Word Nerd is a game for people who enjoy stringing silly sentences together. In each round, players roll a die to determine which of six words on a word card will be their personal challenge. (Note: the higher the number rolled, the longer and more challenging the sentence.) Players then have about a minute and a half (timed by a very silly timer that changes its style in every round) to turn that word into a sentence, forming an acrostic by using each letter of the word to start a word in their sentence. For example, PIZZA could become “Please Invite Zoey’s Zany Aunt,” or CHAIR might be “Charlie Has Awfully Irritating Relatives!” If all players agree that a sentence is grammatical, then the sentence’s author takes as many letter cards as the number they originally rolled. At the end of the game, players organize the letter cards into the words “WORD” or “NERD” for bonus points, with the highest point total winning the game.
In play, we rapidly realized that “grammatical” does not have to mean “sensible,” and our games became more of a challenge to find the most hilarious sentences possible than merely to create adequate structure. We found that even the minimum 7-round game runs well over a half an hour (though laughter breaks certainly contributed to this); fortunately, the game is flexible, and families can choose whatever length works for them. This is one of those special games in which even though there’s an official champion, everyone comes away feeling like a winner.
Emily Crawford ©2019 Parents’ Choice
Emily holds a BSE in electrical engineering and computer science from Duke University and a Master’s in computer engineering from Georgia Tech. She is a homeschooling parent and lives with her husband, three children, five cats, and thousands of LEGOs in Blacksburg, Virginia. .