Level 1: Words and Pictures
- Younger children start the fun by linking letters on the board.
- The pictures help to turn them into words.
- Complete a word, and collect a counter!
Level 2: Colours and Counters
- Older children enjoy making words all by themselves.
- In this simplified SCRABBLE ® game children cross words and try to reach the coloured squares.
- They pick a matching colour counter and hope for a high score.
This is two games in one, so right off the bat you are getting good value for money here. With our education system suffering n places due to a lack of skilled teachers willing to accept the current pay rates, anything we can do to help educate our kids outside of school hours is a fine thing indeed. If it can be fun as well, it only makes the job easier! That's where this comes in...
On one side you have the 'basic' version... a pre-printed board with the words already defined and written on the board itself. Each player takes 5 letter tiles, and off you go, placing up to 2 tiles per turn, completing words as you go. Complete a word, collect a token. At the end of the game, the winner is the one with the most tokens. On the flipside of each token is a number, so you can 'add' to the game by making the winner the person with the highest token-score instead. (Best to have them face down until chosen, of course...). Having all the words pre-defined on the board helps with spelling, and also keeps the focus on the letters in hand, rather than on 'how do I spell...' hunting sessions through the dictionary. This game is aimed at kids 5-8 years old.
Flip the board over and you have the somewhat familiar layout of a standard Scrabble board, but without any writing at all. Play as per normal, but placing a letter tile on a coloured square lets you pick up a similar coloured token. Blue's are worth 1-3 points each, while red tiles are worth 4-6 points each. Again, winner is the one with the highest score at the end, so aim for those red squares. The maths is simpler than a normal game, no confusion between double word and double letter scores, etc. A great way to move into the adult version as the kids get older. This version is aimed at kids 7+ who have strong vocabulary skills and a good memory. This version could even be played using a regular board and tiles... you'd just need to make counters or roll dice... 1 die for double-* squares, 2 dice for a triple-* square perhaps.
Overall, this is not only a great game for around the home or on holiday, but it could be a valuable aid in schools for literacy and numeracy training. Endlessly modifiable, this is the 'swiss army knife' of scrabble variants in my book, and one I will be using a lot when we shift to home-schooling our kids next year.
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