Play Vocab-Building Improv! Activity

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Updated on Jul 26, 2013

There is no better time than the present to begin fostering your talented and creative young learner’s knack for improvisation. With this “anytime, anywhere” game, kids can get a giggle while increasing their vocabulary, especially those ever-important directionality words like on top, behind, below, next-to, or around. Such vocabulary words are an integral factor in the listening and speaking goals set for kindergarten students, as well as a facilitator for dynamic writing skills.

What You Need:

  • The only thing you’ll need is a small object of any sort (and as parents of young children, we know that there are, um, “objects” everywhere…). The object can be a toy, a kitchen tool, an accessory that you are wearing, or even a trash item.

What You Do:

  1. The goal of the game is to turn the object into as many other things as you can by using it in unconventional ways.
  2. Once your child finds a new way to use the object, or a way to make it look like something it isn’t, she must explain what the object is now. For example, an empty cup in the car can be a duck’s bill (by putting it over the mouth and nose) or a party hat (by putting it on top of your head) or a telescope (by pointing it outside the car.)  Get it?  Think, “Whose Line is It Anyway?”
  3. You may have to be the first player at bat for this game so your little scholarly-actors-in-training can get the gist of it. Beware: once they get the hang of this one, it may be hard to stop! Fits of silliness and laughter may ensue!
  4. For those itty-bitty students who may still struggle with describing their improvisations, you can help out by describing what they’ve done, but leaving out a key vocabulary word for them to fill in. (“You put the cup over your ________ [eye, nose, bellybutton]!”)

It's time for “Vocabulary Improvement on the Fly,” starring The Cutest Kid Ever: take one!

Lawren Allphin is a kindergarten teacher in Castro Valley, CA. She holds a degree in Psychology and has extensive experience working with Severely Emotionally Disabled (SED) children.