Monday, January 28, 2013

"My PAL owned a GNU" -- word-y fun continues

To continue with the Literacy theme of my last post:  the other fun thing we do with words in our house is to play a game that Allison and I invented when she was little.  It's called "The Three-Letter Game."

This game is best played with two or three people.  We use the Scrabble Junior tiles, which have no point values on them.  The first person picks three letters.  If your letters can make a word, and you want to make that word, then you make it and set it aside.  Then the next person picks three letters, and you just continue doing that in turn.  Your words must be three letters long or more.  Names are only allowed if they are also words, like SUE or ROD.  Once you have made a word, you can't rearrange its letters, though you can add to it:  e.g. you could make PAN into SPAN or PANG.  In a two-person game you will probably end up with 12-15 words; in a three-person game, 8-10. 

But now comes the really fun part of the game:  you have to tell a story with your words.  So that can affect what words you choose to make:  for instance, ONE is a lot easier to use in a story than EON.  Here's a brief sample of what someone might come up with:

"ROD and EVE left their cul-de-SAC and went to the KEG on ELM Street.  They ordered ginger ALE and scrambled OVA.  But the waiter, who had a ZIT on his chin, ERRed and brought them corn on the COB instead.  Eve began to CRY-- and Rod, who had an enormous EGO, was filled with IRE.  He got in a fight with the waiter, but the waiter had rock-hard ABS and won the fight.  Rod made a VOW he would never go to the Keg again.  The END."

Sounds pretty simple, right?   But when you're reaching the end of a story about an Olympic figure-skater, and the only words you have left are COG and ARK, that's where the creativity -- and the gales of laughter -- really kick in.

Only six people in the world have ever played this game.  Allison is shy about sharing it with others because she worries that they won't like it.  But the people who try it do like it!

What's your favourite word game?


  1. Love this idea!! I'm going to use it at Drama Camp this summer!!

  2. That's great, Jamie, and thanks for dropping by my blog!


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