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Spelling Beez! A Honey of a Game for Early Spellers! Review by Marisa Corless

901 Lincoln Parkway
Plainwell, MI 49080
269-685-2345 or 800-433-GAME

Spelling Beez! is a board game for children ages 4-8 to help with letter recognition. There are two different score sheets included in the box: one with pictures depicting the words and one with blank sheets a child can use to create personal word lists. There are also two sets of cards and 4 markers with a bee on them. One deck includes the pollen/nectar cards, which contain facts about bees and are the rewards for collecting letters. The other cards are the spelling cards, which direct a child to various letters and spaces on the board. The object is to collect all the letters needed to create the target word and collect pollen/nectar cards. The winner is the one who has the most points awarded by the pollen nectar cards at the end of the round.

Spelling Beez! is simple enough that younger children can play with older siblings and still be on equal footing. The older children will enjoy learning about bees as they play. There is one pollen/nectar card that has evolutionary content. It says, "Honey bees have been evolving for over 200 million years." If this is offensive, you could easily remove the card from the deck without messing up the game.

My children have enjoyed playing Honey Beez!, although I am not sure how educational it has been for them. The bee information was interesting for them to read the first time, but after that they lost interest. Furthermore, the letters are all presented in upper case, and children are not required to find the letters in the correct order in order to facilitate spelling. Instead letters are collected randomly. I think this would have been better named Letter Beez! because spelling is not really stressed. While fun to play a few times, I am not sure it is worth the sticker price of the game.

Product review by Marisa Corless, MH, The Old Schoolhouse® Magazine, LLC, June 2011

Another review:

My family loves playing games to reinforce learning. In fact, we sometimes play games in place of regular lessons since games can often get the same results with much more excitement and much less whining. Spelling Beez! A Honey of a Game for Early Spellers is fun board game for practicing spelling with emerging spellers.

The game is appropriate for ages 4-8. Brand new spellers can play with prepared word cards, while more experienced spellers make up their own word cards. To start, all players choose one word consisting of equal letters from their game card. (For example: If I choose a six-letter word, everyone else must choose a six-letter word as well.) Upon drawing game cards, players work their way around the game board trying to land on the letters making up their word. Sometimes the game cards prompt players to pick up or discard point cards too. The goal of the game is to collect as many point cards as possible.

As players land on letters in their word, spaces are colored in on the game card. The first person to color in their word entirely stops the play of the game. Everyone counts up his point cards, and the person with the most points wins the game.

Learning how to play is very easy. It isn't necessary that your child be a great reader in order to play the game. He really must only know the letters of the alphabet and how to count to two. However, another aspect of the game is in the fun facts about bees included on the point cards. While it isn't necessary to read these facts in order to play the game, it does make playing more fun (and adds a wonderful science-related factor to the game).

So, not only does Spelling Beez! reinforce spelling nicely, it teaches an abundance of information about bees. Those of you thinking about a study of bees or insects in general would find this a nice addition to school -- whether your child needs spelling practice or not.

Product review by Cindy West, The Old Schoolhouse® Magazine, LLC, July 2011