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How to Improve Writing Skills with Word Games

Updated on October 06, 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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    • profile image

      mikeq107 5 years ago

      Actually, I just remembered something from growing up in Ireland and I miss very, very much.

      In Pubs or neighborhoods over the wall ...we were always making cracks at each other on a daily basis, call it bantering, riffing out loud, digging at each other...the same story may have been told a 1000 times and it never got boring as each person give the delivery a different flare...no one ever said

      "Yes I heard it already" as I hear so often over here among so many passionless politically correct lost dead souls.

      I come from a nation of storytellers, we never had to go to a school to learn this, we have been naturally doing it since birth...

      The main key...Relationships, realtionships, Realtionships and they spark amazing creative present moments...boy I miss it...

      Great hub

      Mike :0)

    • Ania L profile image

      Ania L 5 years ago from United Kingdom

      “as black as a murderer’s heart.” - I like that :) I can visualise it very easily and it would be brilliant in a criminal story :D

    • drbj profile image

      drbj and sherry 5 years ago from south Florida

      Similes, Holle, are among my favorite figures of speech and one of the funniest I ever heard was: "As nervous as a long-tailed cat in a room full of rocking chairs."

      Thanks for reminding me of the fun one can have with this clever writing device.

    • habee profile image
      Author

      Holle Abee 5 years ago from Georgia

      Mike, storytelling seems to be a lost art in America, which is a real pity. I try to keep it alive by telling stories to my grandkids.

    • habee profile image
      Author

      Holle Abee 5 years ago from Georgia

      Many thanks, Ania!

    • habee profile image
      Author

      Holle Abee 5 years ago from Georgia

      drbj, I like that simile, too. It's a fave here in South GA!

    • randomcreative profile image

      Rose Clearfield 5 years ago from Milwaukee, Wisconsin

      As an adult, some of my favorite games are still word games. Great ideas for all teachers and parents!

    • tirelesstraveler profile image

      Judy Specht 5 years ago from California

      At dinner we play word games. Even our 20 somethings love to see if they can stump the parents.

      Quiddler is a good pickup card game.

    • habee profile image
      Author

      Holle Abee 5 years ago from Georgia

      random, I enjoy word games, too. Thanks!

    • habee profile image
      Author

      Holle Abee 5 years ago from Georgia

      traveler, I'm not familiar with Quidler. I'll have to check it out. Thanks!

    • Hello, hello, profile image

      Hello, hello, 5 years ago from London, UK

      That's a clever idea. Thank you for the good tip.

    • AnkushKohli profile image

      AnkushKohli 5 years ago from India

      Great exercise for improve writing skills; for kids especially.

    • htodd profile image

      htodd 5 years ago from United States

      Hi Habee,

      That is great way to improve writing skills..Thanks for the nice hub

    • DDE profile image

      Devika Primić 4 years ago from Dubrovnik, Croatia

      A well-advised Hub thanks for the valuable tips

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