Word Island

Improve your child's vocabulary this summer by playing outside this fun word game.I love learning new words.

And, I love confabulating* with my children, grandchildren, nieces, nephews, and the random man on the street to help them learn new words. (*confabulate – verb that means chat)

So, I came up with a game that you can play with the grandchildren that will help them increase their vocabulary. I call it the Word Island game.

Here’s what you do. Draw a box in the middle of your driveway with sidewalk chalk. Write the word ‘home’ in it. Then, draw a bunch of random circles. These are the islands. The circles should be fairly close together — within two feet of each other. (They could be closer or farther apart depending on the age of your grandchildren playing the game.)

Fill each island with a word that you want your grandkids to learn. (It helps if you know the words . . . )

Before you start playing, say the words to your grandchildren and give the definition. You can go over the words several times if you want.

Then, have your grandchildren stand by one of the “outer banks.” (I just thought of that analogy. Clever, eh?) By outer banks, I mean one of the ‘islands’ that are on the outside edges and not close to the ‘home’ square.

Select one grandchild to go first. That grandchild hops onto an island. They have to say the word that is written inside the island and then give its definition. If they get it right, they hop to another island. They continue hopping from island to island saying the words and giving the definition.

When they give the wrong definition or don’t know it, they lose their turn. Grandma, you then tell them the correct definition.

It is now the next grandchild’s turn.

Have the children take turns hopping and giving definitions. They keep hopping from island to island saying the word and giving the definition until someone has hopped their way to ‘home.’ The first one to make it to ‘home’ is the winner of that round.

For the next round, the grandchildren have to start in a different spot. That way they will have different words to define. Once again, they keep taking turns until someone makes it to ‘home.’

Happy hopping! (Boy, say THAT ten times really fast!)