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Smart Word Games

Word games are NOT all the same!  Find word and letter games that make gifted kids (and adults) think, laugh, and test their mental flexibility...

More great word and letter games at Top Games and Toys, , MindWare and Discovery Store! and many more - all the links on Shop Hoagies! - are all Hoagies' Gifted Education Page affiliates. Purchase through Hoagies' Page links, and these stores give a small percentage to Hoagies' Page at no cost to you. Thanks!

Board Games Card Games Classic Games Collaborative Games Construction Toys Hands-On Toys History Games Klutz Books Math Games Paper & Pencil Party Games Puzzle Books STEM Toys Strategy Games Word Games Young Children Toy Companies

1-2-3 OY! and A-B-C OY! card games (numbers or letters) for the younger folks, multi-player or solitaire... lots of fun!
AmuseAmaze (ages 8+)
More than just a spelling game, a fun-filled lexical labyrinth of quick words and quicker wits, a word game where words don't have to be the biggest to be the best. Players form words by using the letter tiles and the letters printed on the board, and move through the maze. The first player to make their way through the colored target spaces, and reach the end of the maze wins... a different game every time you play!
Fast-paced family fun game, where common knowledge becomes uncommonly fun!
Apples to Apples, Party Box Edition (ages 12+) The Game of Hilarious Comparisons
This game receives rave reviews from our gifted community, for family or group fun!
Also check out...  (And for a full list of the words in each set, visit Munching Apples fan site)
Apples to Apples 7+
Apples to Apples Junior (ages 9+)
Party Box Expansion #1 and Party Box Expansion #2 more apples, more fun!
Bananagrams Recommended (2 or more players, ages 7 and up, younger for language / spelling gifted kids)
Grab more tiles, and reorganize existing tiles into new words - the banana bag stores the game and rules when they're not in use.  Great for vocabulary building or spelling practice, too!  And try Spanish Bananagrams!  And Jumbo Bananagrams with twice the tiles, for an extra large crowd!
Blurt! (3-12 players, ages 10+) The uproarious word race game!
Blurt!, off the market for several years, is back and better than ever. Think fast! What word means "a partially dried grape"? Be the first to say "raisin," and you're on your way to winning this riotous game of rapid word recall. Players take turns reading clues aloud, competing to blurt out the correct answer first and move ahead on the board. The first person or team to circle the board wins. Sounds simple, but as the race for the right word heats up, and the blurting gets boisterous, it's easy to get tongue-tied! Great vocabulary builder for kids, hilarious addition to adult parties and family game night...
Boggle (2-6 players, ages 8 and up) The original 3-minute word search game!
Shake up the lettered cubes, drop them into the grid and start the timer.  Then race to see who can list the most words with the highest point value among the random letter assortment in the grid!  Or try Boggle Jr. or Boggle To Go
Dixit Recommended (3-6 players, ages 8 and up) A picture is worth a thousand words!
Hands consist of oversized cards with various artistic pictures. The active player selects one of his cards and gives a brief description. The other players select their own cards which match the description. The chosen cards are shuffled and revealed, then players vote on which was chosen by the active player. Each correct answer gives points to the guesser and the active player. Each incorrect answer gives points to the player who submitted the guessed card. However, if all of the guesses are correct -- or none of them are -- then the active player gets no points and all the other players get points...
Faux-cabulary The outrageous game of wild new words! (ages 13 and up) by Out of the Box
First, a crazy definition is read to the group. Next, players use the wacky word parts to create wildly funny new words to fit the definition. Each new word is read out loud, and the "Wordmeister" picks the best one. Faux·Cabulary—it's where new words come from...
Heximania (2-4 players, ages 6 and up, mixed abilities) by Educational Insights
Spinning the board as you go, take turns placing letter tiles and earning points for each word you build. As long as letters are adjacent and in the proper sequence, words may be read in any direction - up, down, backwards, forwards, or in a sweeping swirl! Can be played at all skill levels; perfect for the entire family...
Hit or Miss 3-8 players, ages 10 and up (gifted kids even younger!)
Draw a category card and in 45 seconds, list as many related words that come to mind. When the timer runs out, roll the die - if it lands on HIT, pick a word that you think everyone wrote; if it lands on MISS, pick one that only you wrote. Choose wisely and score big points...
In A Pickle (10 and up)
Creative thinking and outrageous scenarios. Try to win a set of cards by fitting smaller things into bigger things -- a baby goes in a bathtub, which is in a house, in Hollywood. Play the fourth word card to claim the set, unless one of your opponents can trump with a larger word...
Instructures (10 and up)
See it, say it, build it! Two teams race against each other to be the first to build a structure with the blocks provided, but only the “Foremen” get to see the blueprint. Good verbal communication is the key to winning! The game is complicated by challenges to keep it fresh every time: silent foreman, memory challenges, blind foreman and timed challenges...
Jumbulaya The Rearranging, Ever Changing Word Jumble Game (ages 8+)
An addictive, multifaceted word strategy game.  Work with 5 letter tiles on your tray and all the letters on the board, rearranging, adding and trading them, building and claiming longer and longer words each turn. As you build words horizontally, keep your eyes peeled for a Jumbulaya, a 7-, 8-, or 9-tile word that can be spelled vertically on the board. Plan multiple moves ahead to create longer and longer words. Earns points for all lines you claim, bonus points for using "letter-combo" tiles, and even more points for being the first to find a Jumbulaya. The player who earns the most points, wins!
Keesdrow Deluxe Recommended by Pywacket (2 to 6 players or more in teams, also a great solitaire game)
The ultimate word seek game!  Real wooden tiles contain 4 letters each, double-sided for more combinations, and then distributed in an 8x8 board - it's a new challenge with each game.  Find words in adjacent letters, use letters your opponent already used for double or triple points, but watch out for "red" letters... Or try Keesdrow, a smaller version, created in plastic
Kerflip Fast Anagram Fun!
Exciting, shoot-from-the-hip style word game that rewards you for making words faster than your opponents can. The first time a tile is used, it’s worth 10 points. Once it’s been scored, flip it to its orange side. Now it’s worth only 5 points to other players!
Klutz Books Recommended
From paper airplanes to Legos, marbles and jacks, from juggling to peg solitaire to desktop football, from knitting and sewing to watercolor art to thumbprint art... There are so many of these great books, they get their own Hoagies page!
Last Word The uproarious race to have the final say! (2-8 players, ages 8+)
Subject: “Vegetables”…Letter: “C". Players race opponents and the random-interval timer to yell them out…Carrots! Cucumbers! Corn! Cauliflower! ‘tick-tick’… The player with the Last Word in before the timer sounds advances…Oh! Celery! BZZZT!
Legends of Druidawn
This creative writing game inspires reluctant children to get words onto paper. 
In the Beginning...  A Crucial Message from the Sleeping Guardian:

I beseech you, do not read any further into this visionary document before you have first heard my tale. For I hold the secret to the creation of Druidawn, and in fact, the knowledge to all realms of human myth. It was my people who brought the gift of magic to Earth thousands of years ago, before there were castles and knights, before the construction of the Grecian temples, when the great Egyptian pyramids were nothing but sketches in the sand...  Also visit Legends of Druidawn Creative Writing Solutions and the companion website The World of Druidawn
Letter Roll Everybody's Word Game! (ages 13 and up) by Out of the Box
Roll the special dice and flip the timer. Players race to list words containing the three letters shown on the dice. Only words listed by a single player score points so players are rewarded for their speed and creative thinking... Adjust the difficulty for various levels by requiring older / more verbal players to create longer words.
Magnetic A to Z
There's more to do with magnetic letters than you can imagine!
My Word and My Word Junior by Out of the Box
Fast-paced word-building card game - Junior has more vowels and less difficult letters in the deck
Obscurity (ages 8+ / 3rd grade+) by Educational Insights
Find all the words you can on the card, but beware, words found by other players get removed from the score!
Once Upon a Time: The Storytelling Card Game (all ages)
Players create a story together, using cards that show typical elements from fairy tales. One player is the Storyteller, and creates a story using the ingredients on her cards. She tries to guide the plot towards her own ending. The other players try to use cards to interrupt her and become the new Storyteller. The winner is the first player to play out all her cards and end with her Happy Ever After card... Also play Once Upon a Time: Enchanting Tales, Once Upon a Time: Knightly Tales, Once Upon a Time: Seafaring Tales, Once Upon a Time: 3rd Edition, Create-Your-Own Storytelling Cards, and Once Upon A Time Writer's Handbook  
Quiddler Recommended the short word game, from the creators of SET
Create words from the letters in your hand, starting with three-letter words and growing each round.  But beware, the longest word isn't always the best!
Rattled (two players or teams, all ages gifted: as soon as kids can spell words) by Educational Insights
Shake the letters, and race to find the longest word!
Rory's Story Cubes by Gamewright
Let your imagination roll wild with Rory's Story Cubes! This pocket-sized creative story generator provides hours of imaginative fun for all ages. Roll the Story Cubes, nine dice with a different icon on each side, and look at the face up images. Pick an image to start your story. Beginning with "Once upon a time...", make up a story that somehow links all 9 face up images. There are no wrong answers!  Also available as an Android or iTunes app.
Rummy Roots and More Roots by Eternal Hearts
 There are 4 different card games in one deck. Each game (or level) is designed to be fun and stress-free for children and adults alike!
Scattergories The classic fast-thinking categories game (2-6 players, ages 12+)
Right off the top of your head name a restaurant, fruit, toy, Halloween costume, and weapon--and make sure your answers all begin with the same initial letter. There's 144 different categories to challenge your mind...
Scrabble Classic Edition
After 50 years, it's still the best word game in the world!  Also Scrabble, Jr., Scrabble Game Folio (Travel), Deluxe Turntable Scrabble, and Scrabble Premier Wood Edition
Sentence Says
A think-fast game of sentence creation. Form a sentence with words starting with the letters on the letter cards you draw on your turn-but be quick, before time runs out! A roll of the die determines if you have 30, 45, or 60 seconds to make your sentence. Draw G, R, Q, B, L, and I, and create... Queen Isabella likes big red grapes; or maybe: Growing irritated, Robert quits lottery betting.  Bonus points for following your action card...
Roll six large dice; two dice have only vowels, four dice have only consonants. All players use the same dice on the same turn. Players copy the letters from the dice onto paper. Use as many of the dice as you can, add as many letters as you need. Expand your vocabulary and the lengths of the words you use by adding on prefixes like: "dis", "un" or "pre". Score more points and build your vocabulary using suffixes like: "ably", "ment", and "ness"...
Quick to learn, always fun and challenging.  Players shout out words as they see them, taking them from the center or stealing from their opponents...
Speedeebee! (ages 8+, 2-8 players) by Blue Orange Games
Try to find words containing or excluding the letters shown on the dice. For example: "Name an object you can fit into a pocket containing the blue letter." The first player to call out a correct response wins the card and reads the next challenge. When the cards run out, whoever has the most cards in the hive wins. Unqiue word challenges and dice combinations make Speedeebee different every time it's played!
Splickety Lit (ages 14+, 4+ players) You'll Baff Your Lutt Off
The Idea : Answer trivia as spoonerisms, words with beginning consonants flipped. The Brains : Build focus while improving auditory processing & listening comprehension. The Ah-Ha : Teams face off in Rattle Bounds & Beam Tattles to be first to get from Fart to Stinish. Includes : Game board, 500 question cards (2000 questions), 50 "Rattle Bound" cards, 2 "Pame Geeses" (game pieces), 1 Die...
Spot It (ages 7+, or as soon as gifted kids read sight words well, 2-8 players) by Blue Orange Games
Simple to learn, but hard to master. Match two cards by picture, word, or one of each. There's only one match per pair of cards, Spot It develops visual perception and matching skills. Practice quick mental processing and sharpen cognitive skills in a fun game. Also available Spot It On the Road, Spot It MLB, Spot It NHL or Spot It Golf. Holiday fun, Spot It Halloween!  For the younger kids, play Spot It Jr. Animals, Spot It Alphabet, Spot It Numbers & Shapes, or Spot It Basic English.  And for foreign language fun, Spot It Basic Spanish or Spot It Basic French!
Story Dice by Thinkamingo
Another pair of story-creation apps, for Android and iTunes devices.
Tell Tale (ages 8+, 2-8 players) by Blue Orange Games
A new option to traditional storybooks, your little one can choose a few of these images for you to tell short stories, or continue the previous player's story.  Develops literacy skills and concept imagery, with unlimited possibilities and four game variations, Tell Tale unlocks the creativity within everyone! Also available in Tell Tale Fairy Tales
Think A Grams Beginner, Intermediate, and Advanced (C-1), (C-2) (or buy e-books from The Critical Thinking Co.) and
Word Winks (or from Amazon)
Find the common phrase in the word/picture...
Answer below...
ThinkFun (was Binary Arts) great logic puzzles and games for all ages (mostly labeled 8 years and up, but great for gifted kids much younger)
What's Gnu? Smart Mouth for the younger set, ages 4-8, how many words can be crafted when you only know two out of three letters?
Smart Mouth Stretch your vocabulary and quick thinking skills - great new addition!
Word Sense take turns flipping letter tiles and racing to think up words that contain those letters. Be the first to correctly call out a word, and keep the tiles. Tiles and dice fit neatly into the travel case...
Word XChange A battle to the last word
A lightning-fast game that's a battle to make and keep words. First to spell out six words with letter tiles wins. Other players can steal words and make them their own. Keep spelling, stealing & spelling some more!  Or try Word XChange Jr.
Word Drop
It’s not who gets the last word but who gets the most words.  A cross between Scrabble and Connect Four, form as many words as possible going up, down, forward and backward.  But be careful: your opponent is watching and ready to steal your words!
Word on the Street by Out of the Box 
Hilarious Tug of Words Game! On each turn, one team flips over a category card. Team members frantically brainstorm words that fit the category while opposition tries to sidetrack them. The team must agree on a word one lane closer to their side of the street, all before the time runs out... Also try Word on the Street Jr.
You've Been Sentenced (3-10 players, ages 8+)
Using a unique word deck of pentagon shaped cards containing conjugations of funny words, famous names from throughout history, familiar places, and wild cards, players have to make grammatically correct and justifiable sentences. The real fun begins when players have to read their sentences out loud and explain what they mean to the rest of players. They form the jury and vote thumbs up or down on whether the sentence and justification stand and the points are scored...

Think A Gram answer: three degrees below zero!

Mensa Select!

Last updated December 01, 2020

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