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Oscar and the Lady
Alphabet Soup
Christmas Teakettle
Speed Scrabble
Nonsense Poetry
Sausages and Mash

Speed Scrabble

Jane: This is a brilliant, quick and portable version of Scrabble which doesn't use the board or any clever long words, so you can play it anywhere, any time and with anyone (over about six). In fact, it's so quick and unobstrusive that we recently managed a game while waiting for our main course in Pizza Express.
All you need is to clear the decks and lay out a set of Scrabble or Snatch tiles in the middle of the table. Each person takes 15 letters and, as quickly as they can, forms their own set of interlocking words crossword-style as in Scrabble. (You are allowed two-lettered words, which makes it easier for younger kids.) The first person to organise all 15 letters into interlocking words shouts 'Time'. Then everyone stops and picks up a letter. Then the first person to fit all 16 letters shouts 'Time' and you all pick up another letter - and so on until all the letters in the middle are used up.

If you like, you can break up your words and re-make them to fit the new letters as they come along, just as you do in Snatch (if you don't know Snatch, click here). It's fantastic fun, fast and furious, and the winner (if you need one) is the first person to get all their letters into a crossword correctly or - if you fancy something more challenging - the person who scores the longest word.