or travel with your kiddos! (And don’t forget to include Mom, unless she just wants a break.)

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