Love to Play—with words!

Make some everyday family fun playing Dr. Seuss-inspired word games!

Big A, little a. What begins with A? Add word fun to routine household chores like packing lunches or making meals with Dr. Seuss’s ABC. As you work together, have kids choose ingredients based on the words you say that begin with the same letter sounds. So if you ask for “Aunt Annie’s alligator” to put in the lunchbox, your child might hand you an apple. Or if you are making a fruit salad together and ask for “Barber baby bubbles and a bumblebee”, you might get bananas or blueberries. If someone says “Icabod is itchy. So am I”, that means it’s time for ice cream!

All those Nupboards in the Cupboards. They’re good fun to have about. And a wocket in your pocket is easy to take along on trips and errands! As your family goes about its busy day, take time to notice the ordinary and turn it into something extraordinary to laugh about together. For example, if you’re waiting at the bus stop, what kind of Dr. Seuss-like creature might also be there? A Glus Bop? A Flus Zop with a Kruss Top? Have paper and pencil handy kids can write about and draw pictures of these imaginary beings and beasts.

Nonfiction is categorically good fun. After sharing titles from The Cat in the Hat Learning Library, such as Wish for a Fish, talk with kids about some of the words they just heard used to name sea creatures and where they live. Explain how these words can be put into categories because of their relationship to each other. Then play a word game where everyone will have a chance to contribute a word that belongs in a specific category. Name a category, such as types of sea animals, then offer a word for the category, such as “whale.” Then someone else gives a new word for the category. Continue until no one can contribute another word. Then start a new category! Set some rules such as, if someone can’t think of a word to contribute or repeats a word already given, that person is “out.” Or if someone needs help thinking of a word, they can request help.