Tuesday, June 2, 2015

Big Word Alphabet Game for the Car

Summer vacation season is upon us! Do you get bored on the road? Want to use those hours for something fun and educational? 

We’ve been spending a lot of time in our van recently, traveling at the end of our homeschool year. Sometimes you just need a new activity, right? Last week, we sneaky parents decided to use that time in the vehicle, on the road, to build vocabulary, but we called it a game. J

For each letter of the alphabet, we tried to come up with a huge, fancy word. For an extra challenge, the person presenting the word had to spell it and define it.

Other considerations included ~
Does it have more than one meaning?
Who can come up with the biggest word?
How many words do you know the definition for?
Who can spell it the fastest, or at least correctly?
Can you say it in another language or with an accent? J

It didn’t take long for the children to get revved up, shouting out words and trying to think of a word longer than what anyone else had. Even the Littles got involved, contributing any word they could think of that started with that letter.

Eventually, my husband started making up words just to get a reaction from me and entertain the children. J

Do proper names count? Would muskee, a type of fish, count for M? Would magnesium? Are you allowed to use the Vocabulary Builder on your kindle? You decide!

As we sped along, I typed up a few of our words ~

G - "God, because God is bigger than anything!" {The 6yo thought he skunked everyone with that. J}
J - judiciary, juggernaut
L - lugubrious
M - mercurial, maliciousness
N - nincompoop {You can imagine the giggles over that one.}
O - obstreperous {Had to look that one up. I knew I had read it but couldn't remember a good definition.}
Q - quintessential
R - rudimentary
S - salubrious, sagacious
T - translucent
U - umbrageous
V - veritable, verbose, verbatim
W - whimsical
X - xerography {On this word, the science-loving 15yo launched into the explanation of the process of making a photocopy. That led my computer-scientist husband to tell the story of how Apple sued Microsoft for stealing the idea for Windows and Microsoft won the case because they were able to prove that the idea was initially from the Xerox Company but Xerox never sought a patent for it. See where the game can go?}

Want a twist? Try A through Z with world geography ~ countries, cities, rivers, lakes, etc. For example, A is Applachian, B is Bucharest, C is Croatia, W is for Wellington {the capital of New Zealand}.

What about A through Z with famous artists, writers, books, musicians, or mathematical formulas? Go crazy!

We enjoyed the game so much that I thought I might keep a dictionary in the van. You can call me a nerd. I’ll take it as a compliment. J

What big words could you contribute? What other A-Z games can you think of?

{I’m excited to share photos this Friday in my Homeschool Mother’s Journal post of our trip last week to Washington, DC!}

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  1. We love to play word games as well. Sometimes we take a word and try to come up with as many rhyming words as possible. Sometimes it gets really funny!

    1. That sounds like fun for young and old{er}, especially for those who like to make up their own words! Thanks for the suggestion! :-)

  2. You should try the license plate game. My boys loved it. You use the three letters on the license plate of each car you see, and come up with words using those three letters in that order. For example, the letters APR might be used in SCAMPER. NME might be NIMBLE. TXE might be TAXABLE. We played it that the longest word wins, but you can also play it for the shortest word (in which case SCAMPER becomes CAMPER, because it still uses all three letters in order but is a shorter word). The words don't have to start or end with the first or last letter in the license plate series, they just have to use all three letters in the order they appear on the license plate. In case of a tie, the word that comes first in the alphabet wins. It takes a little while to get used to but after you've played it a few times you can't look at license plates without immediately trying to come up with a word. :o)

    1. I love it!! It sounds difficult, but I'm sure you're right that we'll never look at license plates the same again. Thanks for the suggestion! :-)

    2. It's really not as difficult as it sounds. Your kids read a lot so they will very quickly start seeing words in the letters. You just have to remember to use the letters in order, and that the word doesn't have to start or end with the first or last letter as long as all three are in the word. The rest of it is pretty much your choice (longest word wins, shortest word wins, etc.) I hope you try it, it's a lot of fun and great vocabulary and spelling practice. :o)

  3. Cool!
    I like the before and after pictures in this post. (And the little guy who's oblivious to all of it!)

    1. I had to snap the before picture quickly. The children have a hard time keeping a sad face for long. :-)

  4. You can keep a dictionary. We understand...we keep a hymn book, because who knows when you want to break out in praise songs together (-:

    1. Another great idea! We've been trying to learn more of the old hymns, but I never thought of keeping a hymnal in the van. Thank you! :-)

  5. This is a great idea! I love how you combined fun and learning together. I will keep this mind for our next road trip. When I was younger, my sister and I use to see who could guess the most make and models of cars passing by correctly. We were into automobiles for some reason lol. #ThrivingThursday


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