Thursday, May 28, 2015

How Many Meanings? A new kids game


We've been playing a new game in the car lately.

Anything to get them to stop requesting "The kids songs, like the head bones connected to the neck bone", or, as I call it, the 5th circle to Hell.

I call our new game "How many meanings?".

We come up with a word, and try to name all the different meanings the words have. Even if they are spelled differently, we use this word game in how they are spoken, not spelled. (Neither kid knows how to spell anyways. Most adults, either, to be fair. I blame spell check.)  It's amazing to me how difficult the English language can be when you really think about it.

Last week, I chose the word "read". 

"Well," Bjorn said," There is the red like the color, and read like 'I read a book'."

"Right!," I said. "Now it's your turn!"

"Hmmmmm.....how about tie?"

"Ok, how many meanings are there?"

"Three." he answered. "The tie that I wear around my neck at church, the tie like you do to your shoelaces and the tie when I don't win and I don't lose."

I was pretty impressed. I had only remembered two of those myself.

We've become pretty expansive at this game, covering words from "orange " (Two meanings: orange the color and orange the fruit) to "paint" (two: you can paint -the verb - with paint - the noun) to "pop" (two meanings: what some people call coke, and what you can do to a balloon).

And it stops them from requesting the kids songs they love to hear in the car. Mostly, it's Peanut requesting. ("Please can I listen to 'John Brown's baby?'" she asks.) Bjorn likes his Rock'n'Roll. Hopefully, this game can wean her from the songs and into mainstream radio....and maybe teach them a thing or two while I'm at it.

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