by The Beast!
(Boardgame Beast HQ)
Number of players:
Scrabble Junior is great way to introduce kids to the world of crosswords through the fun of a board game. With an emphasis on spelling, it’s also an educational game (but don’t tell the kids!).
The game and gameplay
The game offers two levels of challenge (one on each side of the playing board).
For the beginner game, there are words already spelled out, in typical Scrabble game fashion, on the game board. Players start the game by laying all of the letter tiles, face down, on the playing surface to form the “kitty”. Each player chooses seven tiles from the kitty.
The first player must match two of his or her tiles to the letters in any of the words shown on the gameboard. The first player must always place their two tiles on the first letter of two different words, or on the first and second letter of the same word. A player can never start in the middle of a word.
All subsequent players must place their two tiles either on the next available letter or letters of a word started by a previous player, or on the first letter or letters of a new word.Players end their turn by choosing two more tiles from the kitty. If a player cannot play any of their tiles, they may use their turn to exchange any two of their tiles for two new ones from the kitty.
Any time a player places a tile on the last letter of a word, completing that word, they receive a scoring chip. At the end of the game, when all words on the board have been completed, the player with the most scoring chips wins.
For the advanced game, the board is blank. Players create the kitty and choose seven tiles each. The scoring chips are not used in the advanced game.
Words are formed in the usual Scrabble fashion. Players are given one point for each letter used to form their word. Players end their turn by choosing from the kitty the same number of tiles that they used to form their word.
On the advanced game board, there are pictures around the outside of the board with the words spelled out underneath them. These words are meant to provide ideas of words that could be used. It is not necessary to use any or all of these words.
Pros and cons
Scrabble Jr. is educational and it offers two levels of play, all in one board game. However, it seems to lack a middle ground.
Children who have not yet learned to spell will get a great sense of pride and satisfaction from playing the beginner game, because they will feel as if they are spelling words all on their own.
Children who have already begun learning to spell will be disinterested in the beginner game, because it will not challenge them.
Yet until they have a firm grasp on spelling, they may grow frustrated with the advanced game. There is no middle ground for the beginning speller.
Scrabble Jr. is a fun game for kids. The beginner game is easy enough for children to play without any adult assistance. The advanced game may require some adult assistance until the children are more comfortable with spelling. The fact that you are getting two games in one will make the game appealing to your children for a longer period of time.