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Indoor activities for kids: Scrabble tile word games for all ages

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Finding indoor activities for kids is a continual challenge for many parents. Coming up with educational games is often an even bigger hurdle. However, many times parents overlook inside activities that can be accomplished using items that are right in front of them. The classic Scrabble board game is one such item. There are many variations of Scrabble word games that kids can play.

Check out the many ways you can use your Scrabble pieces and challenge your kids to some new, fun games today!

One-minute challenge

All you need to do for this game is to divvy up the pieces equally between players and set a timer. Then, ready, set, go! Players have one minute to make as many words as they can using the portion of letters they were given. Words don’t have to connect to another player’s words, but they must still use as many letters as possible and deduct leftover pieces from their points total. Highest points wins the game. Kids get such a thrill out of the fast-paced challenge that they want to do it over and over again.

Themed games

You know all those silly Scrabble rules like not being able to use proper nouns? Throw them out the window in this game and let loose with some fun themes. Choose a theme such as baseball, favorite tv shows, Star Wars, outer space, fashion, foods, animals, or even educational subjects such as The Civil War, presidents, chemistry, classic literature, etc. The sky’s the limit for themes, but once you choose one, the entire game must be played by creating words that fit the theme.

“Little” Scrabble

If you don’t have a Scrabble Junior game, you can easily turn your regular Scrabble game into a little-kid friendly game. Limit older kids to three or four letter words, so their skill level will match the younger kids. Instead of the more complicated math it takes to compute traditional Scrabble, simply make every letter worth one point, and add two points for Double Letter and Double Word spaces, and three points for Triple Letter or Triple Word spaces.

Trading Tiles

In this game, players take turns as usual. However, each time a player makes a word, before play passes to the next person, the person who just took their turn takes two tiles from another player. The “taker” is not allowed to look at the tiles he or she takes. Sometimes this throws a wrench into the next player’s plans and sometimes it doesn’t, but it keeps players on their toes and ready to make more than one word.

Lists and Twists

Give each player an equal number of tiles, or put them all in one pile and let kids draw from a single pile. Set a timer for two minutes and give the kids a category to work with. For instance, it could be animals, colors, things you wear, things you see in the winter, Christmas-related things, etc. Kids have until the timer goes off to make as many words as they can that fit the theme. When the timer goes off, kids get five points for each word they made. Re-set the timer for just one minute and give the kids a new category. If they can take their existing words and twist them into words that fit the new theme, they’ll get an extra ten bonus points for each word they make.

Scrabble Scramble

In this fun game, kids split into teams (or a parent can play as the opposite team) and are given an equal number of Scrabble squares. Without letting the opposing team see what they’ve made, each team makes a list of words, discarding any unused letters. Once they have their words, the team must scramble the letters around in each word. It’s then the opposing team’s job to try to unscramble as many words as possible before a timer goes off.

In most variations of Scrabble, the games can be adjusted for any age by simply limiting older children to the skill set of the younger kids, or pairing an older child with a younger child on each team.

Want to receive ideas for activities for kids, jam-packed with fun? Subscribe to the St. Louis Children's Recreation Examiner at the top of this page, or "like" Jae's Jampacked Days for St. Louis Moms and Dads on Facebook! Jaelyn Jamik also shares more great ideas for kids on Pinterest and via her St. Louis Special Occasions Examiner page.

This article may not be copied or reproduced in any form without the express written consent of the author, Jaelyn Jamik, or Clarity Digital Media. Any excerpt reproduced, not to exceed 75 words, must provide a link back to the original article and Examiner.com.

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