Writing Games

Playful Writing Book Now Available!

Playful Writing Cover image

Writing for fun and discovery!

Find 150 playful writing explorations for young children. Activities include a creative start and uses writing as a natural extension of self-expression, and playful encounters. Prompts and guiding questions keep children writing for real purposes children care about. Each activity includes Early Writer ideas for those emergent learners, as well as Ready Writer activities for those ready for more advanced and complete writing projects.

The playful writing activities are organized into 15 chapters. That include a combination of informational and fictional writing experiences. Take a look!

Playful Writing Link

Categories: adventure writing, Animals/ Nature, Early Childhood, Fantasy and Fairy Tales, Holidays, Humor Writing, Poetry, Science Writing, Talking Points, Writing Games | Tags: , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Chicken in the Grass

Instead of hangman, this game is just as fun as children try to spell the word before the chicken is created. Drawing and naming shapes, including circle, oval, trapezoid, and triangle are reinforced as an extra bonus!

What You Need: paper & pencils or any other surface and markers: Optional: vocabulary or spelling lists

Play to Write!

This game is played the same way as hangman, except no harm results to the chicken!diagram of game

  1. The leader chooses a word for other players to try and figure out. The correct number of letter spaces are drawn linearly across the page. For instance if the word is “camp”, four spaces are drawn.
  2. The next player, guesses a letter in the word. If the letter is included, it is placed in the correct position, as the “c” placed in the first space.
  3. If the letter is not included, the first shape of the chicken is drawn (the oval body).
  4. Play continues until the word is identified, or the chicken is drawn in the grass.
    game example
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Tongue Twisters

Saying tongue twisters is sure to make kids laugh. Writing and sharing them with friends is even more fun.bug copy

What You Need: drawing paper & pencils

Play to Write!
To get started write a sentence using as many words as possible beginning with the same letter.

tongue twister examples

Here are some examples.

Arrange the words into a pleasing order. It is fun when the words go together to make a silly situation.

Read your sentences quickly five times in a row. Did any tangle your tongue? If so, you just made a tongue twister!

Illustrate your best tongue twister and staple the pages together into a book to share with friends and family.

Categories: Humor Writing, Poetry, Writing Games | 2 Comments

Party Poppers with a Twist

Kids love to get into the New Year’s Action or any party with the opportunity for games and fun. These poppers are easy to make and fun for kids to get some party action. Filling the prize with notes, riddles, jokes, fortunes, and quotes adds playful writing into the fun.

What You Need: Recycled cardboard tubes (paper towels, toilet paper, or wrapping paper tubes work great!) cut into 4-6 inch lengths, tape, scraps of wrapping or tissue paper, scissors, strips of colorful paper or cardboard for surprise writing

photo of supplies: paper, tubes, scissors, tape, ribbon, and cardboard strips

Recycle holiday tubes, wrappings, and ribbons to make these fun party poppers

Play and Write! Show children samples of party poppers or make one ahead of time as a model so they have the idea of how they work.

1. Children write favorite riddles, jokes, make-up fortunes, sayings, pictures, and look up quotes to write on the colored strips of paper. Fold the strips accordion style.
2. Cut the cardboard tubes in half.
3. Cut wrapping paper 3 inches longer than the tubes. Decorate the paper with drawings and writing.

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Nuts About Words

Acorns are abundant this time of year in many parts of the country. They make wonderful game pieces for children to handle and use to spell new words, make up word games. and use for pretend.

Letters printed on acorns

A bowl full of acorns ready for play

What You Need: acorns!, permanent marker, paper


Acorns are fun to gather and collect with children.
Once each child has a bowl full of acorns, pass out permanent markers for children to print letters and faces on the nuts.

Games are played by spreading out the nuts and creating words. The acorn faces can bu used as wild nuts and stand for any missing letters during the word building. Of course more acorns can always be added!

Children will have fun adapting other word-building games they know using these natural playing pieces. Also, encourage children to make up their own rules and games. The main playtime objective is to have children manipulating letters  to discover the fun of word building as a part of play.

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Back to School Game

Wow! It’s that time again. One way I have found to integrate playful writing in these early back to school days is to have kids create a game and make up the rules so everyone has fun playing it. This is an easy way for children to understand the need for some classroom rules as well. Everyone wins when the rules are understood and created to ensure everyone is safe, respected, and has fun.

Photo of game materials

Choose easy to find objects for creative game materials.

What You Need: An assortment of objects such as: plastic spoons, paper cups, cotton balls, ping-pong balls, checkers, jacks, etc.


1. Children work in groups of three to four. Each group has a collection of the same objects.

2. The group has a set amount of time (15 minutes or so) to create a game using the as many of the objects they would like.

3. The game is practiced and the goal of the games and directions are agreed upon.

Write About It!

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Nature Color Hunt

Create a color palette then go on a nature color scavenger hunt!

photo of paint strip with leaves and rocks to match the green hues

Shades of green nature hunt

What You Need: paint strips of different colors found in nature (found in stores that sell paint)


  1. Choose a paint strip and rename the different hues with your own creative names.
  2. Write them on the color sections.
  3. Go on a nature hunt to find matches to your color cards.
  4. Exchange cards to try a different color range.
  5. See who can find the most matches.

Write About It!

This game will give you great new ways to describe the colors around you. Use your new color words in nature poems, riddles, or stories.

Categories: Animals/ Nature, Writing Games | Tags: , , , | Leave a comment

Professor Dictionary Game

Dust off a dictionary for a game that makes learning new words fun.
What You Need: a dictionary, paper strips and pencils, 3 or more players

image of dictionary

Here is all you need to play Professor Dictionary


One person starts as the Professor Dictionary by locating an interesting word found in the dictionary that no one knows the definition.

Professor Dictionary writes the real definition on a slip of paper. If there are several different definitions, the first one or easiest to understand is good enough.

Everyone else writes their best idea for the definition of the word on strips of paper.

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Who You Going to Call? Adventure

A phone saves the day in this adventure story. All you need to know is who to call.
What You Need: pretend or inactive phones, phone books


Practice looking up phone numbers in the phone book and placing pretend calls requesting information, asking for deliveries, and calling for help.

Write About It!

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Adventure Props

What would James Bond be without his gadgets? How could an explorer make discoveries without equipment?
In this activity a group of interesting objects is just what it takes to solve problems and escape from danger.
What You Need: a collection of objects that might be used in interesting ways on an adventure

How can these objects help a detective?

  1. Collect six or so objects
    To add to the fun, have each person bring  1 or 2 objects
  2. Talk about what each object might be used for besides conventional uses. Hmmm.. tape could be used to lift fingerprints, a flashlight taken apart to store a secret message…
  3. Act out possible scenes  play charades to have others guess what how each prop is being used as a tool for adventure.
  4. Mix it up by having the adventure take place in different locations. How does this change what the prop is used for?

Write About It!

Setting the Scene

  • Choose a location and main character for the adventure story. Will it take place in a city, the Arctic, at sea, in a desert, in your own community?
  • Is the main character a detective, explorer, inventor, archeologist, or a curious kid?
  • Are other characters in your story? Will there be friends to help? Enemies to avoid?
  • Describe your location and main characters.

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Categories: adventure writing, Writing Games | 1 Comment

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