A Simple Game To Help Boost Kid’s Vocabulary

Here’s a fun word game you can play in the car or at the dinner table to help boost your child’s vocabulary. The best thing about it is you can adapt it to different ages and to different language levels if you’re raising bi-lingual kids.
Photo by Alex Padurariu on Unsplash

It’s the opposites game! You just say a word and your child needs to find the opposite word. Simple right? Pick between easy, medium or difficult depending on how old your child is and how well developed their vocabulary is. Try the game with words in both directions and try it in different languages for an additional challenge.

Finding opposite words is a tool used in language learning for learning foreign languages, and it’s perfect for children learning new words too.

In case you run out of ideas when playing (it happens to me), below are some examples, but you can find many online with a quick search (An opposite word is also called an antonym). They start off easy, but get more difficult, introducing both more complex words, but also words of differing magnitude (warm vs hot, which has an appropriately negated magnitude of cool), or adding more complex concepts.

Easy Word Pairs

HotCold
LeftRight
UpDown
FastSlow
BigSmall
EasyHard/Difficult
LightDark
DryWet
FullEmpty
NoisyQuiet
LightHeavy
Good Bad
TallShort
YoungOld
HungryFull
HappySad
HardSoft
SmoothRough
WinLose
DayNight
OpenClosed
OnOff

Medium Word Pairs

WarmCool
CleanDirty
PossibleImpossible
SillySensible
Curly (Hair)Straight
InsideOutside
SimpleComplicated
NiceNasty
BeautifulUgly
BrightDim/Dull
FallingFlying
GiveTake
BrokenWorking
SharpBlunt
RichPoor
FloorCeiling
FunBoring


Hard Word Pairs

Transparent Opaque
ClockwiseAnti-Clockwise (or Counter Clockwise)
AdvancedBasic/Simple
ConductingInsulating
DawnDusk
NorthSouth
WestEast
LegalIllegal
GrowShrink
AscendDescend
MultipleSingle
DeepShallow
AccelerateDecelerate
AmateurProfessional
DeclineIncline
GuiltyInnocent
IncludeExclude
GeneralSpecific
AccidentallyDeliberately

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