Wednesday, April 18, 2012

Vocabulary Games

Building a strong vocabulary never ends. Even adults should continue to work on increasing their vocabulary. One fun way to work on vocabulary skills is by playing games.
Here are a few suggestions for games you and your kids can play.

  • Faceoff- One child sits at the front of the room. Their chair should face the rest of the people in the room. On a whiteboard, blackboard, or poster board behind them (so they can’t see), write down a vocabulary word. Everyone else has the job of trying to get the child sitting in the chair to guess the vocabulary word. They can take turns giving clues. Each child gets 5 chances to give clues. For example, if the word is sensitive, the kids might say delicate, irritable, touchy, subtle etc. They can only give one-word clues, which essentially are synonyms.
  • Snowball Fight-Using white paper, write vocabulary words and definitions (words on one piece of paper and definitions on another). Make one set (word and definition) per child. Crumple the papers up and form into a ball. The paper is light so it shouldn't break things, but the crumpled balls might hurt a little if you get hit in the face, so set up specific rules. Set a timer for approximately 30 seconds or however long you want the fight. When the timer goes off, everyone has to pick up a snowball and find their partner. If you pick up a vocabulary work, you must find the definition and vice versa.
  • Four Square-Divide a sheet of paper or construction paper into fourths (sideways/hamburger). Put a circle in the middle and write a vocabulary word. Label each square with the following: Definition, 2. Sentence use, 3. Opposite, and 4. Synonym. If you have only one child, just have them complete the sheet. If you have more than one child, have a child fill in one square and then pass it to the next child who chooses a different square to fill in. Each child should try to fill in a different square each time.

Friday, April 6, 2012


Have you ever heard of geocaching? Geocaching is a take-off of the 150-year-old game letterboxing. People use a GPS or even a cell phone with GPS to go on a hide and seek type treasure hunt. They look for containers called “geocaches” or “caches” all over the world. Dave Ulmer of Beavercreek, Oregon started current geocaching on May 3, 2000.

Usually a cache is hidden in a waterproof container. It will contain a logbook that the geocacher uses to enter the date they find the goodies, and they sign it with their established code name.

The items are usually toys or knick-knacks of little value. When you find something and take it, you are supposed to leave something similar or of higher value for the next person. You are also supposed to record the cache’s coordinates. These coordinates, along with other details of the location, are posted on an online listing site so other geocachers can find them.

You and your kids might have lots of fun geocaching. Google it and you will most likely find the locations of stashes in your community.