One of my kids has been struggling with word finding. Their brain just has trouble coming up with the word they want to say when they want to say it. To help with this at home, I asked a Speech Therapist if there were any games we could play. She recommended Blurt.
Blurt has turned out to be a pleasant addition to our homeschooling to work on vocabulary and word finding. It is also getting in a little reading practice in a non-threatening way, which is great for my dyslexic child.
Gameplay is pretty simple, but you do need 3 or more players to play the game as instructed. One player starts out as the reader. They roll the dice and then read a word definition from the card that corresponds to the number they rolled. Higher numbers get more challenging words. Each word card has an easier and a harder side. Once they read the clue, the goal is for the other players is to blurt out the word that is being defined. Whoever gets it first, gets to move forward the number the reader rolled. Game play continues around the group with each player getting turns to read and answer.
Only 2 kids?
I’m sure I could make up a way to play with just two people if I didn’t have other kids to rope into our game. We could, for example, take turns rolling and asking each other if we know the word and move if we get it right.
The board is very simple, and there are a few fun extra rules about landing on a space with another player’s piece on it. But nothing too complicated. You can choose to go around the board until someone makes it back to start, to make as many loops as you want. Our first time playing, we played until all players had made it back to the start.
Comparing other games
While we own other word-based games like Apples To Apples or Bananagrams, I like this one for just thinking about the words. Those other games require creativity and associations. They are great games but can cause higher stress for my struggling reader. I also like that with Blurt, if you have trouble reading a clue or the answer, you can actually choose to read from the other side of the card, or just choose a different word. No one has to know if you were struggling with decoding a word and instead read something else. I know my child has done this a few times. Yes, it would also be good if we stopped and worked on reading that word, but that also ruins gameplay. Sometimes, we do look back at those words after the game is over.
The game is recommended for ages 7 to adult, and I think reading at a second or third-grade level is the minimum necessary to enjoy playing the game as directed. If you have multiple children to play with, you could choose to be the designated reader for the whole game, and let your children do all the word guessing and competing to answer. I can imagine doing that a few years ago when my kids were building their vocabulary skills but the reading would have been too stressful.
So, if you are looking to build your child’s vocabulary and word-finding skills, check out Blurt! Hopefully, you will enjoy it as much as we have!
P.S. Here are the links to the games I mentioned today.
About the Author
Laura Sowdon, OTR/L is an occupational therapist, writer, speaker, educator and creator of the Five Senses Literature Lessons homeschool curriculum. She has worked as an occupational therapist with children in public and private schools, as well as private practice. Laura has taught and managed homeschool co-ops as well as homeschooling her own three children. Laura is dedicated to the idea of educating children at a pace that aligns with brain and physical development milestones and respects neurodiversity in all its forms.
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