Reviewed for Fourth Grade, 2008

Spill and Spell

There's a reason they call this a “classic”  game. Spill and Spell is low-tech, low-fuss, and timelessly high-interest for any child building a vocabulary, learning to spell, and exploring the many ways that words can be put together…in other words, just about any kid in upper elementary school or beyond. Shake up the letters, set the timer, and get busy! This letter game works like a movable crossword puzzle, with players all scouting for letters to join together into words. The tiles are in a "face-up" pool for all to see. When a player spots a word sitting in the pool, he scoops its letters out and lines them up. The more words a player spells, the better! A good family game for a chilly winter evening, but do beware: it's probably wise to make sure that kid players are at roughly equal reading level, or else, in order to avoid having someone feel overwhelmed and frustrated, be sure to “handicap” your more able speller. (Endless Games, $14.00)