When people think about Family Fun Night—which I think should be every night— they don’t usually think about utilizing this time to expand their child’s vocabulary.

There are plenty of games you can play with your child that will help introduce them to new words. It’s all about parent strategy and disguising educational opportunities.

With this in mind, in the coming months, I thought I would splatter among my regular blog articles a series of posts on different games that you can play with your child to help grow their vocabulary and reinforce words they already know.

The Boggle Family

The Boggle games are number one on my list. Not that I will be rating any of the games, but Boggle is just a family favorite.

I’ll be honest, we never actually played “Boggle Junior”. However, our original game version is well worn!  It is for players 8+ years of age. Our daughter was younger than that when she started playing. But that’s okay! We simply modified the rules until she progressed into the standard game rules.

How does Hasbro describe the game? Mouse over to find out!

“Are you a word whiz? Show your stuff by finding as many words as possible on the 4×4 letter grid before the sand timer runs out. You’ve got 3 minutes to search out as many words as you can see spelled out on the cubes. The longer the word, the higher your score, but you only score points if nobody else has the same word. Add up your points and see who the winner is…this time.

….This 3-minute word game is fast, fun, and fantastic!”

An easy modification to this game for younger children:

Let them count any of the points for words they find. It doesn’t matter if someone else has it. Give them the advantage! They’ve earned it! As they get older and more experienced, phase out the modification and begin to make it more challenging for them.

Boggle Junior

This version is designed especially for the younger child in mind. The recommended age is 3+.

Since I don’t have any practical experience with this game—although, I’m now thinking what fun this would be to play with my young niece and nephew when they visit for the holidays—I’ll have to rely strictly on Hasbro’s description:

  • Your preschooler’s first BOGGLE game
  • From ABC, Ant, Ball, and Car with Boggle Jr. your preschooler will transform letters into words!
  • Two different matching games encourage various skills and levels with fun and colorful pictures.
  • Look at the picture and word. Then find each matching letter using the big Boggle Jr. cubes. You’ve spelled a word!
  • Your child will practice: Object and word recognition, letter recognition, matching, spelling, sorting, grouping, concentration, learning to take turns, and sharing.
  • For 1+ players

DIY…Do It Yourself

If you are looking to make your own paper version—just Google it! You’ll find a myriad of options available. In fact, if you subscribe and download our free Teacher Resources you’ll even find our own version of the game called, Lost Words! (I did say it was one of our favorite games!)

I love family time. It’s all about the laughter and creating memories. When you can enjoy that and use the opportunity to help your child learn, it’s an even greater feeling. Especially when you know they are having fun. They won’t even realize that it’s a teachable moment. They are too busy interacting with mom and dad.

Share some time together with your family tonight—(shhh!) and if you decide to play Boggle—we’ll keep the whole learning aspect a secret!

Warm regards,

K. Lamb