Monday, July 8, 2013

Alphabet Soup and Categories

Alphabet Soup is a great word game.  We often play this just as a verbal game, no paper needed.  Someone picks a category, then starting with "A" and continuing through the alphabet, players must think of an appropriate word with their letter in that category.  Making it trickier, you can require all players to repeat all the previous words.  For the category Fruits and Veggies, play might sound like this, "Apricots", "Bananas", "Cantaloupes", "Dates", "Eggplants", etc.  In the trickier version, you might require players to say, "I went to the store and bought some apricots, bananas, and cantaloupes."  The next player has to repeat the entire phrase, adding in their next word.  With younger kids, we always just play the easier version.  It's challenging enough just thinking of the words sometimes!

My daughter loves to write lists of words.  She recently filled a piece of scrap paper just with words starting with "M".  So I thought she would enjoy having an "Alphabet Soup" version that she could write down, and I was right!  Here's her page below.  She picked "Animals" and "Things that Fly" as her two categories.

We worked on this together, but she came up with most of the ideas.  Many of the ones that were tricky for her were tricky for me too!  We looked them up on the internet.  But that's not cheating as we still learned something!  We also tried to be creative, so for "X" and "Things that Fly", we wrote down X-wing Fighter from Star Wars.  It does fly!

Just click on the blank copy of the game above and you can download it from Google Drive. 

Another fun game that both my kids seem to enjoy is called "Categories".  It's rather similar to "Alphabet Soup", but timed and without the alphabet part.  My kids really like picking a letter and seeing how many words they can write down starting with that letter in one minute.  It is interesting that when we play using just a letter, we almost always come up with VERY different answers, hardly any overlap at all.  When playing with a category, we tend to have a lot more overlap.  You can see a couple games we played below.

We did the categories "Words starting with C", "Computer Games", "School Supplies", and "Animals".  When one minute is up, everyone reads out their lists and crosses off any words that are duplicates.  You can then count up your remaining words as one point each and whoever has the highest score wins!  We don't worry too much about score.  I know so many more words than my kids, I usually win (but not always!)  We had a little discussion with the "Computer Games" category as most of the games I thought of were played on a Nintendo or DS, which my children informed me were NOT computer games.  It's up to the players to decide together what words are acceptable.

If you'd like a copy of this game sheet, just click on the "Categories" picture above and it will take you to Google Drive.  Of course, both of these games can be played just using little scraps of paper, but sometimes kids like things nicely organized and cute. 

I hope you and your children enjoy playing these word games together!

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