At home, we played Scrabble, Boggle, and Upwords. At school, we were given word-finds. Now, we enjoy crossword puzzles. If we wanted to share our love of words with our grandchildren, which games could we play?
We could start with colorful refrigerator magnets. Our preschooler grands love to gather in the kitchen when we’re preparing a snack. We can use this time to put simple, three-letter words on the refrigerator and help to sound them out. C-A-T. D-O-G. P-A-N.
If our grandkids are emerging readers, we can ask them to spell the words they’ve mastered–with the same magnetic letters. They may also enjoy making short sentences, even silly ones like, “A man in a pan.”
Many of our grandchildren have electronic spelling games and sentence builders. We can ask them to show us how to play their games and join them in some friendly competition.
There’s also Scrabble Junior. This combines our love of Scrabble with a colorful board with pictures and pre-selected words to match with tiles. When our grandchildren are ready to make their own words, they can flip the board over and graduate to the next level.
A fun way to introduce words around the lunch or dinner table is to think of a short word your grandchild is sure to know. Give them hints about the word then see if they can guess it and spell it aloud, “I’m thinking of a something bright that’s up in the sky.” S-U-N.
Ask your older grandchildren to help solve a crossword puzzle or fill in the blanks of a trivia game. If they’re keen on increasing their word power, break out the Readers Digest vocabulary list and see how many words they can define.
A word-wise future
Words–spelling, defining, pronunciation and usage are not everyone’s cup of tea. However, anything that can be made more interesting is more easily caught.
We can help to increase our grandchildren’s reading and language arts skills through play. They don’t need to know they’re learning but we’ll know we’re making a difference for years to come.
When sending you grandchild a gift in the mail, slip in an age-appropriate word find, crossword puzzle or Mad Libs booklet.
You’ll teach them to spell, “Grandma loves you and cares about your success.”