69

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.
< Previous Post  Next Post >

Leave a Comment

Tracey

says:

Great gift idea!

Beth

says:

We love family game night at our house, and this would be a great way to get in some more learning. Thanks for the ideas!

Catherine

says:

Often the simplest games are the most fun! Thanks for the idea!

Renae B.

says:

Thanks for the reminder to play spelling games every once in a while to keep interest and not just be focused on accomplishing lessons.

Kim C

says:

Thanks for posting this recommendation! I used to love playing boggle – but hadn’t thought of using it as a spelling tool. Looking forward to bringing this into our spelling time.

Robin E.

says: Customer Service

You’re welcome, Kim! Games are a great way to practice skills while having fun.

Krista

says:

We’re just starting to play more games during our school day, so this will be a great addition!

Sandy

says:

I’m going to buy this for my classroom! I forgot about this game. I also use Bananagrams.

Robin E.

says: Customer Service

Bananagrams is another great word game, Sandy! Personally, I think it is better than Scrabble for young learners, as with Bananagrams you don’t have to worry about another playing blocking your next move.

Kristen

says:

Great idea!

Pat K

says:

A very timely reminder to find this game and bring it out for my students.

Nishita

says:

Love this idea!

Amy D

says:

This is such a good idea! I love sneaky learning opportunities—and having fun!

Brittanie

says:

We love playing games in our house and this mama loves when the games double as educational tools! Boggle will be added to my pile of “smart games” as we call it!

Robin E.

says: Customer Service

I love your “smart games”, Brittanie. I may still that. 😉

Jenny Baker

says:

I had this game as a kid! I need to get it for my kids!

Robin E.

says: Customer Service

Jenny,
Yes! It’s so much fun to introduce to your kids things you enjoyed when you were a child. 😊

Mary M.

says:

Thanks for the reminder, I need to introduce this game to my kids! I think it will really help my 7 yo.

Shana

says:

good idea

Aimee

says:

This was one of my favorite games growing up. The goal was to beat my dad–which was no easy task!

Robin E.

says: Customer Service

I know what you mean, Aimee! Only with me it was my mother. I was a teen before that happened and I still remember how proud I felt!

Michelle Franklin

says:

Great idea! Games make learn so much fun.

Crystal Johnson

says:

I had forgotten about that game.

Kimberly Valdez

says:

I love this idea! Thank you!

Kristen K.

says:

Love this! Word games help connect students in such a great way.

Erica Lindquist

says:

Awesome! My son LOVES word games- can’t wait to try this!

Nikky

says:

We love game-schooling! Can’t wait to try this one with my kids!

Donald Errol Knight

says:

This is FUN, fun, fun!!

Samantha

says:

We love using games to learn!

Amanda

says:

Interested to see how this works for us!

Alexandra Stamper

says:

Such a great idea! I loved this game as a kid!

Monica

says:

Thank you for a chance to win!

Danielle Johnson

says:

What an awesome idea!

Lindsay

says:

I love bringing back “older games” into the classroom & the tips & tricks posted! As a Language Therapist I love finding new multi sensory activities!

Robin E.

says: Customer Service

I agree, Lindsay. I think the old games are often the best ones! Besides, when you are little everything is “new” no matter how old it is. 😊

Sara

says:

This is a wonderful idea! My girls love playing games so I’m sure this will be a big hit. Thanks for the idea!

Nicki

says:

This is such an awesome idea!!

Lisa

says:

We need to get this game.

Mary Y.

says:

I love this!

Patricia

says:

What a fun activity for my oldest to do while I’m busy helping the youngest.

Dawn

says:

Great ideas! Could also use as a letter hunt for the littles learning to recognize letters. Print or write out letters A-Z and have them mark off the letters they find or match them to some letter manipulatives.

Robin E.

says: Customer Service

Great ideas, Dawn! Thanks for sharing ways to make Boggle work for even pre-readers.

I love playing boggle with my 6 year old. he is catching on quickly as he is learning so many new words this year in school.

Robin E.

says: Customer Service

Thanks for letting us know you are your 6-year-old are enjoying Boggle, Katrina!

This is a great idea! I can do this with both my LD and my gifted kiddos. Thanks!

Robin E.

says: Customer Service

Yes, Melanie! It wouldn’t be difficult to make adaptations to Boggle to make it fun for everyone.

Timo

says:

This game is fun and educational. A great way to encourage kids to use their word skills!

Karen

says:

Boggle looks like a fun game

Jennifer

says:

I grew up practicing spelling by playing Boggle, and now I get to help my sons practice their spelling in the same way!

Robin E.

says: Customer Service

Jennifer,
I have found one of the best joys of parenthood is sharing something I enjoyed as a child with my own children. There is such a wonderful mix of past and present and a thought of the future when my children will share it with their children. 😊

Amber

says:

Great idea.

Sherry

says:

Who doesn’t love a good game of Boggle?

Brooke b

says:

Great idea for a fun game

Lisa

says:

Thanks for all these great ideas!

Tammy Smith

says:

Love this!

Christine Bailey

says:

My kids love to play this!

Jeannette

says:

Another variation for mixed abilities is to allow 3-letter words for beginners but not for the more-advanced players.

Meredith

says:

Good idea!

Robin E.

says: Customer Service

Ooo, great variation, Jeannette! Thanks for the idea.

Charlene

says:

I loved Boggle growing up. With my 8-year-old, how well would it work with the two of us playing? I wouldn’t want him getting discouraged with his word list vs mine. Any suggestions?

Laurie

says:

One suggestion is not to compete with each other. Each of you would try to beat your personal best score. ( for a round or for a game). Maybe even add some bonus points if he scores more in round 3 than in round 2, for instance. Or he gets points for any word on his list that you found, but you don’t get points for the words on your list that he found.

Robin E.

says: Customer Service

Charlene,
Laurie has good suggestions. I especially like the idea of keeping your scores separate so each of you can try to beat your own score next time.

Another idea is to count points differently for you and your child. You could only count your points if he doesn’t find the word but you would give him points for all of his words whether you found them or not. Or you could get one point for each unique word you find but he could get two points for each unique word.

And, depending on the child, it is okay to always win. I was a teenager before I finally beat my mother in Rummy, but I still played with her all the time. I started playing with her when I was 8 and even though I always lost, I enjoyed it. And by the time I could beat her occasionally, I was a really good player!

Val Fasciani

says:

Boggle is a great game for lower English language learners. They find it challenging but also fun and learn lots of words to which they can find meanings if unsure.

Laura Plott

says:

My son loves word games!

Robin E.

says: Customer Service

My kids love word games too, Laura. They are a lot of fun!

BethAnne Hunter

says:

Great idea!

Jennifer

says:

I love boggle but never thought about using it for learning. great idea and tips!

Sasha Slonecker

says:

This looks like a great way to practice spelling! Now I need to find the game of Boggle!

Robin E.

says: Customer Service

Boggle has been around for decades, Sasha, so it usually isn’t hard to find it at thrift stores. Just make sure it has all the letter dice. If the hourglass is missing, you can just use a kitchen timer.

Leave a Comment