This game started purely by accident and now the kids ask to play so often I’m actually starting to dread it! The only time we play this game is in the car and the “rules” are very simple.
Basically, we just list homophones. Words that sound the same, but have different meanings (road/rode, flue/flew, carrot/carat). We just holler them out as we think of them, but you could be more competitive and keep track of who comes up with the most or take turns, with the first person unable to think of one being “out”. We simply enjoy coming up with them and giving examples of the different meanings. The last time we played, my daughter did grab a piece of paper and started writing them down to see if we could get to 100.
When you encounter a question like, “Are ‘sign’ and ‘sign’ homphones since they are spelled the same, but can mean different things?” suggest your children research when you get back home. (Be sure and remind them about it once you are home)
Write a list of vocabulary words on index cards. Divide the stack equally among the players and have them place their cards face-down in front of them. Each player turns over their first card. The card that comes first alphabetically wins IF that player can provide an acceptable definition of the word. If so, the player takes the cards from the other players. If not, the player to the right has a chance to provide a definition and steal all the cards. If two or more players lay down cards that begin with the same letter, the player who first yells “WAR!”, wins. When all the cards are gone, the player with the most collected cards wins.
Here is a fun way to strengthen spelling skills and have a blast at the same time!
To make your own Build a Word Game, all you need are index cards and multiple letters of the alphabet. For the letters of the alphabet you can use things such as Scrabble® game pieces, foam letters (that can be bought at most dollar stores) or simply cut out squares of heavy card stock paper and write the letters on yourself.
You will also need to write approximately 20 “word challenges” (see below for example) on 3×5 index cards. Now that you have your materials, let’s get started!
How it works:
Lay the alphabet letters in a pile between the players. The first player picks a “word challenge” card and reads it out loud to the other players. Once he puts the card down, the race has begun! The players sift through the letters to see who can make a word that fits the challenge first.
For example, the word challenge card reads, “Something that is hot”. One player may try to spell the word “stove”, while another may spell the word “fire”. The player that gets his word done first keeps the card. When there are no more cards left in the pile, the player holding the most wins!
Tip! Give slower spellers a small head start to build their word. For example, once the card is read, the quick spellers must count to 5 before they can start building their word.
Sample Word Challenges:
something that is hot.
a word that starts with the letter “R”.
something you put on pizza.
a girl’s name
a tool used for building.
something that gets wet.
This game, and 19 more, can be found in our 20 Homemade Learning Games ebook.
Have you ever guessed at how much something weighs and found you were WAY off? Well, here is a quick and fun way to teach children to better estimate weight.
All you need is a small household scale (postal or kitchen scales work well), some paper, and some energetic children. The parent begins by writing on small pieces of paper five or six different weights within the weight limits of your particular scale.
The parent then folds the papers up and puts them in a bowl or basket. The first child draws one piece of paper from the basket. The children are then sent on a scavenger hunt around the house for an item they think weighs approximately the amount on the paper. Once they all return, each child takes a turn weighing the item they found. The one who is the closest to the chosen weight gets to draw the next piece of paper (or you can offer another small reward), after they put their items back of course.