Boggle Jr. Review
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Go ahead and convict me. I’m guilty of babying my baby. Yes, she’s four years old, but since we aren’t having any more kids, both my husband and I have pretty much treated her as the bambina. However, when her preschool teacher suggested that we might want to keep her there for another year rather than start kindergarten in the fall, I was pretty surprised. She’s very bright and sociable—and also a little on the young side with her August birthday—but I never even thought that she’d wait until she was six to start school. We decided that it would be a good idea to really start drilling her on the alphabet and numbers, hence the timely arrival of Boggle Jr.

Boggle Jr. is a game that can be played either alone or with a parent or older sibling. The game pieces consist of a game tray that holds a set of two-sided cards (which are printed with a picture and either a three- or four-letter word) and eight letter cubes to use to spell the words on the cards. The object is simply to match, or spell, the word on the card using the letter cubes.

  
 
The game is set up by stacking the cards so the 3-letter words are all face-up, turned in the same direction, and placed in the tray above the letter cube slots. There’s a word cover that can be used with older or more experienced players to cover the letters on the card—so the player must spell from memory—but we aren’t quite there yet. The letters on the cubes are printed in large capital letters with an underline, which is exactly the way they’re printed on the cards, so it’s easier for the child to place the correct letter in the tray beneath the card.

If you’re playing with two children, they suggest that the players keep the cards when they answer correctly. We haven’t played with the girl next door yet, but I can see the two girls having lots of fun with it. So far, just matching the word correctly and identifying the letters has been reward enough. She loves it.

Boggle Jr. has been a neat way for us to reinforce letter recognition. I think she could play it all day, and she’s been extremely pleased to show her grandma and aunties how she can spell “cow,” “duck,” and other words. By sounding out the letters, matching them, and concentrating on the process, my baby is becoming more reading-ready. I would heartily recommend this for any preschooler.

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