Unschooled child enjoying a bus ride

The Greatest Free, Screen-Free, Ad-Free Homeschool Brain Game!

When you are running errands, when your kids are sitting in the backseat of the car, when you are sitting on the bus, while you are riding bikes, or when you just seem to have nothing to talk about at the time. Try this fantastic silence-breaking brain-builder! When they know their letters, or even before!

Remember the board game Scatergories? You rolled a letter die and had a timer to write a word for each of the categories all starting with the selected letter. Next round had different categories.

This game is called Guess the Letters and Categories. It’s started by simply asking, ‘Hey, do you want to play Guess the Letters and Categories?’ at which point they will indicated that they do, in fact, want to play exactly that.

The benefits to this over the classic Scatergories are many. You don’t need to get and then put away a boardgame. You can play anywhere, anytime. Most importantly, you choose the categories you are already familiar with.

The first person says a letter and the first category. You each say an answer (which can’t be duplicates in that round or the whole game) The next person chooses the next category. When one of you wants to change the letter, you just change the letters, and now categories can be repeated. (but not any of the answers)

Here is an example of one round we played.

The letter is G. The categories were (just from my memory now)

  • animals
  • snakes
  • places
  • big things
  • fast things
  • mortal kombat
  • mortal kombat XL (you can stay vague or get as specific as you want)
  • video games
  • star wars
  • names
  • heavy things
  • small things
  • youtubers
  • transportation
  • things
  • fish
  • sealife
  • carnivores
  • herbivores
  • dinosaurs
  • prehistoric life
  • birds
  • space
  • food

And then you just choose another letter, and keep on going! You can even repeat categories on the same letter just to make it more challenging. (sure you can name an S fish, but can you name 5?) You can make a point system if you want (if someone can’t guess something, the other person gets a point) Make up your own rules, and enjoy the quality time spent on yet another homeschool edventure!

Do your kids not know their letters yet? We played ‘Guess the Thing’ (usually dinosaurs) for years before he could make too much sense of what words started with what letters. That’s the point his sister is at now, and we play our old classic version of simply ‘Guess the Thing’. Like Guess the Princess, Animal, Food, Dinosaur, Planet….  (instead of using a letter, you just give clues)

Play with your kids. It’s educational.


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