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Compound It All! (Game) Review by Melissa Batai

Kim and Danny Alderman
Lee and Low Games
95 Madison Avenue, Suite #1205
New York, NY 1016

Compound It All!, sold for $29.95, is a fun, family word game that will likely not only bring enjoyment, but also teach your children in the process. The game comes with three decks of cards—red, yellow, and blue. Yellow is the most basic, then blue, and then red is most challenging. You can choose to play with just one deck or mix all of the decks together for a game that includes easy and more challenging words. Also included are directions, a score pad, pencils, and an hour glass. Depending on the number of players (two to eight players can play), each player is given five to seven cards. Each card has a word on it such as “cow,” “boy,” “bath,” etc. as well as a number between one and seven, typically, representing the number of points. Two cards per deck are worth 10 and 15 points.  A player can choose to pick a card from the deck or to pick a card from the discard pile. A player is looking to make a compound word. So, if you have “cow” in your hand and draw “boy,” you can play “cowboy” and earn three points (the total of the two cards). Where the game gets really fun is when a player can steal another player’s cards. For instance, if you have “cowboy” down in front of you as a word that you’ve played and your opponent has the word “bell” in his hand, he can steal your “cowboy” cards and turn the word into “bellboy.” He then earns the three points you had for “cowboy” plus an additional two points for “bell.”  Compound It All! is suitable for ages 9+, though even adults will likely enjoy it.

This game can be used just as a fun game for your children to play, but it can also be used in classrooms or in a homeschool setting. To make this even easier, Lee and Low have a created a Teacher’s Guide detailing the Educational Value, Classroom Value, and Common Core English Language Arts and Mathematical Standards.

Our entire family tried Compound It All! and loved it! This game is a great way to help your children learn new vocabulary and make connections between words without even realizing they’re learning. A few rounds in, we had pulled out our dictionary and were looking to see whether some of the words we created were compound words or just two separate words. The game is targeted for ages 9+; our children are six, eight, and twelve. The six and eight year old each joined up with a parent, and the 12 year old played on his own. Even though our younger kids couldn’t play on their own, they were definitely learning new vocabulary as they played. Since we had younger kids playing, we just used the yellow cards. However, I plan to play with our 12 year old using more advanced cards. We most enjoyed stealing cards from one another; just when you think you’re the one with the most points, another player steals your words, and you become the player with the lowest points. This happened to each of us, sometimes several times a round!

We enjoyed this game immensely just the way it is. Compound It All! has become one of our family’s favorite games, and I love that my children are also learning every time we play.

--Product review by Melissa Batai, The Old Schoolhouse® Magazine, LLC, January, 2017