Word Ladders - Great Literacy Game!

I love using games in the classroom and this is one that is easy to prepare, easy to learn and great for making kids think about spelling and letter patterns.

The game is word ladders and all you need to play is a whiteboard or somewhere for children to make a list of words.  
Word Ladders can be a game for 2 players or 2 teams or it can be a challenge to give individuals.
Start with a simple 3 or 4 letter word and players take turns to change only one letter to make a new word.
A word can't be repeated in a game. The game ends when a player can't make another word.
This game can also be played by the whole class with the class divided into 2 teams.

A great challenge for individuals is to give them a start word and ask them to make a word ladder that is as long as possible in a given time. Children can compete to see who can make the longest word ladder.

Here are some words that you might use to start the word ladder.
Easy game - cat, pet, pig, hot, bug.
Getting harder - time, name, line, rose.
More challenging - meet, moon, band.
This game is similar to the Word Change games in 2 of my phonics games collections.

In the Word Change games in this set, the players take turns to place a letter card over a letter on the board. Great game to make them really think!
There are also some CVC Word Change games in

Hope the kids enjoy playing the Word Ladders Game! 


  1. Hi,
    I am a Instructional Coach and I love the games that you have on your site. I would like to use your Word Ladders Game at a parent literacy meeting, with your permission. I will give full credit to your site with a link in the presentation.

    1. Hi Connie,
      Thanks for your message. Please feel free to use this game at the parent literacy meeting! I am glad you like this game and can see the value of it! :)
      With thanks,


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