15 Fun Games and Puzzles to Improve Your English
Learning English is no walk in the park. It can take hours of every day; it can take months and even years to become an accomplished English speaker, but English games or puzzles can make it easier and more fun.
There are many English games and puzzles that can improve your English in a fun and effective way.
Some English games require more than one person, while some need a little preparation beforehand. But once you have prepared these games, they can be used again and again!
So, take a look! See if you would be able to challenge your own, your friends and your family’s English skills in these exciting and funny games!
1 - Heads up
This is a very fun game that requires more than 2 people to play.
For this game, you can use an app on your phone, but for learning English it may be better to make your own set of cards.
You need a set of cards that each have the name of a famous person, a song, a movie, a place, etc. You pick up a card from the top of the pack without looking at it.
Then you place it on your forehead so that the other people can see. Then, they must describe that word to you without telling you the word itself. It is a really exciting game that helps you to come up with words and sentences on the spot to describe something.
Every time you get guess a card correctly, you pick up a new card. The person with the most cards at the end wins!
Here is a video of how Heads Up is played. The link for the APP is also available on this website.
2 - Scrabble
This is a classic board game that has been around for many years. There must be 2 people or more to play this game.
The aim of the game is to think of as many words as possible using some of the 7 letters that you have been given. You then place your word on the board on a particular spot.
Some spots on the board have special powers to improve your score. Each letter also has a score. If you can make a word successfully on the board, you write down your score.
The other players can use letters from your word to make their word too. The person with the highest score at the end wins!
This is a fantastic game to improve your spelling and to use the vocabulary that you already know.
It is also great for counting; why don’t you try counting your scores in English?
3 - Pictionary
This game involves drawing skills as well as speaking skills.
One person picks a word card out of a hat, for example, “swimming”. That person needs to draw a picture of “swimming”! And the other people must guess what the picture is.
There are 5 groups to choose from for this game.
They are (person, place, animal), object, action, difficult words, and all play.
The players have only one minute to guess the word before time runs out! It is a super way to recall vocabulary both for drawing and for guessing the word.
Plus, it is very fun to watch your friends draw some terrible pictures!
4 - Stop the bus
Many school children played this game, but it is a wonderful tool for learning English even as an adult.
For this game, you need at least two people to play. Each person has a piece of paper and they make categories on the pace such as Animal, Place, Food/drink, Clothes, Sport, etc.
Write all of the letters from A – Z on to pieces of paper and put them in a box.
One person picks a letter from the box (without looking). Then players need to fill in the categories using that letter to start each word, all against the clock!
For example, if you pick letter B, your words could be, Bear, Belgium, Banana, Boots, Basketball.
If you are the first player to complete all of the categories, you must say “Stop the bus!” and everyone must stop writing immediately.
It’s an exciting game so try it! You can choose the time limit based on your English level.
5 - 20 Questions
This is a classic “yes/no” answer game. One player chooses a person, place or thing.
For example, a computer. The other players must ask questions to find out what the word is, BUT the person can only answer using ‘Yes’ or ‘No’, for example, “Is it living?” “No”, “Is it an object?” “Yes!” “Can we eat it?” “No”, and so on.
It’s a great way to help you with forming questions in order to get the answer.
6 - 30 Seconds
30 seconds is another fun guessing game where you have a set of cards with the names of famous people, movies, TV shows, Food, Places, Songs, etc.
This time, player 1 has a list of 5 words that he or she needs to describe to the other players so that they can guess what it is, all within 30 seconds.
For example, if the word is ‘pizza’, player 1 can say ‘It is a delicious food, it comes from Italy, it has cheese and tomatoes on the top, it is a circle…’
What a great way to put your mind to the test, all in 30 seconds!
7 - Taboo
Taboo is one of the most popular games to learn English with.
It is a famous game but it is also very helpful for using vocabulary and forming detailed sentences.
In this game, players must divide into teams, let’s say, three teams. Then, one person from each team must choose a word from a hat and try to describe it to their teammates without saying the word itself.
If the teammates cannot guess it, the word must go back into the hat.
It is similar to 30 seconds except this game consists of teams. Go, team!
8 - Word of the Day
This is a fantastic website that you can join, and it will send you a brand-new word each day.
It gives you the meaning of the word and also some example sentences so that you understand how to use it correctly.
There are also quizzes available if you want to test your knowledge!
9 - Word Shark
Another classic game from our school days! This is a game designed to improve spelling as well as for recalling vocabulary.
Only two people are required to play this game.
One person thinks of a word and draws spaces to show how many letters are in the word. The other person must guess a letter to see if it is in the word.
For each guess, they make that is incorrect, a body part is drawn above a very hungry shark in the water.
If the whole body is drawn without the word being guessed, the other person loses, however, if they guess the word correctly, then they win!
One important rule for this game; you may choose to guess the whole word if you think you know what is it. BUT, if you are wrong, then you will fall straight into the Shark’s mouth, game over!
10 - Word Chain
The name of this game is a hint of what it is all about! “Word Chain”, you have to build a chain of words.
Ideally, there should be two players but you can play this one alone if you want to!
You must write down a word, and the last letter of that word must be the first letter of the next word!
For example; Forest ends with the letter T. So the next word needs to start with T like Tiger.
Now let’s have a look at a word chain; Forest -> Tiger -> Russia -> Apple -> England -> Dog -> Gift, and so on.
Rules; You cannot plural words and you cannot repeat any words along the chain.
How long can you make it?
11 - Crossword puzzles
Crosswords are a fantastic way to remember vocabulary and practice using your comprehension skills to understand the descriptions given.
Crosswords are so easy to find; they are in newspapers and magazines, they are online, there are even whole crossword puzzle books with hundreds of puzzles to complete, and best of all; you can do them by yourself, anytime, anywhere.
12 - Charades
Charades will put all of your acting skills to the test! This game requires at least two people to take part.
Words are placed into a hat and one of the players must choose a word and then try and act it out as best as they can.
Each person has one minute to try and show the other players what their word is.
There is one big rule though; no speaking!
This game is a really fun way to see if you can understand particular words or phrases just from a glance. See if you can try it!
13 - Wordsearch
Wordsearches are one of the most well-known puzzles around, and a great way to learn or at least, find new words.
Wordsearch is a box that is filled with random letters. Within those mixed-up letters, however, are words that you must find and circle.
This is a perfect way to spend an evening with a cup of tea and your dictionary by your side, just in case you are unsure of the meaning of any words.
14 - I Spy
A very simple game that is used in the very beginner stages of learning English, but a fun game nonetheless.
You don’t need any props for this game, and it is a great way to pass the time if you are on a long journey with someone and want to practice a little English.
All you need to do is say’ “I spy with my little eye, something beginning with T”!
Then the other person must look around and see what object they can see that starts with letter T!
Hmmm…. Tree? Yes! How simple is that?
Try it on your next long car journey!
15 - WordJong
In this online game, the aim is to create words.
There are brand-new puzzles available every day so you never run out! And because their dictionary is huge, you will learn amazing and useful new words on a daily basis!
This is a sure way to become amazing at spelling! Here you can find WordJong!
Have you played any of these English games?
That’s it! These are just some examples of English games and puzzles that you can play and do to learn English in a more relaxed and fun way.
They are an effective way to pick up new English words and expressions, they will help to recall words that you may have already learned, and they will certainly give you and your friends a great laugh while you learn!
Having fun and being able to laugh and make mistakes help us become better learners, and gives us a confidence boost.
Remember, if the games become too easy, then you can start to introduce new words and phrases into the hat or box; make that word search a little bigger, or make the time allowance even shorter to really put the players under pressure.
But most importantly, enjoy while you learn!
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