When Your Words Really Count

If you like your ABCs and your 123s, then Scrabble is the game for you. We celebrate it today on National Scrabble Day. You pick 7 little square letter tiles, which you keep secret from the other players. You line up the letters to make a word on the board so it crosses other words already there, like a crossword puzzle. The number on each tile tells you how many points you score for using it. Letters that are harder to use, like Q, X or Z, give you more points. Some spaces on the board double or triple the points for that letter, or even your whole word score! Best of all, if you use all 7 letters at once, called “racking,” you get an extra 50 points. You’ll be a winner if you’re good at both words and math!

Wee ones: How many letters does SCRABBLE have? (You can have a grown-up spell it for you while you count!)

Little kids: If you play the word DOG, the D and G each score 2 points, and the O scores 1. How many points do you score for DOG?  Bonus: What if the D lands on a double letter space, so you double the D’s points…now how many points do you score?

Big kids: If you play the word WINNERS, the W is worth 4 points; the rest are 1-point letters. But if you get to triple the W and get 50 points for racking, how many points do you get? Bonus: What number can you spell with the letters VEYSTEN, and how many points is it? And what other words can you make? All letters score 1 point except the 4-point V and Y.




Wee ones: 8 letters.

Little kids: 5 points.  Bonus: 7 points, because you just added 2 again.

Big kids: 68 points: 12 for the W, 6 for the rest, and then 50.  Bonus: SEVENTY, and it’s worth 4 plus 4 for the V and Y, plus another 5 for the other letters, plus 50 for racking. Other words, include NEST, NETS, VEST, VETS, SEEN, EYE, YES…and others!

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