Word Game Party


A couple of weeks ago, Daddy’s sister organized a family get-together in celebration of her birthday. We played a notorious skill-testing game and ate some delicious food, and it was so much fun I wanted to share some of the evening with you! 

The Word Game

Suitable for ages 8-99

You will need:
Paper for each player
A pencil with an eraser for each player
A dictionary or dictionary app
A timer
Some books

Snacks and drinks (very important during the score tallying)

One person will have to be appointed the Judge. This person should be tough as nails and not afraid to make decisions that might make other people angry!

The judge begins by opening one of the books and choosing a word that is no more than eight letters long. The judge announces the word and the correct spelling to the players, and then starts the timer for fifteen minutes.

The object of the game is to make words using the letters of the word selected by the judge. The player with the most unique words at the end of the game is the winner.

Some rules:

1. No glancing at other players’ words!
2. You must be prepared to defend your words with proper definitions, and may be asked to use them in a sentence.
3. No proper nouns.
4. No slang, unless commonly accepted and listed in a dictionary.
5. No non-English words unless they are commonly used.
6. No short forms unless commonly used.
7. No acronyms.
8. If you use more than one word from the same root, they must each have a different definition, i.e. runner and runners – a person who runs and the shoes they wear on their feet.

When the timer goes off each player counts his or her words, writes down the final number and circles that number. The player with the most words begins the scoring round by calling out each word they have created. If all of the players have a word that is called out, everyone draws a line through that word. If any of the players have missed that word, everyone circles the word. When the player with the most words is finished calling out all of their words, everyone else takes a turn adding any missed words. The player with the most circled words at the end of scoring is the winner.

The scoring round can take FOREVER so this is when snacking and drinking usually happens. It’s also likely when your family feud will begin.


Here are a couple of recipes from our day of feasting that I thought you might enjoy!

Beef Mishkaki (Tanzanian Cuisine)

Beef sirloin steak cut into 1” cubes – 1 kg
2-3 Tbsp fresh minced ginger
2-3 Tbsp fresh minced garlic
Half a large onion finely minced
1 cup whipping cream
2 Tbsp Tikka Masala – you can find all kinds of masala in an Indian grocery store, or the International section of your grocery store
3 Tbsp fresh lemon juice
2 tsp salt
5 Tbsp olive or vegetable oil

Marinate beef with all above ingredients and refrigerate for 6 hours or over night. The longer the more tender beef will be.

Thread beef on skewers (soak the skewers in water for at least an hour first, and be sure not to crowd meat) and grill over high heat for 5-6 minutes for medium. Serve hot off the grill with the chutneys (basically the Indian word for sauce) of your choosing.

Ama’s Green Chutney

2 bunches fresh coriander
7-8 green chilies
1 tsp salt
4 Tbsp white vinegar
3 Tbsp olive oil

Trim off the roots and leaves of the coriander and rinse the stems repeatedly and well in a light-colored container until you can no longer see any sand in the container. Wrap the unwashed leaves in some paper towel and reserve for other cooking. Coarsely chop the stems.
Trim the ends off the chilies and coarsely chop (wash your hands well after handling chilies!)
Add all ingredients into a blender and blend until smooth. Store in refrigerator until serving.

Great accompaniments to Mishkaki include:

Grilled corn
Grilled sweet potato (par cook in the microwave, then slice and brush with coconut oil and sea salt before grilling. Garnish with coriander)
Any kind of salads
Fresh naan
Plain yogurt

For those of you who don’t like red meat, the marinade also works well with chicken.

Enjoy, and remember The Word Game is meant to be fun.