Search Results for -
Product Type: Toys
Age: Late Elementary School Years
Categories: Games
Subcategories: Letters, Words and Reading

 


2014 Award
Lexigo RUSH
(Wiggles 3D Inc. $16.99 Score:)

Our testers found playing against the timer a challenge. Word games are played by laying out a grid of 13 letter tiles, turn the 60 second timer and each player makes a list of as many words as they can see by using letters that connect in any direction. You can ever repeat the same letters, just as long as they continue to connect. When time is up players read their word lists and cross out words that others also found. You get points for any words that you alone were able to find. It's a bit like Boggle without the frame and box and with bonus rings for bonus points. 10 & up.

Age: Later School Years, Tweens, Teens, Adult. Award Year: 2014. Click here to purchase the product on Amazon.com.

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2014 Award
Bananagrams Go Wild
(Bananagrams $14.99 Score:)

Like other Bananagrams word games, this is played with letter tiles but without a scrabble type board. Each player takes the correct number (depending on the number of players) and tries to be the first to use them horizontally and vertically. The game comes with six wild tiles that can be used for any letter. Our testers thought this newest game was going to take forever until they got going. As soon as one player uses up all of her tiles she must draw from the slush pile and so must everyone else. The game ends when there are fewer tiles than the number of people playing. Our testers liked this one and agreed that it was a game for older players. The package says 7 & up, but they thought this was more like a good choice for 9 & up.

Age: Later School Years, Tweens. Award Year: 2014.

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2014 Award
Surfside Scramble
(Educational Insights $12.99 Score:)

A summery look to a word game played with mini-flip-flop cards. Each card is printed with two different letters on each side. Players take 15 flip-flops, turn the timer over and proceed to use all their flip flops before the timer runs out! Part of the challenge is in linking the words since you must use the last letter of one word to start the first letter of the next word, for example...if cat is your first word the linking word will start with "t" as in top...and the next word must start "p." Players receive points for building the longest series of words, the longest word, and the greatest number of words. It's a fast paced twist on scrabble that can be enjoyed by mixed age groups.

Age: Later School Years, Tweens. Award Year: 2014. Click here to purchase the product on Amazon.com.

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2012 Award
Jumbo Bananagrams
(Bananagrams $39 Score:)

Instead of the usual small letter tiles, this Jumbo set comes with 144 tiles that are over 3-inches squares and made of a pliable material. Ideal for playing out of doors, on the floor of the family room, or in the classroom. Players do not take turns as you do in Scrabble. Game play is faster and everyone plays at their own level. With younger kids, try playing on teams or cooperatively. Each play takes 11-21 tiles, depending on the number of players. Someone says SPLIT and all players turns over their tiles and arrange and rearrange them until someone, who has used all his tiles yells PEEL! And takes one more tile from the spare Bunch. Everyone else must also take one tile. A player who cannot use a tile can throw it back but has to take three in exchange.  Play continues until there are no tiles left in the spare Bunch and one player has gotten rid of all his or her tiles. This is great multigenerational game for family gatherings. Be forwarned this Jumbo Set is physically heavy!

For a smaller and less expensive game, check out the original Banangrams($14.99) or the company's Zip It!, both good games for home or easy to pack travel toys.

Age: Early School Years, Later School Years, Tweens. Award Year: 2012. Click here to purchase the product on Amazon.com.

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2012 Award
Pathwords Jr.
(ThinkFun $19.99 Score:)

Remember your word maze games? Playing Pathwords is a bit like finding those words. It's a single player game with a book of words that fits under a playing board grid. The player must find the words in the "Find" list and then cover them with the colored see-though playing pieces. The words can be spelled backwards and forward and require overcoming some spatial challenges. There are 40 puzzles in the spiral book that progress from easy to far more difficult. 6 & up.

Age: Early School Years, Later School Years. Award Year: 2012. Click here to purchase the product on Amazon.com.

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2012 Award
Jumbo Zip-It
(Bananagrams $44.95 Score:)

Like the original Zip it Game, this is a 2-player game with wooden cubes that are used to form crossword grids. These cubes are several times larger than the original cubes and may be easier for beginning spellers to read quickly. Each player takes twelve cubes and can use any side of the cube to make a crossword grid with her own cubes. The first person to use all her cubes wins the round and advances the zipper on the cloth container one point. The first player to move their zipper ten times wins the game. As with other games from Bananagram, the game play is faster since you are not taking turns but making your own crossword as best you can. Be forewarned, these jumbo playing pieces are physically heavy. A good choice for mixed age groups. The game comes with ideas of how to play a rhyming version as well as ways of scoring long words and palindromes. Your kids will probably come up with their own playful ways of using these cubes, such as a stacking the cubes to make words that can be read from the top down or bottoms up.

Age: Early School Years, Later School Years, Tweens. Award Year: 2012.

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2012 Award
Kerflip
(Creative Foundry Games $24.99 Score:)

Word lovers get ready for a fast playing game where you score highest when you score first. All play begins on the white side of the letter tiles. Each letter used is worth 10 points. Once used, the tiles are flipped and now worth only 5 points. You play against the timers and your opponents. But you have to act fast to win a round. This is a faster game than most--you can score with smaller words, but there's no time for dawdling or stalling or the timer will run out or someone else may grab the tiles you are thinking of! Designed for 8 and up. We'd say an even better bet for 10-adult.

Age: Later School Years, Tweens, Teens, Adult. Award Year: 2012.

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2012 Award
Rhyme Out, the Triple Rhyming Game
(Educational Insights $12.99 Score:)

Players take turns drawing a card and reading the three clues aloud. Players then race to shout out the three correct responses that rhyme with each other and answer the riddles. For example: To place your arm around someone, a large cup for hot chocolate, a boat that tows other boats. So the winner would have to say: hug, mug and tug. The cards get progressively harder and there are two levels of play. Winner keeps the card. Winner is the first to collect ten cards. This game calls for both good listening, connecting ideas and coming up with rhyming words. Builds vocabulary as well as listening and rhyming skills. A fun word game for 3 or more players ages 10 to adult.

Age: Later School Years, Tweens, Teens, Adult. Award Year: 2012. Click here to purchase the product on Amazon.com.

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2011 Awards
Big Boggle
(Hasbro $19.99 Score:)

For Boggle aficionados this is the ultimate Boggle game with a bigger grid and nine more letters than the standard game. With this new edition you can make longer words or just more words than the original game. Shake the cubes, turn the 3 minute sand timer and start writing! When time is up players read their list and cross out any words the other player also saw. Your score is then based on the words left on your list. They have added a double letter cube that adds Qu, An, He, Er, Th, and In to your word building choices. We have to admit to being addicted to the Boggle App on the iPad, but this one allows more people to play at one time--a great family game. 8 & up.

Age: Later School Years, Tweens, Teens, Adult. Award Year: 2011. Click here to purchase the product on Amazon.com.

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2011 Award
Pathwords
(ThinkFun $19.99 Score:)

Pathwords is not for the faint of heart when it comes to word games. Place one of the game cards on the square play grid.  The game also comes with differently colored translucent pieces that will sit on the game surface and allow you to "identify" words on the board.  Each game card tells you which colored pieces you may use.  Our testers tried some of the "easy" cards first - they were pretty challenging...but they then decided to skip on to the more advanced cards and found them super hard to do.  All testers agreed that they loved the feel of the game pieces and that it felt pleasingly unique from many other word games, but everyone agreed that you would need to be a very strong word-y to be successful with Pathwords. Funny, even when we tried to say, ok...let's go on to the next game- our testers wanted more time to try it again! Marked 8 & up, but we'd say this is really for older players or as a parent/child game. Even then, we think parents may end up taking over the game!

Age: Later School Years, Tweens, Teens, Adult. Award Year: 2011. Click here to purchase the product on Amazon.com.

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