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Kangaroo Words

kangaroo with joey in pouch
No. of Players: 1+
Type of Game: written
What you need: pen and paper


To find words within other synonymous words.

How to play

A kangaroo word is a word that contains the letters of another synonymous word within itself, just like how kangaroos carry their offspring (called joeys) in a pouch. But the joey word must be spelled in the correct sequence. For example, illuminated is a kangaroo word because it contains lit, but conclude is not because end is out of sequence.

The gamemaster prepares a list of kangaroo words and distributes it to the other players. The first player to correctly identify all the synonyms they contain, or the player who finds the most within a set time, is the winner and becomes the gamemaster for the next round. Alternatively, anti-kangaroo words can be selected, which is a word that contains the letters of an antonym word, such as female (which contains male) and pest (pet).


Amelia prepares a list of fifteen kangaroo words for the other players. She gives them five minutes to find as many joeys as possible. Betty was able to complete the entire list before time expired.

equivalent equal
burst bust
chocolate cocoa
alone one
community city (or county)
deceased dead
encourage urge
feasted fed
instructor tutor
precipitation rain
regulate rule
supremacist racist
gigantic giant
insignia sign
sweaty wet

Did you know?

There are more kangaroos in Australia than humans. Because of the clearing of bushlands for pasture by European settlers, the 45 native species of kangaroos and wallabies have greatly expanded from their intial population.

kangaroo with young joey in pouch

But their entrance into the world is anything but easy. A joey is born as a fetus, fully formed like a kangaroo but under an inch long – or about the size of a jelly bean. They must crawl from the womb up the front of their mother's stomach to get into the pouch.

young joey kangaroo

Joeys then stay in the pouch for the next 6 months before they begin to leave for short periods, returning only when they need to feed. A joey will permanently leave the pouch after about 8–11 months, depending on the species.

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