Thursday, 12 August 2010

Online Vocabulary Games

I have been looking for some specific vocabulary games to use with my classes and I found some really interesting options. So I decided to share them with you!
I have chosen to categorize the results into:
  • Pre-school games
  • Games for specific vocabulary topics
  • Games for mixed vocabulary topics
  • Tools to create games

Pre-school games
Pre-school games
A variety of simple games for colours, shapes, animals, numbers and the alphabet.
Another collection of games: colours, feelings, numbers…and more.
Yet another collection of simple games.
What colour is it?
A simple game about colours.

Games for specific vocabulary topics
Actions and commands (based on suggestions by Larry Ferlazzo from his blog post)
Subservient Chicken 
Give orders t the chicken and watch him perform your commands… only if they are appropriate!
Simon Sez Santa
Tell Santa what to do. Many languages to choose from!
I Do Dog Tricks 
Give order to the cute dog and watch him perform the actions.

Spelling City 
Create your own game with your word list. 
Another collection of spelling games that you can customize.
Spelling Connections 
This game is about spelling and sounds…interesting to try.

Body parts
Matching words and pictures of body parts
Listen to the a sentence and find the picture for the right body part 
Listen to the word and find the picture.  There´s a study mode and a quiz mode.

Collections of games
Vocabulary Building Games 
Free English Lessons Online
More than 40 English vocabulary picture matching quizzes on a variety of topics such as Weather, Sports, Transport, etc created by Sue Lyon Jones.
Word Games
A great collection of word games categorized by difficulty.
Digital Dialects
A nice collection of simple games about numbers, colours, food, clothing and animals. The main page offers 60 languages to choose from!
Learning chocolate 
Great variety of topics and several types of games for each topic, including word recognition from audio recordings, matching, etc.
ESL Fun Vocabulary Games 
Picture labeling games on a variety of topics like parts of the house, school, pets, fruit, etc. You can also check the assorted vocabulary games menu for more options.
Language Guide English 
Lots of quizzes for more than 40 topics available in study and quiz modes.
Learning Games for Kids 
A great site with thousands of games. Check the vocabulary games section.

Games for mixed vocabulary topics
Rain words 
Complete the crossword by dragging the images to the appropriate place in the crossword. You can choose the level of difficulty.
A Flickr-fed game where you have to guess the tag for the given image.
Photo Munchrs 
You are given a tag and must click on the pictures that match it. I hear about this one from Nik Peachey in his Daily English Activities blog post.
Vocab Sushi 
Multiple Choice game to develop your vocabulary. Good for upper intermediate learners.
Free Rice 
Another multiple choice game. Your scores are translated into help for the World Food Programme.

Tools to create games
Eclipse crossword 
An easy to use crossword puzzle creator.
Word Magnets
Type or paste a text and get the word magnets for it to play around. I heard about this one from Russell Stannard, who has a detailed video about using it.

You will certainly need to explore them to see if they are appropriate for your context... I hope the list is a useful starting point!

Update (22/9/2011)

These articles from Free Technology for Teachers are worth sharing



  1. Nice selection Vicki! This topic has been a passion of mine for quite a while and if you've ever been on EFL Classroom's game page or teacher's toolbox page - you'll see the results.

    Too many for me to mention but I'll add my fav. - I have really become passionate about the power of Quizlet. Its simplicity and how every flashcard set can be made into a game. I've made hundreds of vocab. sets, but here is one demonstrating a game with the sets. You can also play "Voice race" with a headset. The student says the word to make it disappear. So my addition is Quizlet!

  2. Hi, David,

    Your Quizlet game looks great and the voice option is fantastic!
    I had heard about Quizlet but never explored it I guess now I will!
    Thanks for the comment.

  3. Thanks for your contributions... I've already added some of them to my wiki.

    Hope to see more of this and other issues...
    bye for the time being!

  4. Nice post, Vicky, and thanks for the mention of Digital Play. I think the interest in and use of online games is now increasing quickly - you can see more and more teachers turning to them, so your post is very timely!

    At the same time finding many people compete online word game, you are given 8 letters and these letters are asked to find words.

  6. This free games really an interesting to play perfect for family gathering , and I really like your website ,, thanks keep posting and more power to you

  7. Wow !! great one
    I really loved to play online games.
    These games are really very very amazing to me.
    If anybody have online game site list and online games please provide a link to me also.

  8. I play this word game. I think a good game. I would recommend people who like brain teasers.

  9. The stuff you are writing blows out my mind.
    z words with friends

  10. Please check also our English vocabulary games at We have already two games based on the extensive list of over 2900 most frequently used English words organised in over 90 categories. Enjoy!