Scrabble: An Entertaining Way to Improve Your Child's Vocabulary and Spelling Skills

Scrabble is a fun way to improve your child's english, vocabulary, reading, and overall grammar skills. Read on to learn more about Scrabble and how it can benefit you and your child.

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Scrabble may be the most popular word game around. It's designed for two to four players and the object is to score points by forming words from lettered tiles on a game board. Everyone starts out with a seven letter tiles and builds off the word constructions set out as the game progresses.

How To Play

The words are formed across and down like a crossword puzzle and you have to be able to find the word in a standard dictionary. For more advanced and competitive players, official reference works which provide a list of words you can use are also available.

Each letter is worth points, the number of points depending on the letter's frequency in standard English writing. For example, a commonly-used letter like E or O is worth one point and less common letters like Q and Z each are worth ten points. There are other details that add scoring possibilities, like the premium squares that multiply the amount of points awarded for a letter, but basically, the better use you make of your letters, the better.

Scrabble as Educational Tool

It's easy to see why Scrabble is not only a fun game, but also a fantastic educational tool. Scrabble makes learning fun. Obviously, it requires and builds strong vocabulary and spelling, but it also requires math (players need to see what plays are worth what) and strategy (players need to see what plays are worth the most and what plays might keep their opponents from scoring), even spatial relations and probability. And if you play in teams, you have to work together. It's a great opportunity for kids to teach and learn from each other. There's even a version of the classic word game devoted to mathematics, using formulas and equations instead of words.

It's a Social Game

Even kids who are not strong spellers can catch the bug. Scrabble gives them a chance play with letters and develop their interest in words. If a student is good with strategy, he stands a chance. The skills he lacks will grow, watered by his success. And the competition not only makes it fun, it provides incentive for strengthening vocabulary and spelling skills. The dictionary is the weapon of choice in Scrabble, so it requires a student to gain facility with using that otherwise dreaded book.

Scrabble Clubs and Tournaments

According to John D. Williams Jr., the executive director of the National Scrabble Association (, there are about 500 Scrabble clubs in schools across the U.S., with many more students playing informally. Williams says that you just haven't lived until you've seen 12-year-old boys fighting over a dictionary.

There are over 2,000 active tournament Scrabble players in the United States. As your child grows older, he may be interested in participating in a tournament to test his skills against other players. Cross-Tables.Com,, offers an exhaustive listing of upcoming tournaments. There may be one in your area!

Scrabble in Schools

With the help of the School Scrabble Association, teachers everywhere are using Scrabble in their classrooms. The program actually provides lesson plans and curriculum guidelines to help them tie Scrabble in with national standards. With the rise of standardized education, many teachers will take that as welcome news.

'They think they're playing a game,' Williams quips, 'but they're actually learning.'

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