Scrabble Tips + Scrabble Give Away

Entries for this give away are now closed. The winner was Kara-lee Dewhirst – “I was introduced to Scrabble by my grandmother who dared me to beat her. I was only 6 at the time and this was a woman who read the dictionary for fun. She never let me win I had to earn it. I am now 34 and still playing scrabble with her and im yet to beat her but the real win is spending quality time with such a lovely person AND learning a thing or two along the way. A scrabble game in our lives is something to be treasured. I have my grandmothers old board which is rather ratty since it was made in 1975. Id love a new one to pass down and challenge my grandchildren with some day!”

Scrabble Tips

This post is sponsored by Nuffnang.

Melbourne’s weather during the school holidays wasn’t the best, so we spent more time indoors than usual. This led to lots of board game playing. With some very handy timing, we were given a new a new version of Scrabble and the kids were very keen to test it out.

Scrabble Tips
The older two boys (12 and 10) opened the new game and set it up as they waited for me to read the toddler’s story before his nap time. As much as I know the toddler loves to be involved in the games we play, I find there are some games, like Scrabble which are just better to play when he is asleep!

This worked out in our favour too. When the boys were waiting for me, they actually took the time to read the booklet that came with the game. In particular the section on “Tips For Better Play”.

Our previous version of Scrabble was much older and I am not sure if it even came with a booklet! I wouldn’t have bothered to read it probably either, as I already knew the rules from playing when I was a kid.

Scrabble Tips
The boys were super excited to tell me that after reading the booklet, they now knew three new words they could use if they were to pick up the Q tile. (They were three new words for me too!)

Scrabble Tips
And the 12 year old had his chance to make a new Q word – with the Q landing on a triple letter score too!

The booklet also had the handy tip for a variation on the rules, by playing a version called Open Dictionary. It means that players can look up words before they play them, without penalty. This is particularly helpful when playing with kids, as it helps to extend their vocabulary and broaden their thought patterns on what words they can create.

Scrabble Tips
Playing Open Dictionary also meant that we could freely use the two letter word list! The “Two Letter Word List” in the booklet is GOLD! It has over 100 two letter words that are derived from the Chambers Dictionary (1998).

Scrabble Tips
Being able to use two letter words really extended our play, especially when the kids were stuck for space. It also meant the kids learned new words, like

ZO – Himalayan cattle; same as zho
HA – interjection expressing a wide range of emotions or responses
KY – Scottish for cattle; same as kye

Scrabble Tips
I distinctly remember as a kid having a love hate relationship with “Hooks”. Hooks are where you add a letter to the start or end of a word. The ‘S’ is most famous for its hooking ability. You love it when it is you who has the S to do the hooking, when it is your word that is piggy backed upon, you generally aren’t so excited by it!

Scrabble Tips
After one of the boys added a S to FUME to make the word EXIST, another chose later not to make a word, just in case it would be hooked! (I think I can remember at times we made house rules when I was a kid playing with my sisters, that banned hooking as it became so contentious!)

Scrabble Tips
I did refer back to the section on “Winning from behind” at one stage, when one of the younger kids was becoming discouraged with how far behind they were. Scrabble is definitely one of those games where one play can change the status quo dramatically. And with some clever use of hooking to boost their score, the discouraged child actually drew with me to be equal winner.

Scrabble Tips
The game of Scrabble seen in the photos, kept us amused for over an hour on a rainy afternoon during the holidays. While our 5 year old didn’t play, he was chief tile getter for his eldest brother and did try to chip in with the few words that he knows how to spell.

For more Scrabble tips and inspiration you can check out their facebook page – it has an amazing 1,768,751 fans!

Win a Scrabble Game!

Mattel have a copy of the Scrabble game to give away for one lucky reader of Planning With Kids valued at $44.95 RRP. Even if you already have Scrabble yourself, the game makes a great family gift for Christmas. (Which if you didn’t know is now less than 10 weeks away!)

Full T’s & C’s are here. To enter all you need to do is:

  • Leave a comment below with your favourite memory of playing Scrabble.
  • The giveaway is open to Australian residents only.
  • You may only enter once.
  • Entries close at 5pm AEDST Friday 28th October 2011.
  • Nuffnang will shortlist all entries. From this list of entries, Nuffnang will judge the winner.
  • Good luck!