There can never be enough laughter in the world and this word game for kids will give you and your kids the giggles.
With sentences such as:
Kumquats snooze daily.
Pigs flap loudly.
Flowers snort nearby.
But what's the benefit of a nonsense word game other than a few cheap laughs? Can nonsense be an effective teaching tool if it promotes the ridiculous? A few famous authors seem to think so:
A little nonsense now and then is relished by the wisest men. —Roald Dahl
I like nonsense. It wakes up the brain cells. —Dr. Seuss.
We invented a word game for kids, "Funny Flips." It is a blend of the Surrealist poetry game Exquisite Corpse, Mad Libs and this simple flip-flap drawing game. (Note: this post contains affiliate links.)
The gist of the game is to mix and match words to make simple—and ridiculous—sentences. But....
It also teaches grammar, especially that tricky, tricky part of speech: the adverb.
When will this game come in handy?
- When you are traveling.
- At the dinner table.
- When you are waiting for an appointment.
- When you and your children need a hearty laugh.
What you need:
- Paper (we used standard 8 ½ x 11 paper)
- Enthusiastic children or anyone who needs a pick-me-up
How to create the template:
- Fold the paper in thirds.
- Open the paper and cut each side into thirds, stopping the cut at the crease.
- Decide on a sentence formation. We used the following: Plural noun - Verb (that agrees with a plural noun) - Adverb
- Write a different noun on each side of the paper in the upper third.
- Write a different verb on each side of the paper in the middle third.
- Write a different adverb on each side of the paper in the bottom third.
Now you are ready to flip the funny flaps to make your own Funny Flip sentences!
You can, of course, have one person fill in the Funny Flip all by himself. However, things will get interesting if you try one of the following ideas:
Have one person fill in the noun section, pass the Funny Flip to another person, and she can fill in the verb section (cover up the previously filled in sections with a piece of paper—no peeking!). Repeat for the adverb section.
Have one person fill in a random noun, verb, and adverb and pass the paper around until it is filled.
Close your eyes and flip the paper randomly so your sentence creation is a surprise.
Cut the paper into fourths. Add adjectives to the top fourth.
Try different sentence structures, and divide the template accordingly. How well does it work to create sentences in grammatical agreement?
Tell others a story that includes your sentence. (My personal favorite.)
Read and discuss examples of nonsense in literature. A great place to start is the poet Edward Lear. We looked at Lear's poems in the limerick module of our poetry reading challenge.
You can also read Lewis Carroll's Alice in Wonderland, any of Roald Dahl's books, or the verse novels of Robert Paul Weston.
And don't forget you can use the same template to create a silly fun drawing game!
Susan Lewis says
Awesome! Can't wait for a chance to try this with my students!
Very fun! I got "Sofas Skedaddle While eating whiteboards!" Haha