Wordplay games do not require any props and can be enjoyed at any time anywhere. They are also effective in developing children’s intellect and memory. When children are exposed to lots of words it becomes easier to cultivate their sensitivity. Once children can use a lot of words when playing, you will see their language ability grow.
In this article, we will introduce word play games that parents should enjoy with their children.
Many parents remember having fun playing “shiritori” with their friends when they were young. This game is fun for all ages and helps expand children’s vocabulary. Once they get used to regular “shiritori” you can try using only 3 letter words or only food words to make the game more difficult.
Games that require children to read words backwards and create anagrams are challenging. It is a good idea to use words that children know such as reading “ringo” as “gonri” and continue to develop your child’s intellect. Parents can use longer words to make the game more challenging. Using anagrams like “tomato” and “shibunshi” become a new discovery and attract their attention.
Word games that use haiku and short songs to capture the “575” rhythm of the Japanese language are helpful when studying the language. Try looking for 575 words in everyday life and creating our own humorous poems. When your child gets used to the game, it is a good idea to use seasonal words, such as “summer”, “forest” and make your own “575” haiku. You may be surprised at the poems your child can create.
In this game, one person becomes the main character and everyone tries to guess who he/she is. For example, if the question is “Who am I? I am red. I am square. I am standing in the town.” then the answer is “post”. Children between the ages of 4-5 years old will be able to ask questions like “Is it living?” and parents can say “that is right” and “it is not right” until they find the answer.
In this game all participants try to find the answer to the same question. At the beginning, participants come up with a theme like “starts with na”, sweet foods, or large animals. Once the leader says, “ready, set, go” all participants go ahead and say all the words they can come up with. It is a good idea to come up with rules so that all participants stay on the theme. Once your child gets used to the game, you can have him/her come up with the themes.
It is effective to use word play games when children get bored during long drives or trips on the trains, when parents are busy doing housework, during bath time or right before bed time. These games will help with parent-child bonding and bring out your child’s sensitivity.
Also, when your child gets used to wordplay, you can go ahead and challenge them with English wordplay games as well. This will make learning English fun and motivate them to learn the language even more.
However, some parents are not confident with their English ability. In this case, it is a good idea to send their children to programs where they can improve their English. Learning English in a fun environment with friends will enable to learn to like the language even more. Please consider sending your child to English classes in a fun environment.