12 Sep 2012
Aksharit is a Hindi word board game created by Madrat Labs.
For familiarity sake, let us call it the Hindi Scrabble.
It is available for purchase through Flipkart and Amazon.
Every friday is game night at home. That was before Aksharit Chotu. Now Chula and Meija have taken to it so much that they play for about 40 min, everyday, before they go to bed.
Though Tamil is our mother tongue, we end up speaking a lot of English at home. Living in Hyd, we picked Hindi as the second language. Naturally the children felt very disconnected with Hindi. Chula is the kind who needs to observe something for about 100 times before she gains the confidence that she will do a good job at it. Hindi class at school was two classes/week of spoken Hindi(total immersion, only Hindi, no English and the children truly believe that their Hindi teacher does not know even a bit of English) and two classes/week of Hindi alphabets. The child spent the first week ignoring her Hindi teachers. When she figured out that Hindi was there to stay, she didn’t want to go to school any more. She declared that she will tackle the rest of her life with grade1 knowledge.
The husband and I were looking for ways to make Hindi fun for them and Aksharit has certainly done that.
With Aksharit Chotu, you get a two sided board – a blue side(words without matras) and a pink side(words with matras). You start with the blue side because it has words without matras. There are a set of blue tiles that go with the blue side. Board has a set of words laid out in cross word pattern. The bottom part of the board has a track with consecutive numbers in increasing order. There is a START and a FINISH. Every player starts with a pawn representing them in the start position and five tiles each. If you see the letter in your kitty on the board, you place the letter on the board, in the order the letters have been written on the board. Suppose you get the last letter, of a three letter word on the board, then you cannot place the letter on the board and wait for the first two letters to be placed. As you play the game on the board there is a certain way you move your pawn from START to FINISH(this is explained clearly in the rules). The person to reach the FINISh first is the winner.
What we liked about the game was that the instructions were simple to follow, the game was a breath of fresh air, well thought out and executed and encourages children to learn language in a fun way. I would recommend/gift Aksharit to friends and family.