My last post was about the Ladybird Game, which I bought for my one-year-old who plays it in her own unique way.
At the same time, I bought the Match and Spell game – one of Orchard toys best-selling games that has enormous numbers of five star reviews from parents. It’s easy to see why.
It’s a great way for children to become familiar with the letters of the alphabet, and take steps towards spelling and reading, but within the setting of a game. So it’s entirely fun and fairly versatile and, I’d say, good for most children aged three or over.
Depending at what point your child is at, you’re given two ways you can play the game. But here’s the version we’re on.
- You’re given some tiles with short words spelt out – there’s a picture so non-readers know what the word is – but we’re talking things like ‘hat’ ‘dog’ and ‘cat’.
- The letter tiles are placed faced down.
- You take it in turns to take a letter and put it on your word tile if there’s a space for it.
- If you want to, you can encourage your child to sound out the word when it’s complete, which should help them with their reading.
- The winner is the one who completes the most words.
Even within that, there’s the chance to make the game your own. My four-year-old has brought in a snatching rule, where someone who is dawdling over a tile can have it ‘taken’ by their opponent. and we’re thinking we might add some more interesting words starting with our names.
For children who are already reading and spelling, you can turn the word tiles over and there are no letters. You have to know which letters to pick up, but otherwise the game works in a similar way.
Both Match and Spell and the Ladybird game have been popular since we got them and have been played frequently. There’s nothing complicated about them, and you can get up and running playing them straightaway.