/ June 18, 2022/ English/Language Arts Games, Spelling Games/ 0 comments

I frequently see questions about different spelling games, so I thought I would do a bonus post quickly on the ones that we have. While they’re all competitive games, it’s not too hard to play cooperatively using open hands, working together to build words, and freely exchanging tiles/cards.

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Scrabble

Beginning a Scrabble game

Scrabble is probably the most well-known spelling game. My kids are not yet ready to play competitively, but we have enjoyed playing cooperatively. Additionally, I found directions for creating a Math Scrabble game, so we have Scrabble letters on one side, then I wrote numbers and operations on the other side of the tiles. Two games in one!

Bananagrams

Bananagram spelling game

Bananagrams comes in a close second to Scrabble in fame, but I hadn’t heard of it before we started gameschooling. There is also My First Bananagrams if your kids aren’t quite ready for the full game, but we use the regular game (I don’t generally buy junior versions of games) and just play cooperatively. We’ve actually *never* played by the printed rules (which are full of delightful puns). My kids also enjoy bringing down the tiles and just playing with them, making words.

Honestly, Bananagrams and Scrabble are so similar, you probably don’t need both. If you’re playing competitively, Scrabble has a nice addition of math (though there’s probably scorekeeping in Bananagrams, we just haven’t done it), but otherwise, they’re both tiles with letters on them. I do like the feel of the Bananagrams tiles, so if you have sensory needs in your house, that might be something to consider. However, Bananagrams is the one my kids will pull out just to play with the tiles and make words. Personally, I do like having them both.

Boggle

Boggle is next in popularity, though it’s one, while we have it, we haven’t actually played. I know I would enjoy it, except for the racket created when shaking the box, but I also like to see if I can create words using the letters on license plates. It is small and doesn’t have as many parts as Scrabble or Bananagrams. Hmm, I think I’ll pull this one out today, and see what my kids think of this spelling game!

Quiddler

Quiddler

Quiddler is a spelling game that while my kids are not ready for the full competitive game, I really love it. It’s sorta like Spoons meets Scrabble. Everyone starts with three cards in their hand, and the first person picks up the first card on the deck. They look at it, decide if they want it, then pass one card (face down) to the next player. So the first person gets first dibs on the new cards (rotate who is the first person each round), but then as someone chooses the card, they’ll have to discard a card from their hand and give it to the next player. Everyone always has the correct number of cards in their hand (each round the number goes up), so this makes the game like Spoons.

However, on the cards is a letter, or sometimes two letters, and a point value. Your goal is to make a word (or multiple words, once you have more cards in your hand) before anyone else does. After someone makes their word(s), everyone else has just one turn to create their word(s). Any cards you don’t use get counted against you. You count up the point value of the cards used to create your word(s). For any cards not used the point value is subtracted. Which makes those high-point-value cards risky.

Snap It Up!

Snap It Up! card game

My kids can play Snap It Up! if we give them turns. Everyone has a hand with one or two-letter word beginnings. Word endings are placed in a deck, face down on the table. Word ending cards are turned over one at a time, and whoever can create a word the fastest gets to keep the card. You’re supposed to play until someone has created three words, but we generally play through the whole deck. By giving our kids designated turns, everyone has a good time and nobody wants to stop playing.

Probe

Finally, we have Probe. I got this one from the thrift store and instantly was in love with it because the storage is ingenious. Even though the box isn’t attractive, it got to keep its box. Unfortunately, it seems to be out of print, but is readily available used. Anyway, everyone chooses a word, and everyone else is trying to guess each other’s words. You can use blank cards, so can have a shorter word. I haven’t tried it with my kids yet, but my husband and I have enjoyed playing it together.

What are your favorite spelling games? I’d love to hear from you!

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