Smart Mouthby Myra Wolfe
What a fun game! We played it with three adults and an eleven-year-old, and when we were through with one round, the eleven-year-old wanted to play again. The adults were happy to oblige.
Set-up is extremely simple, and the rules take seconds to learn.
A snazzy little contraption called the "Letter Getter" dispenses two tiles, each with one letter on it. Players must call out a word that begins with the first letter and ends with the second. The first player to do so gets to keep the tiles, and when the Letter Getter runs out, the player who's got the most wins the game.
The basic version's rules call for at least a five-letter word, and proper nouns are barred. But there are a whole lot of possible variations, and that helps the game stay fresh. The get you started with several of them, along with some excellent "classroom enrichment" suggestions for teachers.
Besides the fun factor, this game makes a really great learning tool. Not only are players' basic vocabulary, spelling, and quick-thinking skills exercised, but with the variations, there are also chances to work on geography (only place names) or foreign languages. The directions advise sticking with English, probably because there are no accent, tilde or umlaut tiles, but for many languages, players could work around that.
The suggested age group is ten and up, but younger kids can play, especially if the five-letter rule is relaxed. Even children who really aren't ready have a fantastic time being in charge of the Letter Getter.