Thursday, October 22, 2009


2 or more players

This is a fun game that I made up while teaching.  Start with a 3 letter word like the above "big".  Pass it to the person to your right.  The next person can only change one letter and has to make a new word.  You can change the first, middle or last letter.  Then you set your new word down and pass it to the next person (kind of just slide it on the table to the next person).  You can't do the same word twice.  Sometimes it helps to have a scribe that is writing down words to make sure they are not repeated.

If a person is stumped, they get the letter P given to them.  Then that person starts over with a new 3 letter word.  You can also choose at this point if you want to allow the person to change it to a four letter word.  Or five letters.... That is up to the group and the age and the skill level.

So the game continues until a person ends up with a PIG and then is dismissed from the game.  When a person is dismissed the person to the right starts with a new word.

Words can be changed and anagrammed however a player wishes.  Basically, the letters can be mixed in any way as long as only one is changed.  For example:

Player1: HEAT
Player2: BEAT
Player3: TALE
Player4: LEAF
Player1: FALL
Player2: BALL
Player3: BALE
Player4: BLED
Player1: LEAD
Player2: DEAD
Player3: DATE
Player4: TAPE

You can also not implement the PIG part of it and dismiss players.  Another option could be to try as a group to set a record for number of times anagrammed...or just gather points for every time you create a word, keep track of points and the most points wins.  When you are stumped you don't get a point... Or if you create a word that stumps someone else you get an extra point.  You can change things however you wish to fit your group.  Have fun!

Wednesday, October 21, 2009

Words in a word.

In third grade my teacher, Mr. McArthur, would challenge us every holiday with a word contest.  He would give us the name of the holiday and we would have to see how many little words we could find within the big word.  I LIVED for these word contests and would spend any remaining time after I finished homework in the evening searching for words, dictionary beside me, until I was quite certain I would be the winner.  I think I won all, if not nearly all, of those word challenges that year.

I did the same thing when I was a teacher except I had Limber Letters for my students to use.  It was great to see them mixing things around, finding words they might have not otherwise found.  It makes a HUGE difference to visually see letter combinations.  The double "ee" or "ll" for example.. putting those together and looking at the other letters makes it easier to see possibilities.

Have a friend, class, family or neighborhood challenge.  Give it as an assignment during school breaks -- it will keep your school aged children busy for quite some time (at least it did me).

Happy letters to all of you!  The letters are going fast.  I only have about 8 more bags ready for this round of selling and then I will be taking a break...

Tuesday, October 20, 2009

Mix - Fix

This is a really fun one to play to practice your spelling words.  My students would do this activity nearly every week in preparation for our Friday test.


2 or more players

All tiles are placed facing up in the middle of the playing surface (ground, table, blanket).

At this point you can do one of many things:
Hand each person a spelling list to choose words from (something that needs to be practiced)
Hand each person a list of random new vocabulary to choose from
Pick a category to make a word from
Pick a certain letter the word needs to start with
Pick a certain amount of letters the word needs to contain
Give no rules and let everyone do whatever word they want

Each person secretly chooses their tiles and puts them into their hands and shakes them around.

Pass your handful of letters to the person on your right.

At this point you can see who can set their mixed-up tiles down and unscramble the word the fastest and they get a point (if it is spelled correctly).  Or you can simply have the person spell the word out and wait for everyone else 9no scoring).  Or you can have each person write down the word the received on a paper secretly, then pass around the mixed up letters until the whole round is done and then read the words off to see if they are correct.

Monday, October 19, 2009

Roots of Limber Letters

Today's game will be geared for the older audiences.

Limber Letters are bagged tiles originally used in a game that my grandmother has marketed called Anagrabber.  It is a game geared toward ages 7 and up.  She has graciously given me a few boxes of letter tiles to market to other communties besides the ones that she targets (senior centers, mensa groups, etc.).  Anagrabber is a wonderful game and our family enjoys playing it.  I have copied the instructions below for Anagrabber, which you can play with Limber Letter tiles.  

Before having children I used these in my classroom and sold them to my co-teachers left and right!  There are a million ways to use them in the classroom!  Now that I am home I can find a million ways to use them with my pre-schoolers!  I think the funnest thing about them is making up games.  Even kids will come up with fun ways to use them.

Also, because there are 300 tiles in a bag, your options are greater.  Scrabble only has 98 tiles and Bananagrams has 144.  I would love to hear how you think you would use them!

How to play Anagrabber (R)*

Number of players: 2 to 8

Ages 7 to 97

Object of game: To make and keep 6 words during a round of play. Drawing lettered tiles from a bag 4 at a time, players make words and discard any letters they do not use. Discarded letters may be used by other players. A player may "anagrab" (or steal) another player's word by adding one or more letters and rearranging the stolen word to make a different word. Once a player wins a round with 6 words, he or she must make 7 words while other players need only 6 to win. With each win, another word is added to the "handicap" to a maximum of 10 words for experienced players. For a more detailed explanation, see the instruction booklet that comes with each Anagrabber(R) game.

In the picture above, the player has made the word "DINER" using the blank as an "E". The blank remains an "E" even when the word is Anagrabbed to make "DINNER"
The blank tile designated as an "E" can be replaced by a player who draws an "E"; then that player owns the blank, but the word "dinner" remains just as it was.

After the blank tile has been replaced,it becomes wild again. Its new owner is using it now as an "I" to Anagrab "went" and make "twine."
Anagrabbing the word "twine" to make "winter"
A player has made the word "ale" from letters drawn from the bag during his turn. To Anagrab it with an "S" a player would have to make "sale" rather than "ales"
You can't just add an "S" to the end of a word to steal it; that would be too easy. But you can rearrange the letters to make a new word, such as "sale" or "leas" (leas are meadows).
Or you could add two letters, such as the "S" and another "E" to Anagrab "ale" as "lease" or "easel". There is no limit to the number of letters that can be added to a word.

Wednesday, October 14, 2009

Limber Letters

The Crafty Crow will be doing a Limber Letter Giveaway this upcoming Monday.  
I've just revamped the packaging and am pretty pleased with the way it turned out.  

I just added a couple bags to the etsy shop as a test run, and also, to let any of you have first dibs.  This batch is limited.  I will be adding more over the weekend in preparation for Monday.  Also, all next week I will be posting games to play with the letter tiles in celebration of the giveaway.  
Look forward to that!