Educational Insights makes some of the coolest games for children of all ages (including adults, because we need to act like children sometimes too!), so I was pretty excited to become part of their blogger program. As I’ve said in the past, I need a ton of variety when it comes to board games. Jacob loves to play them, but I can only take playing the same thing over and over so many times before I start throwing the game after five seconds just so he can win and we can move on to the next one.

Grandma’s Trunk Alphabet Game is pretty awesome because it’s like getting five different games in one really cute box. Best of all, the game is totally customizable to your child’s age and education level. The trunk-shaped box flips open to reveal 26 alphabet picture cards, 26 alphabet riddle cards, and a handy little guide with rules to the different games. Jacob is pretty advanced in his reading skills, so we played the riddle game first. The cards contain different clues that your child must decipher to find the answer. For example, the zebra reads: “I am a cuddly toy,” “I have black and white stripes,” and “I look like a small horse.” The picture cards correspond with the riddle cards, so players would race to find the right card to fit the riddle.

Another fun part of the game is “Grandma’s Adventures,” in which players flip over a card and create an ongoing, cooperative story based on the letter on the card. I love this one because it encourages Jake to use his imagination. As a writer, I want Jacob to develop the same love of storytelling that I have. He’s a natural when it comes to making up wild tales, although his teacher feels he needs a little help getting those tales down on paper (let’s just say he and e.e. cummings would have gotten along famously).  Combining the “Grandma’s Adventures” game with a little writing exercise definitely helps.

Other variations of the game include “Memory Time,” “What Comes Next,” and “Letter Sequence Memory,” in which players take turns putting out cards in a specific sequence, and other players must memorize that sequence. As I said, though, Grandma’s Trunk is so versatile that you could easily make up your own games to go along with the cards. If you’re traveling, you could even just take out the riddle cards and take turns quizzing each other, or try to come up with your own clues for each card.