Pros: Educational, Disney theme
Cons: Only one skill level
My oldest daughter is five years old, and she has been reading for quite awhile. She has always been a whole word reader, and because she started reading at such a young age, she doesn’t really have the same background in phonics and/or spelling that an older child might have. Because of this, I look for opportunities for her to improve her spelling skills.
I found Scrabble Junior: The Disney Edition at The Children’s Orchard. This is a resale shop that specializes in children’s products. Everything is carefully inspected, so I can ensure that the games I buy are going to have all of the necessary components. We love all things Disney, so I just knew that this game would be perfect for us.
The first thing that you’ll notice about Scrabble Junior is that the words are already on the board, so a child doesn’t have to know how to read in order to play this game. I think it would be ideal if a child knew his/her letters, but I think that you could get away with not knowing letters- as long as the child could match the letter tiles with the letters on the board. This could certainly be a good way to reinforce letters and that letters work together to make words.
The board is double sided. One side has Disney character names, and the other side has common nouns, but most of the words are associated with Disney characters. For example, next to the word SNOW is a picture of Wart from Sword in the Stone reaching for a snow-covered sword. The word JUG has a picture of Winnie the Pooh and his honey pot.
The game is intended for 2-4 players. At the beginning of the game, each player gets 7 letter tiles (chosen at random). Each player must play two tiles per turn. You can place a tile on the first letter of a new word and/or the next letter of a word that has already been started. If you completed a word, you get a scoring chip. At the end of your turn, take two more letter tiles (chosen at random). The game ends when there are no more tiles in the pile, and everyone has placed all possible letters. The winner is the person with the most scoring chips!
This is a fun game with an element of strategy. You are able to see what letters the other players have, and you can choose to place your letters elsewhere to prevent them from completing a word!
My daughter likes to play Scrabble Junior. I’ve found that playing helps my daughter improve her attention span. She is quick to say that she doesn’t have any place to put her letters, but upon closer examination, she’ll see that she missed an opportunity. As an aside, I do worry about her rushing through her work, so I appreciate opportunities for her to slow down and take a closer look.
The Disney Edition is one of two Scrabble Junior versions that we own. We also have a Madeline version. In that game, the reverse side of the board features words in French. It would have been nice if the two sides of the Disney Edition game board had two different skill levels. The words and the names seem to be about the same skill level, so the Disney Edition offers variety and replay value, but it might not grow with us like the Madeline version will.
Scrabble Junior: The Disney Version is an older game that doesn’t appear to be sold in stores anymore. It is only available on Amazon via third party merchants, but as of this writing, the Disney Edition is available on Ebay. Selection is going to vary depending on when you look, but it appears that there are many copies of the game- even new copies- going for under $10. As I have mentioned, my family loves all things Disney, so I don’t think our game collection would be complete without Scrabble Junior: The Disney Edition. Having Disney character names to spell adds a fun twist on learning to spell, and the images of Disney characters on both sides are bright and colorful! Nothing spells fun like Disney Scrabble!