by Surama
(Mumbai, India)

Wordgons is an interesting word game in which there is a polygon that contains different letters and words must be made from those letters.

Each letter can be used as many times as it appears in the polygon. The word is valid only if each word contains the letter that appears in the center of the polygon.

This game can enrich one’s vocabulary power and one gets to learn new and complex words. Resources required are paper,pen /pencil, a timer to control the game and a dictionary for reference.

It is suitable for all ages starting from 8 years and as age of the player increases the game becomes more interesting as new and difficult words are written down. It can be played by 2 or more players - the more the players, the more the more vocabulary.

The timer should be set for five minutes. To start the game, all the players are given a piece of paper and told to draw a polygon i.e. it can be a hexagon, heptagon, octagon, nonagon or a decagon. After the polygon is drawn, the paper is passed and each player is told to write a letter inside it. The number of letters depend on the number of sides in the polygon and the letter in the centre.

So a hexagon will contain seven letters and a decagon will contain eleven letters. It should contain a minimum 3 vowels and maximum 7 consonants.

The letter in the centre should be used in all the words. Once all the sheets are prepared, they are shuffled and placed face down and a single player is called to pull a sheet from the pile.

A plain sheet of paper is given to all the players. The selected paper is kept at the centre of the table so that everybody can see it. The timer is started and everybody is told to write words by using the available letters in the polygon within 3 minutes.

A few rules should be followed and told to all the players:

  • The word formed must be at least four letters long.

  • Plurals, proper nouns should not be written.

  • Words cannot be repeated.

  • Each word must contain the letter at the centre.

  • The word formed must exist in the dictionary.

Example: Draw a hexagon with the letters A, I, N, E, C, T and X as the centre letter. Valid words formed include EXACT, EXIT, TAXI, NEXT, and INEXACT.

The bigger the polygon and more the letters, the word game becomes more interesting.

Scoring Pattern: Each word gets a score equal to the number of letters in the word. If a player has used all the available letters a bonus of additional 20 points is given to the player.

The game can be clubbed or a winner can also be declared after every round of game by calculating the points.

The story behind this game is that it was told to us by our Mathematics teacher while we were studying in school. Whenever the children were less attentive in the class, our teacher had these sorts of great ideas to keep the children engaged.

It was very interesting and we would try to make as many words as possible and it showed our fighting and competitive spirit in the class. I used this technique at my daughter’s birthday party and the children enjoyed it a lot.

Variations can be made to make the game more interesting when adults are playing by adding suffix or prefix as the central letter.

Example: Draw an octagon with the letters A, C, T, R, P, E, I, O and ION as the suffix in the centre of the polygon. The words can be ACTION REACTION PORTION CATION………

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