Learning Tip: Word Fun
By Susan Dichter
A wise woman we know keeps her grandchildren entertained on rainy weekends and never turns on the TV! Her trick? Old fashioned word games that can be adapted to fit many age groups—and adults often join in, too. Here are a couple:
A challenge to all age groups. Whoever is "it" thinks of a rhymed description of any object, creature, or activity. If only one-syllable words are involved, "it" says, for example, "An angry father, Ink Pink" (a "mad dad").Or, "a brightly colored sleeping place, Ink Pink (a "red bed"). If two-syllable words are involved, he says, "A comical rabbit, Inky Pinky" (a "funny bunny") and so on. (Three syllable words, identified as Inkily, Pinkily, are rarely used. Three syllable words are very hard to find!)
A take-turns-around-a-circle game called "I Love My Love." It begins "I love my love with an 'A' because she is adorable, ancient, awful, artful, anxious, avaricious." And so on, through the alphabet. For young kids, who find nouns easier than adjectives, there are simpler variants. For example, "I went to the circus, and I saw an alligator, a balloon—" all the way to zebra. Or, "I walked down the street and I saw—" an ambulance, a billboard, a car, a dog…
Susan Dichter wears many hats—mother, writer, former teacher, museum director, and librarian; her books include Teachers: Straight Talk from the Trenches.
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