Education is important for everybody, and we all learn new things every day whether you know it or not. But getting young children to engage with learning and education can be difficult as well as stressful, especially as most parents and carers are not teachers. That leaves encouraging learning through play and games. In the past I have been a foster carer and have also helped in the Year 1 classroom at my local primary school. Both of these involved lots of phonics and reading. Apart from helping and listening to the children with their reading books we played a lot of word games, which they all really enjoyed. The word games are a great way for the kids to engage with phonics, reading, word building and decoding. Word games are a fun activity and very educational. Games just like Spelligator from Junior Learning.
Spelligator is an excellent engaging and exciting word building game that teaches phonemic awareness, letter patterns and positioning. And involves alligators chomping words. It is a game for 2-4 players, aged 5+, suitable for Year 1 to Year 6.
In the box:
- 4 Spelligators (plastic alligators with moulds on their backs on which the letter tiles can be placed)
- 75 Letter Tiles
- Official word list (a list of words, alphabetically ordered which can be used as a prompt or example for words that can potentially be formed in the game)
- Game Guide
The idea of the game is to make as many words as you can for your alligator to chomp. Once chomped, they get stacked on the alligators back. The player whose alligator can chomp the most words is the winner.
To play Spelligator, each player takes a different coloured alligator, the Spelligator. All the tiles are then placed face down on the table within easy reach of all the players. Each player then turns over a tile, going around the table until a player can create a word. Once a word, which is made up of three tiles, is created, the player that created the word places those tiles on the back of their Spelligator and then turns over another tile. Play continues until all tiles have been turned over and no more words can be made. The winner is the player with the highest stack of correct words on the back of their Spelligator.
To stop any arguments, the game is supplied with an official word list. Any word that is created has to be on the list, or its not getting in, or rather, on the back of the Spelligator.
Overall, the kids had great fun with game. They loved the brightly coloured alligators, and it was an excellent way for them to practice their phonics, sounding out and blending as well as reading and even learning new words. The game covers different letter combinations, including consonants, vowels, digraphs, and blends.
The kids thought that it was excellent and want to play it all the time. The words are made up of three letter tiles, which create 3-5 letter words. It is an excellent game for the kids to play at home with an adult guiding them, checking words and getting them to say the words that they have made. And it also helps with phonics, word formation, reading, spelling and even understanding the meaning of unfamiliar words as they can be discussed with them.
It is a fun game to play and supplements their phonics work in the classroom. It is also great fun to play in the classroom. The children can still be learning whilst having fun.