Yesterday, my teenage nephew and I played “Scrabble” while my three year old daughter, niece and husband played “Pop the Pig.” Every so often, Quinn would sneakily creep over to our table and take a tile or two from my rack and scurry away giggling. This morning, upon arriving downstairs and seeing me take the “Scrabble” game box from the dining room table to put it back with the other games, she pleaded, “No, Mommy! Please don’t put the game away. I want to play Scramble!” As I explained, “Honey, you need to be a little older to play “Scrabble,”(I thought it was cute that she called it Scramble) and you need to know how to read.” She persisted, “But I know how! I know all of my letters in the alphabet. This is an “S.” This one is a “C…” She identified every letter in the word Scrabble and every letter on the tiles on the box and then told me, “See, I t0ld you I know how to read. This means we can play, right?”
I was impressed with her logic and argument for why she should be able to play, so we did a variation of the game, which is meant for ages eight and up. She purposely sought out the colored blocks on the board and identified the letters then looked for the tiles to spell what she saw, such as the word “double” and “word.” Then, I would ask her to find specific letter tiles or to find one that makes the “Ba” sound or “What letter does Kangaroo start with,” and she’d find the tile and put it on the board. This was enough to make her happy playing the game an feeling like she was spelling words.
Something I thoroughly enjoyed doing when I was younger and still do today is playing Scrabble. Yes, it can be a long and somewhat arduous game as I run out of letters or spaces on the board, but I love the way it stimulates my mind and critical thinking. Plus, I may learn some new words along the way. I’m looking forward to playing Scrabble the “right” way with my little girl when she is a bit older and “really” does know how to spell.
Al the best,