Donate to help children in Gaza →

Play At Home: Categories

Girls working on project

This is a fun game where whoever thinks of the most words wins! At Right To Play, we use play to teach important life lessons and skills in ways that engage children and youth of all ages. All our games include a Reflect-Connect-Apply (RCA) section that reinforces the lesson or skill that the game is designed to teach through a guided discussion with the participants.

  • Ages: 8+
  • Key learning: to grow your vocabulary by talking about different topics.
  • Goal of the game: to think of and write down as many words as possible in a certain category.
  • What You Need: paper, pen or pencil, timer, ball, and 2 or more players

Opening Questions
  • How many words can you think of that belong in the category “things we eat”?
  • Make sure everyone has paper and a pen or pencil.
How To Play

Step 1

Share how to play:

  • Take turns thinking of a category like “things in a classroom” and sharing it with everyone.
  • Set a time limit of two minutes.
  • Everyone writes down as many words as possible that belong in the category.
  • After two minutes, take turns reading out the words you wrote down. If anyone else has the same word, everyone must cross it off their lists.

Step 2

Once everyone has shared their words, add up your points. You get one point for each word that is not crossed out.

Step 3

Keep playing with different categories and lead a Reflect-Connect-Apply discussion after each round. Some examples of categories are: fruits and vegetables, furry animals, summer time, sports, countries, etc.

Watch For
  • Does everyone understand why the words belong in the category?
  • Is everyone thinking of new words?
  • Are they reading the words out loud and pronouncing them correctly?


  • How many words did you think of?


  • What words have you heard before?
  • What words are new to you?


  • Could you use the new words in a sentence?
Other Ways To Play

If there are 4 or more people playing, grab a ball and stand in a circle:

  • Someone stands in the middle of the circle with the ball and calls out a category (e.g. sports teams, school clubs, etc.).
  • Bounce the ball and call the name of one player who must go into the middle of the circle and catch the ball.
  • When they catch the ball, they have to give an example of something from that category.
  • If they don’t think of an example after catching the ball, they must sit down. The game ends when only one person is standing.