Families have been playing Scrabble in the US since 1948 and if it’s time to introduce your kiddos to this beloved board game, you’ll need to start small. Try using one or all 28 of these two-letter words the next time you play a round. It just might help you (we mean them) get that triple-word score. Scroll down for your dictionary for half-pints.

scrabble tiles photo: Karen via flickr 

1. AI a three-toed sloth from Brazil, known for its high-pitched cry when disturbed (sound familiar?)

“Was that your sister? No, I think it was just an ai someone was bothering.”

2. AW an exclamation of mild protest, adoration or sympathy

Aw! He’s so cute and his feet are sooo small.”

3. AX  
a tool for cutting or to cut with an ax

“If you are a big, big tree, we are a small ax.”—Bob Marley

4. BE to exist

“To be or not to be…”

5. BO a pal

“Me and my best bo are going to ride our tricycles.”

6. GO to leave

“It’s time to go to school.”

7. HA sound expressing laughter often used sarcastically when texting 

“I’m texting you from the bathroom at Target, while waiting for Billy to poop. What a glamorous life. Ha!”

8. HE a male person

He really has grown.” (you can sneak in “she” here pretty easy too,e ven though it’s 3 letters.)

9. HI a greeting used throughout the world

Hi sweetie! What is that in your hair?”

10. IF possible condition

“What if we have ice cream for lunch?”

11. IN inside; within a state, situation or condition

“Your foot is in the wrong shoe.”

12. IS to exist/to be (conjugation of be)

“This is the funniest book!”

13. IT a thing/person, indefinite pronoun or the antagonist in a game of tag

“Tag, you’re ‘it.'”

14. MA mother, mommy, short for mama

Ma! I stubbed my toe.”

15. ME myself

“That amazing play-dough sculpture belongs to me.”

16. NO a negative response, used to express dissent, refusal or denial, especially of something that will make your kid hyper/not sleep/bleed

No, you cannot jump on the bed with a lollipop in your mouth at 11:30 at night.”

17. OF belonging to something

“You’re the apple of my eye.”

18. OH an expression of relief or surprise 

Oh! I gotta’ go, he just ran out the door naked.”

19. ON to be in contact with a surface of, attached to, or carried with 

“Put your backpack on, please.”

20. OR a word used to join two alternatives, frequently used as a way to make your kids think they have a choice in the matter

“Would you like to get dressed first, or brush your teeth?”

21. OW an expression of sudden, surprise pain, sometimes used by toddlers as a means of deflecting a task 

Ow! I just stepped on a LEGO again.”

22. OX a strong animal used to pull wagons 

“Paul Bunyan had a legendary companion, Babe the Blue Ox.”

23. PA daddy, dad, short for papa

“Your pa loves you no matter what.”

24. TO in the direction of, toward 

“Let’s go to the movies.”

25. UM an expression used as a pause, often in place of an awkward silence or to emphasize mistakes

Um, that three-layer cake does not look like the picture, mom.”

26. UP elevated; above; to rise from

“I don’t wanna’ grow up.” —Tom Waits

27. US the collective we

“Those stickers make us all so happy!”

28. WE oneself and others together

“We are family!” —Sister Sledge