Games We Love: Quiddler: A Language Arts Game

Jacqueline Killian
Jacqueline Killian
September 03, 2020 3 min read

Quiddler is a “grown-up” game with beautiful artwork that is fun and educational for young children, too. Our rules are adapted to create interest for everyone, from very early readers to vocabulary aficionados. If your child is strong with numbers but resists reading, call it a math game. If your child enjoys reading and resists math, call it a reading game!

Quiddler Skills: Letter sounds (phonemes), spelling, vocabulary, strategy, and basic math facts.

The object of the game of Quiddler is to build words using the letter cards, then count the values assigned to each card to produce the highest score after multiple hands.

Quiddler: Beginner Play:

  • Remove all of the “blends” or cards with two letters on them.
  • Deal 3 cards to each player. Place the remaining cards face down on the table to create a draw pile. Turn over the top card to start the discard pile.
  • For players just beginning to build 3-letter words, place the cards face-up on the table to allow for "coaching". As your child becomes more independent, cards can be held in their hands to prevent others from seeing them.
  • The player to the left of the dealer begins the play. Looking at their cards, they decide if they want to pick up the discarded card to help them build a 3-letter word. They may pick up the discarded card or draw from the deck on the table.
  • The player chooses one card from their hand and places it faceup on the discard pile.
  • Player “passes,” and the next player takes a turn.
  • Play continues until one player has a word in their hand. They lay their cards on the table.

Quiddler Scoring: The player with the word counts the number value on the corner of each card and records a total on a scorecard. Add the value for each new word to this score. Play multiple rounds as attention allows.

Quiddler Hints:

  • Make a list of common 3-letter words to get started. Add new words to the list as you build them.
  • As young players master building three-letter words, deal four cards.
  • After four cards, deal six cards to build two 3-letter words, then seven cards to build a 3-letter word and a 4-letter word.

Quiddler to Build Math Skills: Encourage your kiddo to keep their own score and, eventually, the score for all of the players. The scores can be a “+” for the word cards and a “-“ for cards other players are holding in their hands

Quiddler: Beyond Beginners

  • Begin dealing three cards to every player. In each subsequent round, deal out one more card to each person. This means that the next round, each player gets four, then five, and so on. In the last hand, every player is dealt ten cards. The dealer places the remaining cards in a stockpile face down and flips over the top card.
  • Continue to play, building one or more words.
  • Players cannot lay down any cards until they can use all of them to spell one or more words of two letters or more, or until another player has already laid down his or her cards.
  • Each round ends when one player can lay down all the cards in his or her hand at the end of his or her turn. This person is not automatically the winner. Once this happens, all of the other players get one additional turn. Then they lay down what they can.
  • The point totals on the cards are added up, and players with cards still in their hands subtract these point values from their total scores. The player with the longest word gets ten bonus points, as does the player with the most words. If there is a tie in either area, no one wins that bonus.

Quiddler is easy to learn and fun to play with 2 people or more! Plus, if you'll be traveling for any school breaks or holidays and need an activity to fill time with your family, games are awesome - especially games that travel well.

What are your must-have games?

'20, Quiddler, Games We Love: A Language Arts Game

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