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6 Fun Activities that Grow Vocabulary

Teaching vocabulary to kids is one of the most engaging experiences for educators. On the one hand, you have the desire to shape the minds of young learners by refining their raw skills. On the other hand, you might run into hurdles when you realize that not all your kids can keep up. The content might be boring to them, and you risk learners getting distracted.

You can inject some fun into the process to avoid turning vocabulary into a tedious experience for kids and a headache for you. These 6 fun activities that grow vocabulary can make the vocab lesson an engaging learning experience for your kids and turn them into better communicators in no time.

1. Eye Spy

Kids love a challenge, and when you give them a target to find, they are motivated to complete the task. Eye Spy is a learning activity where you task the kids with finding specific words on a text page or poster. To make the exercise even more engaging, you can throw in a magnifier glass to gamify the activity.

The activity will be a contest to discover as many vocab words as possible. You can set awards for different words, with more points awarded for complex or lengthy words.

2. Act It Out

Kids love performing, and what better way to learn a word than by acting it out? To do this activity, divide the kids into small groups if the class is big. Then, distribute the vocabulary words that group members should act out without lip movement.

When kids identify the vocab words enacted by the first learner, award points, and move on to the next word, a new group member gets to perform for each new word. This activity provides an opportunity for physical expression and mental stimulation. After the entertaining exercise, kids will recall the words better.

3. Draw Vocab Sketchnotes

Another exciting activity is letting kids draw sketches that explain a vocab word. This activity might seem intimidating at first, so it’s important to start with simple words. Once the ball gets rolling, you can experiment with longer words to trigger the ability of kids to make better connections.

This experience can be fun and exciting when kids have sketchbooks and colored pencils; better yet, you can challenge the kids to share their sketches with others. Drawing is known to engage the visual and motor parts of the brain, which means it will improve memories about the vocab word.

4. Word of the Week

They say that repetition is the key to real learning, and this teaching strategy can keep kids engaged the entire week. To grow kids’ vocabulary using the word of the week, it’s important to pick a word with diversity. You can have kids form new sentences with the word during the whole week to encourage more comprehension.

This exercise can help kids learn the different contexts in which vocab words fit in with the help of classmates and other participants. When the kids go home, they can ask parents or siblings to give them new uses of the words they can share in class.

5. Dictionary Race

Everyone loves learning a new thing, and there’s no better way to do it than by using a dictionary. This fun activity for teaching vocabulary allows kids to build their research and vocab skills.

In the activity, start by providing students with words they should look for in the dictionary and write their definitions. This is a fun exercise since it has stakes where the students are ranked by their speed in finding all the words.

6. Word Wheel

Printable Word Wheel

Spin the wheel is a favorite game of chance that you can blend into the classroom experience. You should make a vocab spinner game by printing or drawing directly on the cardstock. You can include different instructions on the wheel, such as draw it, rhyme it, act it out, and define it.

Using a list of words, each student will turn spinning the wheel, and their task would be to do what the wheel declares. If it’s to define the word, the student will do it. This exercise is great for gauging comprehension as kids test their’ luck.’ 

Fun Vocab Activities Keep Learners Engaged

Having a variety of activities at your disposal can help kids grow their vocabulary over a short time. Keeping things fresh avoids burnout and boredom in your class, creating a great atmosphere for learning and engagement.

Written by Simon Riitho
Education World Contributor
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