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Having fun with The Kent Test Practice!


One of the BEST ways to develop the skills needed for the Kent Test is by playing games and puzzles. Little and often is the key and games are a far more effective way of cementing skills than a never-ending stream of practice papers and text books (although these do very much have their place!). I’ve put together a one-stop-shop of lots of ideas for you to try at home.

Spelling/ Vocabulary:

Word games and writing games are great ways to develop your vocabulary, to help you think more deeply about words, to have fun with story and structure, and to get a lot of fun out of writing. They can also be a great way to:

  • Develop your vocabulary,

  • Help you think more deeply about words,

  • Become more fluent in English,

  • Invent and develop characters.



Hangman is a classic word game for two players. One player thinks of a word and writes down dashes to represent the number of letters. The other guesses letters of the alphabet. Correct letters are inserted into the word; incorrect letters result in another segment of the “hangman” being drawn. This is a great game for developing spelling and vocabulary.


Crosswords are great if you want to learn new words and definitions, or (at the cryptic end of the scale) if you enjoy playing with words and language. Simple ones are suitable for fairly young children, with a little help.

Word Searches:

Most word searches are easy enough for children, though younger children will struggle with backward and diagonal words. They’re a good way to get used to letter patterns and to improve spelling – and because word searches rely on matching letters, even children who can’t read well will be able to complete simple ones.


This is a fun game with a group of people, as you get a wild and wacky mix of ideas. Each player writes down one line of a story and folds the paper over before passing it around the table to the next player. The very simple version we play has five lines: (1) A male name, (2) The word “met” then a female name, (3) “He said ...” (4) “She said ...” (5) “And then ...”

Once all five stages are complete, the players open out the papers and read out the results. This can be great for sparking ideas, or as a way to encourage reluctant writers to have a go.

Bulls and Cows:

This game involves one player thinking up a secret word of a set number of letters. The second player guesses a word; the first player tells them how many letters match in the right position (bulls) and how many letters are correct but in the wrong position (cows).

This game is a great way to develop spelling as well as logical thinking about which letters can or can’t be the correct ones after a few guesses.


If you want to develop your vocabulary (particularly of obscure two-letter words) then Scrabble is a great game to play.


It’s a great way to help children think about letter patterns, too, and to develop vocabulary and spelling.

Story Cubes:

There are lots of different versions of these available, and they all work in a similar way. The open-ended game has a set of cubes that you roll to create ideas for a story that you can tell along with the other players. If you prefer, you can use them to come up with stories that you’re going to write on your own.

Games such as Think Words, Scattergories, Articulate, The Yes No Game and 5 Second Rule are also perfect for vocabulary development. They also involve timers, which can help your child to work under pressure while at the same time remaining calm.

Maths Games:

Mental arithmetic is a fundamental feature of the maths element of the Kent Test and the ability to do tricky calculations FAST is key.


Play Sudoku is a great way to improve memory, sharpen pattern recognition skills and enhance mental agility and concentration.


This is a great game to develop spatial awareness and strategy but it also involves coordinates.

Multiplication noughts and crosses: Toe%202018.pdf?e=1&dl=0

Pass The Pigs:

This is a brilliant game to practice addition.


A good old dart board can be adapted and used in so many different ways: for addition, multiplication- the list goes on! Just watch out for flying arrows!

Card Games: Toe%202018.pdf?e=1&dl=0

Spatial Awareness:

The following are all great ways to develop spatial awareness skills:

  • Mastermind

  • Dobble

  • Spot the difference puzzles

  • Where’s Wally puzzles

  • Jigsaw puzzles

  • Rubix cube

  • Tangram puzzles

  • Building with Lego or Minecraft.


As I’ve mentioned, little and often really is the secret to success. By developing the skills needed through playing games such as these, any formal preparation should become a little easier.

I hope this helps but if you have any further questions, don’t hesitate to get in touch!


Kindest regards,


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