The Rally of Words That Leaves You Speechless


Game Day at Six North Cafe!

January 25th, 2016 | by Kristin Edmonds

Kristin Edmonds will be demonstrating Verbal Volley games at Six North Cafe, 14438 Clayton Rd, Ballwin, MO 63011 on Sunday, January 31 2016 from 1 to 3 pm. Teacher discounts will be offered on games. Ms. Edmonds will have information about the game’s design and evidence base. We would love to see teachers, parents, kids and word game enthusiasts at our event!

Verbal Volley for iPad wins the Academics’ Choice Smart Media Award

June 18th, 2014 | by admin

Verbal Volley for iPad has been honored with a 2014 Academics’ Choice Smart Media Award, a prestigious seal of educational quality, reserved only for the best mind-building media and toys.
The independent Academics’Choice Awards program and its seal of excellence are
recognized worldwide by consumers and educational institutions as a mark of genuinely effective learning tools that stimulate the mind, and provide potential for the student to fully develop higher order thinking skills.

Verbal Volley for iPad is a winner of the Academics’ Choice Smart Media Award in the mobile app category. The Academics’ Choice Advisory Board consists of leading
thinkers and graduates from Princeton, Harvard, George Washington University, and
other reputable educational institutions. Product-appropriate volunteer reviewers,
combined with the brainpower of the Board, determine the winners. Entries are
judged by category (i.e. mobile app, toy, book, website, magazine, etc.), subject area, and grade level, and evaluated based on standardized criteria rooted in constructivist learning theory.

Visit our winner’s page here:

Why did we make a version of Verbal Volley for iPad?

February 5th, 2014 | by admin

Mindfull Games released Verbal Volley for iPad in January 2014. What is our rationale for using the iPad as a medium to play Verbal Volley? First, we would like to stress that we were never interested in making Verbal Volley into a laptop game for one person, since language learning must occur during interactions between two or more individuals. The iPad was the first digital format that allowed for face-to-face interaction during game play and allowed us to make requested improvements. Here are some things that teachers wanted that using an iPad allowed us to do:

Thesaurus link:  Our app automatically links to an online thesaurus for immediate reference during game challenges or when a word is unknown. Using such references is a classroom learning goal. We have allowed teachers and families the freedom to choose whichever thesaurus they prefer and put that thesaurus’ URL into our app.

Record keeping:  On the iPad, a teacher, literacy specialist or speech pathologist can keep track of which Verbal Volley words were targeted in a game and whether students were successful naming synonyms and antonyms for them. The lists of won words and lost words can be labeled and emailed or downloaded for reference. Comparing lists allows for assessment of learning over time.

A new classroom board mode:  Teachers can mirror the iPad on their classroom whiteboard, or hold the iPad set to classroom mode in front of a group. This gives the flexibility of playing as a large class before assessing progress individually in the tabletop card game replica mode.

New evidence-based expanded spaced retrieval feature:  When a word is presented and a synonym or antonym can’t be named, players look up the word in the thesaurus and study it. Then Verbal Volley for iPad presents the word that was just studied again immediately, after several intervening words, and again after an even larger number of intervening words, etc. There is research evidence that this sort of requirement for expanded spaced retrieval of newly learned verbal information helps store it in long-term memory.

Word lists:  We have pre-selected several word lists of the type that teachers need to target in the classroom. There is a word list that has players use prefixes and suffixes, a word list that is easiest for the youngest players, and separate lists for the first and second halves of Fry’s high frequency word list.

Auditory presentation of stimulus words:  Students who don’t know how to pronounce the words they see will hear them spoken every time they play, unless they choose to turn off the sound.

Background color change option:  In classroom play mode, players with dyslexia can choose to alter the background color of the text presentation, in case they find a certain color is easier on their eyes.

A built-in timer:  For those who choose to play with time pressure, the rounds of the game are timed automatically. As always, players may choose to use turn-taking, manually advance rounds and keep the timer off.

We arrived at the above Verbal Volley for iPad features by beta testing our app in several schools and in a research university department of communication sciences and disorders. We hope that teachers will appreciate the way we have tried to make it easier for them to target vocabulary for literacy.

Verbal Volley Wins Academics’ Choice Brain Toy Award

December 7th, 2011 | by admin

In November, Verbal Volley won the Academic’s Choice Brain Toy Award. We are glad to be recognized for our game’s contributions to education and brain fitness.

Academic’s Choice  Toy Reviewers said:

“I use this in my 4th grade classroom for free time. It’s always the game to be grabbed off the shelf. Little do they know they are developing their vocabulary and word usage skills for writing! I highly recommend it to other teachers!”

“I’m a homeschooler and I use Verbal Volley to sharpen my children’s vocabulary and quick-thinking skills. After playing this game for a couple months, I have found it is much easier for my children to come up with, and articulate specific words when doing their writing assignments.”

“My family likes to play scrabble so we tried verbal volley. It is a much higher energy game and really keeps you on your toes.”

$700 Scholarship Given by Mindfull Games

September 28th, 2011 | by admin

A $700 Scholarship from Mindfull Games helped send Kelly LaMarche, Verbal Volley Showdown Second Prize Winner, to the University of Evansville this fall. Good luck with your college career, Kelly!

Mindfull Games’ Founder interviewed on KLOU 103.3

August 22nd, 2011 | by admin

Here is the podcast of Michelle Esswein interviewing Kristin Edmonds on Clear Channel Communications’ 103.3:

Michelle Esswein is doing a great service to the community by interviewing and promoting women entrepreneurs. We certainly appreciated the invitation to be on her show.

Verbal Volley Tournament News

June 12th, 2011 | by admin

In May, we received good news from Jocelyn Downs, Literacy Coach at Merritt Island High School in Merritt Island, Florida. She told us that in March, Merritt Island High School held a school-wide Verbal Volley tournament funded by the Brevard Foundation School Bucks Grant. Team play was used within the classrooms to find winners to represent each class, and then class representative teams competed against each other. Ms. Downs stated that Merritt Island “appreciates the impact this has had on our school. We sincerely hope to see increased test scores for our students; and we have certainly seen an increase in the engagement of our students while learning advanced academic vocabulary.”  Thank you, Jocelyn, for sharing your good news. Congratulations to the participants and winners in the Verbal Volley tournament, and good luck with your high stakes vocabulary tests!

Verbal Volley reviewed by Amy Bevins, Toy Expert

December 25th, 2010 | by admin

This month, Verbal Volley appeared as an award-winning game on page 24 of Washington Family Magazine, where  toy expert Amy Bevins succinctly captured the nature of Verbal Volley word play:

Ms. Bevins also included Verbal Volley in her Dec. 21st educational toy review on WUSA9:

Thank you, Amy, for your positive comments!


Verbal Volley wins Dr. Toy’s “Best Picks” Award

October 17th, 2010 | by admin

We are honored that Mindfull Games’ Verbal Volley game has won Dr. Toy’s “Best Picks” award for 2010.  The  awards were announced by international press release on October 15th, 2010.  Dr. Toy, Stevanne Auerbach PhD, reviewed toy and game submissions to choose those that are unique, innovative, high quality, active, developmentally appropriate and educational.

Mindfull Games is featured in the Saint Louis Post-Dispatch

August 27th, 2010 | by admin

Mindfull Games was featured in the following Saint Lous Post-Dispatch article last Friday: