You’ll Love This—I Give You My Word!

How many times have you told your children to “use your words”? Now it’s your turn.

accentuateAccentuate – The Fun of Accents (Accentuate Games)
Do you think you’re good at identifying accents? How about imitating them? You’ll need both to win at Accentuate. Each team pics a speaker, who randomly selects cards from two decks: one with quotations, the other with names of languages or regions (there are 30 choices, including French, Russian, Canadian, Irish, Japanese, Italian, Boston, Minnesota, New York, and Jamaican). The speaker reads the quotation in his or her normal voice. Then, someone starts the timer and the speaker repeats the quotation over and over in the required accent. No gestures, shrugs, head movements, or any other physical hints allowed. If the team correctly identifies the accent, they score. Accentuate is an intelligent, fun game aimed at ages 16+, although sophisticated younger kids will enjoy it too. Takes 30-45 minutes to play. $29.95 at

word's outWord’s Out (Jax Games)
From the makers of the Sequence games (many of which we’ve reviewed here), comes this fun word game that’s reminiscent of Bingo. The object is to match letters from a card in front of you to a “lettergraph,” a grid that has all 26 letters of the alphabet. To do that, you roll two dice, one of which has colors on each face, the other has shapes. If you roll triangle blue, you’d get T. If that’s one of the letters in your word, great—one down, five to go. If not, you have to pick a card, which could make you lose one of your chips, remove an opponent’s chip, or swap words. An excellent game for building vocabulary and brushing up on spelling. For two to four players, ages 7+. $15.98.

zoo bingoListen & Play Zoo Bingo (The Learning Journey)
Pre-readers and early readers (and their parents, of course) will love this colorful matching game. It starts with pushing the Electronic Sound button. Then, identify the sound and find the corresponding card. Little kids will be able to match the sound to a picture, older kids can match the sound to the printed word that’s on the other side of the card. A fun way to introduce letter- and sight-word recognition. For two to four players, ages 3+. $14.99.

original aliasOriginal Alias (Tactic Games)
Think of Alias as a type of verbal charades. The idea is for one team member to explain to the rest of the team as many words as possible within a minute. The team moves its pawn ahead one space for each correct answer. The emphasis here is on explaining. If you want to make it a little more challenging, don’t allow gestures or acting. Original Alias comes with 400 cards, each with eight words, for a total of 3200 possibilities, so it’ll be a while before you go through all of them. The fun comes from seeing how difficult it is for intelligent people to explain some of the simplest words. Original Alias is for four or more players, ages 10+. However, there are a number of variations to the basic platform. Alias Junior is for players 5+, Family, for 7+, and Party for 11+. There’s even one that incorporates dice.  But the format is always the same (use your words to explain other words), and so are the results (a lot of laughs and a deeper understanding of the vocabulary you use every day). Original Alias retails for $34.99. Prices for the others vary.