Board Games to Encourage Speaking and Listening and Communication

These classic board games can be purchased at Amazon at the links below. However, don’t worry if you aren’t able to get the games because they can easily be replicated at home with a little preparation.

Articulate / Taboo (2+ players)

Skills: vocabulary development, fast thinking, communication, team-work



DIY Instructions: First, devise a list of words on post it notes. This link is a good random word generator for games:

Next add 4 related words to each word on the list:

e.g: Word: Car.  Related words – fast, driver, transport, road

When you have a list of 100 words, you’re ready to play! Split into two teams (You can play in a pair if desired!) and divide the post it notes into two piles, face down. Take it in turns to describe the words on each post it – if your teammate (or the other player) guesses correctly, they ‘win’ that post it note and you move on to the next one. Each player has one minute to get through as many of the descriptions as possible. The winner is the person who guesses the most words correctly.


Balderdash (4+ players)

Skills: vocabulary development, fast thinking, creative thinking, imagination


DIY Instructions: This game is very similar to the TV Show ‘Would I Lie to You’, except the players must give definitions of words. The more difficult and unusual the words, the better. Again, you can use the word generator above, or similar, to determine a list of words – again on post it notes or postcards – and this time you also want to add the definition alongside the word. Players take it in turns to be the word reader.

The players are given the word and the spelling and are given one minute to come up with a definition, which they must write on a slip of paper. The word reader must copy the true definition on a separate piece of paper and shuffle all the definitions, before reading all of them out to the group. Points are scored by those players guessing the correct definition, with the winning player having the most correct answers by the end of the game.


Customised Jenga (2+ Players)

Skills: vocabulary development, fast thinking, creative thinking, imagination


DIY Instructions: Customised Jenga. Number the blocks and allocate a topic to each one. The player must successfully talk for 1 minute (no repetition or hesitation) for the game to move to the next player. There are 54 Jenga blocks – here are some topic ideas to get you started!


Who’s in the Bag? (4+ players)

Skills: vocabulary development, fast thinking, creative thinking, imagination, non-verbal communication

Who’s In the Bag

DIY Instructions: Again, you can play a DIY version if you don’t have access to the game. Each player writes six the names of six different celebrities on individual pieces of paper. These are folded up and mixed in a bag or bowl and appoint someone to keep scores for each round.

The aim of the game is simple, each team in turn must identify as many famous characters on the papers as possible in within the time frame. Next, teams take turns to present. Each player presenting has one minute to successfully describe as many celebrities as possible. If the team-mate(s) guesses the identity of the character correctly they keep the paper and draw another from the bag/bowl.

Round 1: Describe, sing, act, mime – whatever it takes!

Round 2: (when all papers have been used –  fold and put them back in the bowl) This time you can only use a single word (plus mime / action)

Round 3 ( (when all papers have been used –  fold and put them back in the bowl) This time you can only use an action / mine

The winning team is the one with the most correct guesses at the end of round three

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