Using the Game Upwards with Young Children

Durability There are various levels of quality in this game. Mine is an older version but it has lasted quite well.

.Play quality This is a fun game for adults as well as children. It is a great way to teach children spelling and reading.

Safety The tiles should be kept away from children under three as they are a choking hazard

.Age interest The game is designated for eight years and older but the ideas below can show you ways to use it with much younger children.

Storage and portability Everything fits neatly into a small box.

Price Price varries from this featured $14.00 version to $80.

Recommendation highly recommended.

This post is suggesting a cooperative way to play with young children. Opponents can’t have large differences with spelling abilities so it isn’t suitable for a four year old and a ten year old. But there’s a way even young children can enjoy it. Play my cooperative version.

How do you win?

If you can use all the tiles in the box to form words, you are Word Champions! If you don’t get them all (pretty difficult) on the board, set a goal to have fewer orphaned letters the next time you play.

Only use one rack. Let the child pull out ten letters from the bag and say their names and sounds. Together, create a word to place on the boards. Pick enough letters out of the bag to get back to ten on your rack. Keep working together.


  1. Just make words.
  2. Make a list of simple rhyming words. You make one and the two of you make the rhyme Some interesting variations in spelling sounds will come up.
  3. Create short vowel words. What ones can be changed to long vowel words by adding an E?
  4. Show them how to join words.
  5. Show them how to lengthen the word with suffixes like “ed”, “s” and “ing” and prefixes like “re.
  6. Show them how to change a word by building up. This is the only way you can ever use all the tiles.
  7. Now they are ready to play real “Up”.

Toy Review – Spuzzle Game by Disney

“The crazy racing puzzle game” Frozen by Disney

Two to four player build the characters Anna, Elsa, Hans, Olaf, and Kristoff containing four puzzle pieces each. Players take turns blindly picking up puzzle pieces. Duplicates are left behind. For added fun a player can occasionally put back an opponent’s piece. Once a four piece character is complete they are locked and safe from opponents. A “Spuzzle” card means every player gets to pick up a piece. When a player completes all five four-piece puzzles, they win.

There are other movie variations of this game.

Durability Four stars Well made heavy cardboard. Thick puzzle pieces.

Play quality Five stars. Loads of fun for small children especially Frozen fans. Rules are easy.

Safety  Five stars.

Age interest Four stars. Labeled 4+ but teens might be bored. Some three-year-olds could play this.

Storage and portability four stars. Fits into a comfortably sized box.

Price Three stars. Averages $45 to $50 on Amazon.

Recommended for children ages 4-9.

Other variations.

Buy link

Buy link

We Wish You a Merry Christmas

Check out my video with your child.

A Christmas wonderland made from Legos tells short visual stories while the music for We Wish You a Merry Christmas plays. Words appear on the screen. Then the music takes a more lively twist while the history of the song is revealed. Lego enthusiasts will be inspired to make their own winter town.


Notice that the carollers have the actual words to the song on the booklets.

Melissa and Doug Best Friends Forever Deluxe Magnetic Dress-Up Play Set – Toy Review

Durability five stars. These toys are tough. They’ve been banged together, dropped, and thrown into boxes without chipping, cracking, or flaking.

Play quality four stars. The dolls will provide hours of fun. The girls are from diverse backgrounds. There are enough clothes to provide a variety of scenarios of imaginative play.  The dolls could even fit in a Barbie doll house or a cardboard box construction of the child’s own creation. Although the dolls are not bendable, they are suited to children who are not ready for the fine motor control it takes to dress and play with Barbie style dolls. The dolls seem to be 10 or 11 years old and the clothes are suited to a younger girl. I wanted more variety though.
I found that it was easy for me to make a template for my granddaughters to use to create their own clothes. We made party dresses, pajamas, and and career clothes. The sky is the limit.
nightgown, onesie pjs, party dress, ball gown

Safety four stars. The dolls are suitable for children to play with who are three years old and up and no longer put small objects into their mouths. However, the box is heavy and awkward for a child to carry.

 Age interest five stars. At first children will be happy just to play with the dolls. Older girls may become interested in designing clothes. I recommend using Bristol board or heavy printer paper and gluing at least three magnets on the back of a dress. There may be other dolls that are easier to design for since these ones do not have their arms separate from their body. One way to get the clothing to fit properly is to scan the doll on your computer, print it out on heavy paper, then cut out the doll completely removing the purple background. Make sure the child traces outside the body when making clothing.
astronaut, judge, police officer, ballerina
Storage and portability three stars The original dolls and clothing can be stored in the box. The lid does not stay on so you will have to tie a strap to keep it in place. Once you add clothing of your own design, the little nooks quickly fill up and you will have to add something else to store them. It’s already heavy and awkward to store and carry.
Price four stars. On Amazon the price varied from $20-$38. Personally I think $25  is reasonable for this product. If your child shows an early interest in older dolls or, later, is really into designing clothes for her own dolls, this is a wonderful little toy.
Well recommended.