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Enhance Your Child’s Vocabulary with this Fun Game

Team StoryWeavers|September 1, 2021|

“I am confused about nouns” 

” What are common and proper nouns?” 

“Why are names and things called nouns?”

As parents of children who are beginning to learn and understand English grammar, you might have heard these questions from them. Here is a game that will help your child navigate through nouns. In the long run, it will also enable them to create a solid foundation in English and enhance their vocabulary.

It’s called –  Name, Place, Animals and Things – and in some versions – Categories or Guggenheim!

Things you need

  • Papers
  • Pencils
  • A stopwatch app

All you need are pencils, paper and love for nouns

Rules for the game

  • Categories can be played with one or many children. More the merrier! 
  • An adult can conduct the game. 
  • Each child is given a sheet of paper and a pencil. Before the game begins, they need to divide their paper into four columns, one each for subheadings – Name, Place, Animal and Thing.  
  • Now, the adult can set the stopwatch to five, ten, twenty or thirty seconds or any number (at random) .
  • They must mentally recite the letters of the alphabet in the order. They can begin when the timer begins and ends, and stop at whichever letter of the alphabet they are at.
  • Then, they call out the alphabet for that round.

Your child needs to think a little to give out some interesting answers

  • For instance, if the stopwatch ends at five seconds and the adult has the letter E in mind, the children should be ready with words in the letter E. 
  • The participating children must think of a Name, Place, Animal and Thing in the letter E. 
  • Please note that places can be names of towns, cities, countries and states. 
  • The children should be given sufficient time – anywhere from a few seconds to a few minutes, depending on the age of the child. 
  • Younger children can take more time and also be allowed to seek help from the adult, since their vocabulary may not be as comprehensive! 
  • Once they are finished with the entries for each column, the adult can check the answers and award points for the right ones. 
  • One can add extra points for right spellings and unique words. It’s entirely at the discretion of the adult, but it would certainly encourage the children who take the extra effort!
  • Once the points tally for the first round are done, the next cycle can begin. The adult can reset the stopwatch and begin reciting the letters of the alphabet again. 
  • Till all the letters are exhausted, the game can be played. 

Some tips: In case one child writes a word that the others dont know, he/she can explain the meaning and the rest will add a new word to their vocabulary. 

Ways to make the game interesting

This game involves learning multiple aspects of learning- spellings, vocabulary, knowledge on animals and also, some geography. 

Thus, the children have the potential to branch the game. Here are some ideas:

  •  You can look up all the places listed in the game so far on the Atlas or even on Google to understand which continents are these places located in. This is an ideal exercise for older children – those above the age of six. 
  • They can also understand the origin of the animals listed in the game. 

You could use your imagination to make the game interesting. Sometimes you need to break the monotony by merely listing the alphabets and the nouns that correspond to them. 

Come up with more ideas and share them with us in the comments. 

About the Author


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Aparna Desikan

Aparna is a mom, singer and dreamer by day and a BoJack Horseman-junkie by night. At BYJU'S, she writes happy stories about edtech and learning for kids. She believes in the power of music, the magic of the universe and a plate of idlis. When not writing or singing, you will find her intensely engaged in conversations about life and the power of words or listening to her favourite song, Aaj Jaane Ki Zid Na Karo.

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