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How to Improve Writing Skills with Word Games

Updated on October 6, 2011

writing exercises and word games

If you want to know how to improve writing skills for yourself, or how to improve writing skills for your children, participate in a few word games online. Word games can be great strategies for improving writing skills, and writing exercises like word games for kids will be enjoyable and educational at the same time, so your kids won’t mind learning. One such word game that you can use as writing exercises is the old game of similes. This was a popular parlor game back in the Victorian Era, and perhaps you remember it from Dickens’ A Christmas Carol.

What is a simile?

A simile is a figure of speech that’s used as a description. Similes compare two seemingly unlike things, using “like” or “as.”

Some people consider the use of similes to be trite and hackneyed, and in many cases, they are. Keep in mind, however, similes are used in some of the world’s most famous works of literature. The problem with similes occurs when the same similes are used over and over again. When similes are fresh and creative, they can be very effective.

Typical Similes word game

1. As black as ________.

2. As cold as ________.

3. As quiet as ________.

4. As silent as ________.

5. As quick as _________.

6. As sly as ___________.

7. As clear as __________.

8. As clumsy as __________.

9. As pretty as __________.

10. As big as ____________.

11. As brown as __________.

12. As ill as ____________.

13. As busy as ____________.

14. As light as _________.

15. As proud as ___________.

16. As hard as __________.

17. As fast as ____________.

18. As thin as ____________.

19. As fat as _____________.

20. As smart as __________.

Traditional answers:

1. Night or coal

2. Ice

3. A mouse

4. The grave

5. A wink

6. A fox

7. Glass

8. An ox

9. A picture

10. A barn

11. A bear

12. A hornet

13. A bee

14. A feather

15. A peacock

16. A rock

17. Lightning

18. A rail

19. A pig

20. A whip

The above are the traditional answers to the similes word game, but you wouldn’t want to use these in your writing because they’re old and worn out. To improve writing skills, your child should come up with his own similes as answers to this word game. For example, instead of using “as black as night” or “as black as coal,” he might say “as black as a murderer’s heart.” Instead of using “as clumsy as an ox,” he might use “as clumsy as a Great Dane puppy.” You get the idea. Originality is a key ingredient in writing skills. Even if he never plans to use the similes he comes up with while playing the word game, such writing exercises can provide an impetus for the creative thought process.

Writing exercises

Fun writing exercises can get the old creative juices flowing. It’s easy to find word games online and to make up your own word games for kids that can easily double as writing exercises. Use word games like similes, using your own examples. Print them out and have your child complete the writing exercises. Keep the age of the child in mind when you’re composing your list. Of course, for younger writers, you need to use simple writing exercises. Older students with more advanced writing skills should be challenged with more difficult writing exercises and word games.

Once your child grasps the concept of using figurative language, encourage him to use examples in his writing. The use of similes can be especially effective in poetry, descriptive essays, and fiction. In addition, it can open the door for more creativity, including the use of imagery. Improving writing skills doesn’t have to be boring or tedious. When you make learning fun, kids become much more engaged in the process, even when it comes to improving writing skills.

Use writing exercises and word games to improve writing skills.
Use writing exercises and word games to improve writing skills.

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