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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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Rebekkah

says:

It looks like lots of these comments were left in January, 2019, but I stumbled upon this in September, 2020. I am using Boggle in my Zoom sessions with students. I found the idea on Youtube in a video about ice breakers on Zoom. I was pessimistic when I watched the video, as I wasn’t looking for ice breakers, but I found this idea and it is an easy way to engage my students (grade 5)! I printed out a 4×4 grid, slipped it into a page protector, and write in the letters that students message me in the chat. Then we tally up scores at the end. Friday is the day I present a fun interactive game or occasionally some sort of entertaining science video.

Robin E.

says: Customer Service

Rebekkah,
Yes, the blog post is a bit older, but it’s still a great game for building word recognition and practicing spelling. Sounds like you have found a way to add in fun for your Zoom classes. Clever!

Linda DiGianvittorio

says:

My mother had been an avid Boggle player all of her life, and still loves the game. She is now quarantined at an assisted living facility. She is not comfortable using the computer. I would love to obtain some printable Boggle sheets for her. Is there any access that you can direct me to?

Robin E.

says: Customer Service

Linda,
I stumbled across something called “Boggle Brainbusters!” It’s a series of printed books with Boggle pages, but it looks like if you do a search for “Boggle Brainbusters!” you can also find printables. I hope this helps some.

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!

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