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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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Jen aulino

says:

Does this come in lowercase letters?

Robin E.

says: Customer Service

Jen,
No, I don’t think Boggle is available with lower case letters.

Ivette

says:

thank you for the boggle game idea. Definitely going to try.

Robin E.

says: Customer Service

You’re welcome, Ivette! I hope you have a lot of fun with it!

Erin D.

says:

This is a great idea. We also like using Scrabble Slam and Bananagrams for fun spelling practice.

Robin E.

says: Customer Service

I’ve not seen Scrabble Slam, Erin. I’ll have to look into it. But we do have a blog post on Using Bananagrams to Build Language Skills. It’s a wonderful game for learning fun!

Erin D.

says:

Thanks for that link! I’ll check it out. Scrabble Slam is card-based, instead of tiles, and you make a word into a new word by changing a letter.

Justine P.

says:

I’m so glad I stopped by your website! I’ve come to learn about All About Spelling from another blogger/speaker and she speaks so highly of this curriculum. I clicked on the link she provided to see what this curriculum is all about and ran across this post, which caught my attention. I’ve never heard of Boggle and am thankful for another clever resource to use when it comes to working on language skills. I will definitely be using this to switch things up!

Robin E.

says: Customer Service

I’m glad you found this blog post helpful, Justine!

If you have any questions about All About Spelling or anything else, please let us know. We are happy to help!

Candice

says:

Great idea!

Stacey

says:

Thanks for sharing about this game! We’re always looking for fun ways to Karen. I especially appreciate your tips for making it easier for younger ones.

Robin E.

says: Customer Service

I’m glad the tips for helping younger students to play Boggle will be helpful for you, Stacey.

Kari Wahl

says:

I love this! Any time learning is in game form, my kids ask to keep playing.

Dana

says:

I love how you find ways to make learning fun for the kids!

Robin E.

says: Customer Service

Thank you, Dana!

Kim Rickett

says:

What a great idea! I will definitely be trying this game out this summer!

Madison

says:

This is a great idea! Adding it to the list of word games now. We also love Bananagrams and they have a kids version too for younger readers!

Robin E.

says: Customer Service

We love Bananagrams too, Madison!

Kelli

says:

What a fun idea! Thank you!

Rebecca Siverd

says:

I forgot all about this game! Thanks for the reminder… This will be perfect to find for my daughter.

Sarah

says:

I remember playing this when I was young. I’m hoping my boys will enjoy it too!

Regan

says:

Games can be such a fun learning resource!

Robin E.

says: Customer Service

So true, Regan!

Jenny

says:

I love playing word games. This is another game I can add to my collection.

Robin E.

says: Customer Service

I hope you have a lot of fun with this game, Jenny!

Staci A

says:

We love playing Boggle! Turning all the letters to face the same way is a great tip! We’ve been doing Letter Bingo a lot with our youngest. She loves to call out the letters, and it helps her to remember them.

Parkash singh

says:

Hi

Robin E.

says: Customer Service

Staci,
Thank you for mentioning Bingo! Bingo is a great game that is adaptable for so many educational topics. We have a free downloadable Jungle Bingo game for practicing phonogram sounds. We also have a bingo download game on our Fun with Portmanteaus blog post.

Rachael Jones

says:

We live playing boggle!

Jacqueline

says:

I loved this game as a child. And can’t wait to play with my kids

Tanya

says:

Great suggestions!

Joan

says:

Love this game!

Sara

says:

My kids love bananagrams and scrabble. We will have to add Boggle to our list.

steph

says:

Love playing boggle! Another good one is bananagrams

Robin E.

says: Customer Service

We agree, Steph! Check out our Using Bananagrams to Build Language Skills blog post.

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.

Robin E.

says: Customer Service

I’m glad this helped you to find learning game ideas for something other than math, Whitney!

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

Robin E.

says: Customer Service

Viviana,
There is a Boggle Junior for very beginning readers, although simply using fewer cubes with the regular Boggle game is often all that is needed for those just learning to read.

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!