I wasn’t sure how practical this language arts game was going to be for my family of six since three of my four kids are below the recommended age range on the box. However, I shouldn’t have worried. We all love this game! We had so much fun playing and the kids learned a ton. The vocabulary is definitely targeted at older kids, but there is no reason the younger kids can’t learn it too. As long as they have an adult to help with the reading, even pre-readers can play and guess along with their older family members.
Company: Semper Smart Games
Recommended Age Range: Box says 12 and up, but we play with all of our kids (ages 6 to 13). Younger kids might need help with reading or being reminded of the definition of words, but they can guess and think critically along with their older siblings.
Price Range: ~$40 (I have an Amazon coupon, though, for 50% off good until March 31, 2023! Contact me if you would like it. 😊)
Amazon Product Page (Affiliate Link)
I’m going to be honest…when I opened the box, I was a little concerned. I tend to get overwhelmed easily by game instructions that seem even remotely complex. However, there is a QR code right on the front that links to this video explaining how to play. After watching that video, I felt pretty confident we could give it a go. Once we played for about 3 minutes, it all made total sense. There are a lot of options for how to interact with the words, but the main premise is that you are just trying to complete challenges to guess the words laid out on the table. We chose to play in two teams of 3, but there is a cooperative option as well.
In order to guess the correct words and win the game, you have to know what the words mean. However, the game does not rely on you having previous knowledge of the words. The cards give you the definition, usage, synonyms, and antonyms. It turns out this is highly motivating, even for the youngest kids. This is such a brilliant strategy. Someone who does not know the meaning of the words has everything they need right in front of them and a compelling reason to figure it out.
For my pre-readers, I read the cards to them and also gave extra information to help them out. For example, one of the words is “detect.” The card uses the example of someone detecting sarcasm. My 6-year-old didn’t know what that meant so I gave him the example of detecting an ant trail in the kitchen. When “detect” was the target word, he was the first one to guess it correctly. My 11 and 13-year-olds probably knew around half of the words to start, but they learned several new ones as well. I found it interesting that there were many words that they had a rough idea of what they meant, but were not precisely sure. This game provided a lot of clarity. For example, my daughter thought “exceedingly” meant really big, so she learned that something can be exceedingly small and that “very” is a better synonym.
Speaking of synonyms, the kids learn so much besides vocabulary. Synonyms, antonyms, metaphors, similes, allusions, alliteration, transition words, parts of speech….how they managed to squeeze so much educational content in such a fun game is beyond me. My kids think it’s hilarious that the challenge that I struggle with the most is not using filler words. You have to give clues to help your team guess the target word WITHOUT using words like, “oh, um, so, okay.” I’ve learned that I am TERRIBLE at this. 😂
So far, my 13-year-old is the only one brave enough to be a clue-giver besides my husband and me, but that’s okay. The younger kids can still play by guessing. I’m sure as they get more familiar with the advanced vocabulary featured in the game, they will eventually become comfortable enough to try their hand at clue-giving too. With the wide variety of challenges available in the game and the 270 word-cards to learn, I’m sure they will not get bored with this one for a LONG time!
I reached out to the maker and he offered me a 50% coupon for my audience that is good until March 31, 2023. Let me know if you would like it and I will send it on over!
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