During Reasoning Month we have talked about activities that can help improve children’s reasoning skills. The fun way to succeed at the 11+ is to make the learning fun. Abstract puzzles like Rubik’s cubes, regular puzzles like sudokus or non-verbal reasoning problems like we’ve been posting on Facebook are definitely ways to build a child’s logical brain. However, another game might trump all of these: SCRABBLE. (It’s worth 14 points for the record!)
Why is Scrabble so good?
This is the obvious one. The more words children know, the easier it is to play. It builds on the early primary school techniques of making words using familiar patterns. If you know that lots of words end in “ite” or you know “ght” is a common way to see three non-vowels together, it makes building words much easier.
Another fun aspect of the game is learning lots of the two-letter words that allow you to use up high-value letters in late stages or on bonus squares. Knowing that a Zo (also spelt Dzo) is a hybrid between a cow and a yak is handy. As is knowing that Qi the vital force that in Chinese thought is inherent in all things. There are lots of two-letter words which can be really handy to overlap and build up scores.
It’s an anagram game primarily and using up all your letters gets you a bonus 50 points meaning this is the best way to score lots of points but it isn’t just about anagrams…
Scrabble has lots of bonus squares. By creative placement, a two-letter word with a Z or an X on a triple letter can be worth much more than a six-letter word. Even lower scoring letters can be used to good effect in this way. This screenshot taken from Scrabble Go shows the difference using bonus squares makes:
As you can see, 5 extra points gained from playing one less letter! This level of reasoning requires a good broad vocabulary, good maths skills and observant concentration in order to spy these areas that points can be gained.
If you’re looking to give your child a fun way to succeed at the 11+ exam, look no further than the game of Scrabble. One way to play that many children will enjoy is using the digital version: Scrabble Go. However, a word of caution with the app in that is has a messaging function so we would recommend that children playing on this app are supervised.
We think it’s much more fun to play as a family. Get the green board out and have an hours family time!