Updated: Jan 3
Sidelinks is a great Language Arts game to get kids (and adults) thinking about words, their meanings, and how they can relate to each other. The scoring also pulls math into the game, both addition and multiplication.
There are 4 cards placed on the table at the beginning of the game, touching at the corners, as shown. Each player is dealt 5 cards and a draw pile is placed within reach. On your turn you pick a card from your hand and play it. If you can't play anything, you draw a card. If you can play the card you drew, go ahead! Otherwise your turn is over. The first person to play their last card triggers the end of the game. Everyone else gets one more turn.
To play a card, place it on the table adjacent to at least one other card so that the touching words relate to each other in some way. In this example, the card being played touches two other cards. Shirt and Light can be touching because shirts don't weigh much; they are light. Ball and Cricket can be touching because a ball is used in the game of Cricket.
To score, add up the numbers on all the cards involved in the play. Then multiply by the number of sides touching. If you can place a card in the middle of 4 other cards, you do not multiply by 4, you instead multiply by 10, because it is so difficult to do. So in the above example, you would score 14 points (3+2+2=7 and 7x2=14)
In the next example, the player has placed Story next to Birth for 8 points. The story card is worth 5 and the Birth card is worth 3. Multiply by 1 because only one side is touching.
Sidelinks is a new favorite in our house. We all love word games and strategy games, and this one fits both categories beautifully! My Game School kids enjoy it as well. I love that it really makes them think about all the various meanings a word can have and encourages them to get creative in how they can associate it with other words.
You can purchase a copy of Sidelinks here.