This game is played somewhat like the Scrabble board game, but you don’t need a board or game pieces. All you need is graph paper, or paper with a grid, and some type of writing instrument. If you don’t have graph paper, you can create a grid on your computer and print it.
Start somewhere near the center of the page and write down a word. It can be written from left to right, up and down, or diagonally. The difficulty of the word should be dependent on the child’s age or vocabulary level. For small children, use simpler words.
Take turns coming up with words that can be made using a letter from the main word. You can write the new words in any direction, but try to place them strategically so you can build on each additional one.
Words used for this game should appear in the dictionary or be commonly recognized. If there is a disagreement, the play should not count. Players may challenge if they believe an opponent has not used a real word or it is not spelled properly. If it is incorrect, the player that wrote it loses a turn. If however, it is correct, the challenger loses his or her next turn.
To keep score award one point for each vowel used and two points for each consonant used. You might want to give extra points for difficult letters, such as X and Z. This should be established before the game begins.
To make the game more challenging, add a theme, and stipulate that all additional words must be related to the first word in some way. Continue play until none of the players can make any more words.
Take graph paper along with you for lengthy car trips and for a way to keep busy while waiting to attend appointments. This game is a great way to keep kids busy and to kill time while waiting or traveling.