WordStruct by Wordstruct.com is a word-building game for ages 9+. WordStruct comes with 100 letter tiles, 12 base tiles, and two frames. The letter tiles are octagonal plastic pieces with notches on four sides allowing the tiles to be connected to one another. There are multiple different ways to play with WordStruct, including playing 2D and 3D word games and using the frames and letter tiles to create signs and word searches. The 2D word game is played similarly to the word game “Take Two.” Players begin with seven tiles that they arrange into words. After a player has used their initial tiles, they say “take two” and each player draws two more tiles. Play continues until all tiles have been drawn and a player has created words with all their tiles. A unique feature of Wordstruct is that the octagonal tiles allow players to create words horizontally, vertically, and diagonally, unlike traditional word games where the square tiles do not allow diagonal words. The ability to play diagonally adds increased complexity to the game and prompts further critical thinking. To play the game in 3D, players use the interlocking element of the letter tiles to construct a 3D structure of words. Players compete to create the most complex and highest scoring structure.
Through the various gameplay options, Wordstruct promotes a large variety of engineering skills. Playing in 2D encourages critical and creative thinking, design, and problem solving. The ability to play in 3D adds in a large emphasis on spatial reasoning and the ability to think in three dimensions. Throughout the game, players may have to adjust their structure and try something new, promoting iterative design and perseverance. Wordstruct is an excellent game for families and players of all ages to explore an exciting combination of words and building!
Engineering Design Process (Potential)
Moore, T.J., Glancy, A.W., Tank, K.M., Kersten, J.A., Smith, K.A., & Stohlmann, M.S. (2014). A framework for quality K-12 engineering education: Research and development. Journal of Precollege Engineering Education Research, 4(1), 1-13.
One reviewer said,
"Yes, this game promotes engineering thinking and design. WordStruct combines engineering building skills with the word skills found in the game Scrabble. The variety of ways to play the game teaches an abundance of skills including design, critical and creative thinking, iterative design, idea generation, etc. The set also largely promotes spatial reasoning skills. The game can be played as a competition or tea effort promoting collaboration and communicating a solution."
A reviewer's recommendation
"I love WordStruct. I feel it is a truly unique game, as I have not seen any other toy that promotes both STEM and language skills as well as this does. It combines the best features of Scrabble and a building toy into one really fun game. I think WordStruct is great for many ages as it has 2D language skills options for younger children and 3D design challenges for older age groups. Everyone can find a fun way to explore WordStruct's unique game play."