Any activity that encourages my daughter to turn off the television and do something that engages her mind and imagination is fine with me. If it was up to me I'd get rid of all the televisions in my household, but because my one serious vice is watching "Desperate Housewives", I can't very well do that. No matter. My daughter is so excited about this super scattegories game and the scattergories online version that she hasn't been watching much television anyway. Now she's glued to the computer. I'm not sure which is worse. But the important thing is she's involved in an activity that is making her think and improve her vocabulary at the same time. Super scattergories is an interactive version of the scattegories board game. I'd never heard of either, but then I don't play many board games with the exception of Monopoly. Anyway, the best way to describe super scattegories is by saying it's a category game: player gets a randomly picked letter and must come up with words that that correspond to that letter under certain categories.
For example, if my daughter selected the letter "S" and the category was "Animals", she would probably pick the word Snake. On second thought, maybe not. I don't think you can classify a snake as an animal. But you get my drift. And the search and discovery of words is what makes this game so much fun. Scattegories online takes this concept and expands on it so players can select any of four modes of play; Solo mode, Network, Head-to-Head and Quick Hit. Each of the super scattergories categories allows players to face off under different conditions. And you're always trying to beat the clock. Otherwise what's the challenge?
My daughter's personal favorite is the "Network" mode, which allows players to face off with others across the internet. And the "Quick Hit" mode is a one-round game of super scattergories. I prefer my kid play that than computer solitaire. The Head-to-Head mode let's players face off on the same computer, and that's where the quality family time comes in. Which - by the way - is the beauty of this scattegories online phenomenon: it's one of the few activities that I don't mind playing as a family. Granted the online version is a little difficult in terms of comfort and logistics when you're talking about several people sitting around a computer monitor. But it's still good, challenging fun. In fact, my wife won't admit it, but she enjoys playing super scattergories because it teaches her new words in English. And believe me, any time I can get my wife - who is Italian - to learn new words in English than that is a good thing.
So thanks to super scattergories and scattergories online I've come out a winner on no less than three levels; my daughter watches less television, she's learning without realizing it, and my wife is improving her Enlish language skills. The fact that we've found something to do as a family is a bonus.
Super scattergories may not be as exciting as whatever it was I was doing with a webcam and a girl from Romania, but take it from me; super scattegories is sure a heck of lot more educational.