July 31st, 2009

Word Sense (by ThinkFun)

We want the best for our children. Not only do we want them to succeed, we genuinely want them to outshine us and reach farther and do better in all they accomplish. Except on game night. Not that we’re particularly competitive, mind you, but there’s a special kind of humiliation involved when your children legitimately start to beat you at games.

Knowing of the Monkey’s great love for words and reading, some friends recently gave us Word Sense—a sort of updated Scrabble. The concept could not be simpler: players take turns flipping letter tiles over and the first player who thinks of a word that includes those letters wins points. The game ranges in complexity depending on the ages and sophistication of the players. Basic letters are worth one point, complicated letters are worth two points and tiles with two letter combinations are worth three. Players can also choose between two and five tiles to choose from; obviously the more tiles you flip over the more complicated it becomes. (Can you think of a word that includes the letters o, c, x and ee?)

It was obvious I was doomed when the letters P, A and H were flipped over and I shouted out “Path” while at the same time the Monkey shouted out “Pathetic”. Likewise when the letters A, D, N turned up I offered up “And” while the Monkey quickly came up with “Adolescent”. Let the thumping begin.

This is an older kids’ game, but it was fun to have Ladybug there, playing alongside us, watching and thinking about words and letters. The instructions are easy to follow with lots of options for different kinds of play. Ironically enough, the only thing we found confusing about this game was the score sheet, which is set up in a grid that didn’t make sense to us. Eventually, we just flipped the score paper over and kept track of our points that way. Macgyver would be jealous of our ingenuity.

I have to brush up with a little light dictionary study, because I’m certain this is a game we’ll be playing over and over again.

Next time I’ll be ready.

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This Weeks Tip

This tip can be filed in the category of “things they never taught you in Home Ec.” Want to get the most juice out your lime? Put it in the microwave for 10-15 seconds before you squeeze, and you’ll get nearly twice the juice.