word games

Word Games and Aphasia

Games are a great way to continue practicing word use at home. They can reinforce speech therapy work or keep the mind active during the early stages of Primary Progressive Aphasia. Word games will keep you interacting with letters, but even visually-based activities are great for getting the conversation rolling. Look at some of the options below to see if you can work them into a fun activity night.

word games

Crosswords Together

Team up with another person to figure out crossword puzzle clues. The person with aphasia can be the thinker and speaker, and the person without aphasia can be the writer. The best part is that there is no time limit. Stretch out solving a puzzle by spending a few days tackling the clues.

You can also team up for other word games like Scrabble. Play regular Scrabble two-on-two, or opt for Scrabble Junior, which is a streamlined version of the game with multiple difficulty levels.

Board Games

There are plenty of word-oriented board games you can play to stretch your mind. ThinkFun’s Zingo has the player creating three-letter words. Quiddler’s words get longer with each round, beginning with three letters, too.

Word Game Apps

There are dozens of word apps in both the iPhone and Android app stores. Word Search Pro has free word find puzzles. Pictoword gives the player picture clues for finding a word. For example, giving a picture of a beach (sand) and a witch (wich) to put together to form “sandwich”. Words With Friends is like a giant, on-going game of Scrabble that you can play with friends or family over the phone.

Talking Games

Games don’t have to be focused on words to be helpful. Trivial Pursuit has general sets, like the original Genus edition, as well as specialty sets. You can target by year, such as the Baby Boomer edition or pop culture topic, such as Doctor Who. Answering trivia questions gets you thinking and speaking.

What are your favourite games for supporting word use?

Image: Paolo Soro via Flickr via Creative Commons license



  • Cynthia Pearson
    June 15, 2017 at 8:29 am

    Thank you so much for sharing this information here. It was very helpful
    I’m going to look for all these

  • Jacqueline Smith
    June 15, 2017 at 9:55 am

    I am unable to play the games on my computer, as I have an old phone. I will buy several games to help our adult son regain his speech. Thank you for this advice.

  • Susanne Lockford
    November 30, 2017 at 9:49 am

    Thank you these suggested word games

  • Susanne Lockford
    November 30, 2017 at 9:50 am

    Thank you for these suggested word games

  • Nidhi Mahendra
    March 14, 2018 at 3:15 pm

    Great list. I would like to add that games such as ‘Would ya rather”, “Anomia”, Scattergories are also excellent additions to the SLP toolkit when working with adults who have aphasia.

  • Norma Hufnagel
    May 31, 2018 at 4:39 pm

    We play war w/ cards.

  • Alexis Watterson
    February 25, 2019 at 11:06 am

    1 Set Rock Archimedes
    Card Against Humanity
    Dirty Minds

  • Fabi Hirsch Kruse
    August 28, 2019 at 1:41 pm

    I’m seconding Nidhi’s suggestions – Would You Rather, Anomia, Scattergories. We use all of them here at the Aphasia Center of Tucson. We don’t typically use the provided instructions but adapt them to meet the needs and goals of the group members. Other pre-made games/materials that we use here include Hedbanz, Upwords, Word-A-Round, and Qwirkle (for our Brain Stretch group).

  • Margaret Didden
    August 29, 2019 at 11:32 am

    We played word game called “Probe” many years ago; looks like the image introducing this article!

    Family member with PPA (non-stroke): wonder if there are any ESL materials using pictures with matching words for Basic English adaptable for her aphasia? Or early childhood teaching materials?

  • Janet M. Gritz, SLP
    October 30, 2020 at 10:29 am

    Many games and other free built-in features on today’s amazing personal computers, smartphones, and tablets can make your life easier and more fun. Learn about these items by joining ‪Montgomery County (Maryland) Stroke Association’s free “Zoom Tech Talk” by Joan Green, Speech-Language Pathologist/Technology Specialist, on Tuesday, November 10,1:00 -2:00 PM (East Coast Time). Email mcstroke@comcast.net for details. ‬

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