Therefore, when an opportunity recently arose to review Wordsearch Junior, I thought this would be an ideal game to help Riley learn how to identify and read some new words, in addition to working on his spellings. We therefore excitedly waited for it to arrive, before involving it in one of our literacy lessons this afternoon.
Wordsearch Junior is described on the box as being a fun way to play and read. It is recommended for children aged 5+ and can be played by 2 to 4 players at a time. There are three levels of play which each vary in difficulty, so you can choose the most appropriate game boards for your child.
The front of the box is really bright and vibrant, which features the name of the game across the front in large text. The rear of the box has some really clear images, that give you a good idea of how the game is played and what you will find inside.
On opening the packaging we found the following contents:
- 1 x Game Board (consisting of a base, transparent disk and ring)
- 6 x Blue Picture Grids
- 6 x Red Picture and Word Grids
- 6 x Green Word Only Grids
- 140 Counters (35 red, 35 green, 35 yellow, 25 blue)
- 1 x Instruction Manual
The grids have varying levels of difficulty, with the Blue picture grids being the easiest. These grids consist of pictures only and you have to look for sets of 3 pictures in the right sequence. The red grids feature both pictures and words, so this is ideal for younger players who can use the picture clues to help them locate and identify the words. The green grids are words only and you simply have to search for the word as quickly as possibly against your opponent.
As this was Riley's first attempt at such a game, we opted to try one of the red grids first, so that he could get use to the game and understand exactly what he needed to do. We therefore chose one of them and placed it into the base of the game board. I then covered this with the transparent disk, which then holds the grid into position, before finally adding the blue ring.
To begin the game, you simply turn the board until the grid colour appears in the word gap in the ring. Each player then takes a turn to turn the grid and reveal a new word and reads this out aloud for everyone to hear (or in the case of the blue image board, simply describe the picture instead).
The words can be displayed in any direction so it is important to look not only left, right, up and down, but also diagonally too. Everyone searches for the word and the first player to spot it, shouts out the word and points at the answer. If this is correct, then they can place down their coloured counters to cover the word.
Game play continues like this until all the words have been found and the coloured section appears in the word gap again. If a word you find has to cover a space that already has another players counter in, then you can remove it and replace it with yours. Riley particularly enjoyed this part of the game and thought it was hilarious that he could remove my counters.
Once a full turn of the grid is completed then each player counts how many counters they had placed down on the board, with the winner being the person who has successfully used the most counters. A player can also win by using up all their counters, which Riley managed to do on a couple of occasions, much to his delight!
Once Riley had got the hang of the game, we decided to try one of the harder levels and switched from a red grid to one of the green wordsearch grids. Riley was a little apprehensive at first as he thought he would find it too difficult, but to be honest he surprised both himself and me, winning the first game with ease!
The green grid works in exactly the same way, except you are solely looking for words and there are no images this time to help you out. There were a couple of occasions where I thought I had found a word only to find that I was wrong, so make sure you definitely know where the word is before shouting it out.
For younger members of the family, the blue grids are ideal as these feature pictures only, so it is a great way of improving observation skills from an early age. I felt that these boards would have been too easy for Riley so we didn't attempt them, but they looked great and easy to understand.
Overall I really enjoyed playing this game with Riley and felt that it was a great way to help him learn some new words, whilst also staying focused. He enjoyed reading out the words, as well as racing against me to be the first to find them. We also made sure that we spelt out each word as we placed our counters down, which I hope will help Riley with his spellings going forward. We both found it to be a fun educational game and I look forward to playing it with him regularly going forwards.
The game is very easy to set up and it has simple instructions to play, making it an ideal game for families to enjoy together. Wordsearch Junior has an RRP of £19.99 and can be purchased from Amazon.
*Disclaimer - We were gifted with this item for the purpose of writing an honest review of the product. All thoughts and opinions are my own unless otherwise stated. This post contains an Amazon affiliate link.