How to Play Word Association

Word Association is an amazing group game to play with all ages that gets their brains thinking by finding connections between words.

This game is a great way to help children practice using their existing vocabulary and to learn new words, as they are likely to encounter words that they have not heard before.

It is also amazing to play in language classrooms! This is a perfect example when using fun in your language studies can be far from being a distraction.

Features of Word Association Game

 ★  Game Name Word Association
 ★  Group size small and medium
 ★  Age any
 ★  Type questions
 ★  Skill erudition
 ★  Place indoor and outdoor
 ★  Time up to 10 – 15 min
 ★  Preparation no
 ★  Materials no

Aim of the Game

The aim of the game is to find a word that is associated with the previous word said. If the group disagrees with you, you’re out! Try to be the last man standing to win the game.

Group Size

Word association is best played with groups of 3 to 8 players. Any larger-sized group and the game takes too long to get around the circle, so players can get bored.

This game works great with groups of all ages, and even adults love Word Association as a drinking game!

Preparation and Materials

For this game, you need zero materials and there is no preparation. That’s right, setting up for Word Association couldn’t be any easier!

How to Play Word Association

Have all group members sit in a small circle. Nominate one player to start. This player will say any random word out loud and the player sitting to their left has to say a word that is connected.

You have to say the word as quickly as possible – the faster the play the better the game! If you do not say a word within 3 seconds then you are out of the game.

The play then passes around the circle with each player saying a word connected to the word said previously. An example of a word chain could be:

  1. Football
  2. Sports
  3. Baseball
  4. Mike Trout
  5. Angels
  6. Heaven
  7. God
  8. Light
  9. Sun
  10. Heat

As the play is passing around the circle, any player who disagrees with a word that someone has said can call them out. That player then has to explain how they formed their connection.

The group then votes on whether the word is or is not connected to the previous. If the group decides the association isn’t there, then that player is eliminated.

You can also be eliminated if you say a word that has already been said by another player.

The play continues until there are only two players left. These two players will go head-to-head in a Word Association battle until there is a champion.

The game is supposed to be funny and usually, some odd connections will come up which will have the group in fits of giggles! The more creative you are with the connections, the better the game.

Alternative Variations

Instead of having players eliminated for either not saying a word within 3 seconds, saying a word that the group decides is not connected, or saying a word that has already been said, you can have a forfeit.

This could be anything such as having to do 10 push-ups, running a lap of the hall, or having a sip of your drink if you’re playing the drinking game version.

You could also have a points system where every player starts with 10 points, and everytime someone messes up they lose a point. The person with the most points left at the end is the winner.

This is a great icebreaker for kids and adults alike. Once everyone gets into the swing of the game, the connections are hilarious and everyone will be laughing!