This game can best be described as a mental tug of war over letters of the alphabet. And who doesn’t love tug of war? Even my four year old enjoys playing it and benefits from the experience. This educational game helps with letter recognition, spelling, creative thinking, and cooperation.
Word on the Street Junior Game Details
Product: Word on the Street Junior
Company: Educational Insights
Recommended Age Range: 6 and up, though kids as young as at least 4 can easily play as long as their is an older child or adult on their team
Price Range: ~$20
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We borrowed this game from a friend and the first thing I realized as we are setting it up is how beneficial it was for my 4 year old who is still working on memorizing all his letters. As part of the setup, you have to match the letter tiles to the correct spot on the “street.” He would pick up a tile and I would say things like, “Do you remember what letter that is? That’s a K? Can you find it on the board?” Of course, my older kids rapidly had this task taken care of, so he only got to do a few letters, but I could see in the future doing this activity alone with him so he can receive the most benefit.
Next, this game stretches your thinking skills. First the players are divided into two teams. The category cards give a team a topic, you flip over the timer, and they have until the sand runs out to choose a word that fits the category card. For example, one of our categories was “an animal smaller than an ant” and my oldest came up with tardigrade.
Generally speaking, you want to find the longest word possible, because the more letters in the word, the more letters you get to “tug” on. However, sometimes there will be certain letters that you want to use to capture those letters. For example, one of our clues was “something you can see through” and the W letter was one pull away from being captured. In my frantic, muddled adult brain, I came up with words like glass, glasses, plexiglass. Then my four year old shouted out “window” which was perfect, because it let our team capture the W.
We have only played this game twice so far. Once we had an adult on each team which made things balanced. The time we played with four kids and an adult, I played both sides. This caused some minor problems as one team in particular was upset that I seemed to be giving better suggestions to one side than the other, which was coincidentally true. After that, I only helped the losing team.
I also help with a lot of the spelling once kids have decided on their word. Overall, I think this a fun, enjoyable way to practice spelling and creative thinking while getting kids working together. While we may not purchase our own version of this game, it is one that I would happily borrow periodically from my frend.
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