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Using Boggle to Build Language Skills

Fast-Paced Word-Finding Fun!

Time is ticking—can you find all the words hidden in the grid? Even better, can you find unique words that no one else can find? Can you be fast? And creative? If so, you’re well on your way to becoming a Boggle champ!

Boggle game board with timer

Boggle is recommended for players age 8 and up, but you could tailor some of the rules to accommodate younger players. For example, you can play longer rounds, or you can adjust the scoring so that players receive points for all their words, no matter how many players find the words.

Boggle is one of those special games that’s so fun and engaging, kids don’t even realize they’re learning while they play!

Are You Ready to Play?

Shake the grid until all sixteen cubes settle into the sixteen slots. When everyone is ready, take off the lid and flip the timer over. Now all the players look at the grid and try to find words formed by chains of letters.

Let’s take a look at the grid for this round.

boggle game board with letters

Do you see any words? The word PEA is right in the middle of the grid. Can you find it? Start at the letter P, move down to E, then diagonally up to A. See it now?

boggle game showing 3-letter word

Now keep looking at the center of the grid. If you look hard you can find TEA, ATE, EAT, PET, TAP, PAT, TAPE, and PEAT. And that’s just using four letters!

Can you find a five-letter word? Let me help!

Using the L in the top row, you can spell the word PLATE.

boggle game showing 5-letter word

But hang on—there are four more sneaky words hiding in there: PLAT, LAP, PAL, and LATE. Whenever you find a long word, make sure you look for words hidden inside the word.

Now take a look at the top row. At first glance, it might look like you can make the word PILE. But when you look closer, you’ll see that in order to make the word PILE, you would have to jump from the L to the E. And that’s illegal!

boggle game illegal move

The letters you use to form a word must be touching vertically, horizontally, or diagonally in a chain. You can’t skip or jump across letters. And remember, you can’t use the same letter more than once in the same word. For example, on our grid, you can’t make the word PILL because there is only one L on the grid.

Keep looking for words in the grid until the time runs out.

Are you done? When time’s up, read your words to the other players. You only get points for the words on your list that don’t appear on anyone else’s list. If multiple players find the same word, no one gets points for that word.

Boggle game score sheet

Now count up your points! You get 1 point for three- and four-letter words, 2 points for five-letter words, 3 points for six-letter words, 5 points for seven-letter words, and 11 points for words with 8 or more letters. That’s a LOT of points!

4 Ways to Build Language Skills with Boggle

  1. Build vocabulary. Kids will be introduced to new words throughout gameplay as they learn from one another’s lists of words. Having a dictionary on hand can be helpful—if you’re unfamiliar with a word another player found, look it up.
  2. Gain faster word recognition. Speed is an important component of the game, so the faster you can find and write words, the better your chances of winning. The more you play, the faster you’ll become.
  3. Practice spelling skills. Words only count in this game if you spell them correctly—so if you’re eager to win points, you have to pay attention to the way words are spelled. This game also helps with memorization.
  4. Focus on common letter combinations like prefixes and suffixes. Want to get really good at the game? Try out these strategies:

    • Scan the grid for phonograms such as TH, SH, CH, and CK.
    • Look for common blends like ST, BR, and CL.
    • Take advantage of suffixes such as S, ES, and ING, and prefixes such as RE, UN, and DE.

    These strategies can help you find many words you might otherwise miss!
Boggle Game Sheet download

Notes from Our Game Testers

  • The letters on the cubes usually don’t land all facing the same direction—many will be upside down or sideways. If you like, you can always turn the letters so they all face the same direction before starting the timer. This might make the game easier on younger players.
  • The timer runs for 90 seconds, so you can play 90-second rounds or flip it over a second time for a 3-minute round. You can play as many rounds as you wish, or you can play until someone wins a certain number of points. The versatility of the game makes it great for different attention spans.
  • The entire game, except for pencils and paper, is contained in a 4 ¼” square case, which means this could be an awesome game to take along on road trips!

Want to play a quick round? Set a timer for 90 seconds and see how many words you can find in this Boggle grid! Post your number in the comments below.

boggle game board with letters

Does your family have a favorite board game that is a fun and “sneaky” way to build language skills? Please share in the comments below!

All About Learning Press, Inc. is a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for us to earn fees by linking to Amazon.com and affiliated sites. All proceeds from our partnership with Amazon.com will be donated to local libraries.

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steph

says:

Love playing boggle! Another good one is bananagrams

Whitney

says:

I love adding games to learning. It’s so easy to practice math with games, but it’s great to find suggestions to solidify other subjects, too.

Viviana

says:

This is great we love using ganes for learning around here. Can’t wait for my girls to get a little older to add this one to our collection/rotation

Colleen

says:

What a wonderful idea! Will use this with my son when he’s a little bit older.

Alexa Sifuentes

says:

I grew up playing Boggle with my mom and she ALWAYS beat me! But my memories are fond. I love watching my kids learn with games so this is a great reminder to incorporate Boggle!

Jenn

says:

I love teaching with games! My kids are having fun and don’t even realize they’re learning!

Samantha

says:

My kids love learning though games, thanks for the great idea!

Amanda

says:

We love playing games to enhance learning. We will try boggle.

Crystal

says:

I love sneaking learning into our days with games!

Paula

says:

Thanks for the tips on how to make the game more fun for younger players. I love Boggle and I think my kids would too.

Ashley L

says:

Great idea!

Julie

says:

This was a great game to play with my son!

Bonnie

says:

Sounds fun!

Lynn DeBuhr Johnson

says:

I have been homeschooling since 1990, and am now working with my grandchildren. We love using Boggle to help with spelling. It’s fun and it sticks in their brain better than anything.

Robin E.

says: Customer Service

So, true, Lynn! When learning is fun, it sticks so much better!

Jeanne Gereau

says:

Great idea!

Kimberly

says:

How fun!

Gen

says:

This is great idea!

Anita

says:

Thanks for reminding me about Boggle! This is exactly what I need to help my kiddos with their spelling skills.

Kori Villegas

says:

I love word games so I think this would be great for us to play together!

Tannis W

says:

I don’t think I’ve ever played Boggle. What a great idea for playing with words and practicing spelling.

LeAnn Harbert

says:

This is a great idea to help build reading skills while having fun.

Tonya Sinner

says:

We just got this game as a gift from family and we love it!! It has really helped!!

Allison

says:

I like the idea of turning the letters to the same direction!

Brandy

says:

Such a great idea! My boys love games, and this would be such an interactive and fun way to improve language skills.

Cinda

says:

This looks like a fun game!

Shannon

says:

So fun. My kids love playing games to learn.

Kristen Bernstein

says:

I love the creative ideas for using regular games to make learning super fun and involve the whole family! We are going camping soon and I think this is the perfect way to bring some learning along and have extra family fun too!

Robin E.

says: Customer Service

Great idea, Kristen. Boggle will be a great camping game!

Nichole

says:

This is so fun! Thank you for all the tips to teach. Can’t wait to teach my son this game in a couple years.

Robin E.

says: Customer Service

I’m glad you like these tips, Nichole!

David Eggert

says:

We currently do boggle and scrabble. The kids think it’s fun and they learn from it.

Robin E.

says: Customer Service

Yes, Scrabble is a great game for learning too! Thank you.

Laura Royal

says:

Such a fun learning game.