Whether you knew it or not, the games you played with your parents and your children went a long way towards enriching your vocabulary.
Your vocabulary is not just a list of words you know, but it also incorporates how words are used in certain situations.
We all know the word ‘Jack’ is a boy’s name, but it is also the word used for the device that lifts cars, and can be a slang word for policeman, for example.
Playing simple games with your grandchildren can enrich their vocabulary, and increase their ability to read and write better.
Using “I Spy” to enrich your grandchildren’s vocabulary
One of our family’s favorite games is “I Spy”.
You know how it goes:
“I spy with my little eye something that begins with ‘s’…”
This is a great game for young learners who have started school; aged 6 and up. At this stage they are already being exposed to word sounds, and will be familiar enough with them to play along.
I Spy for preschoolers
Rather than use the sound of the first letter when playing with preschoolers, try this variation on the game using clues instead.
For example, you could say “I spy with my little eye something that is green and soft.”
The answer: A cushion on the couch.
Use adjectives and adverbs
By using two or more adjectives or adverbs to describe an item you are expanding your grandchild’s exposure to a much greater number of words.
Of course, you can make the game more complex for older children by ‘spying’ small and unusual things or giving specific clues.
For example: “I spy with my little eye something that loses its leaves in winter.”
“I spy with my little eye something that uses gas a lot.”
“I spy with my little eye something that needs a leash.”
I Spy is a versatile and fun game, which can be played just about anywhere. Give it a go and help your grandchildren build their vocabulary.