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Boredom Busters (that secretly promote language enrichment)

Ball Park Words

It is surprising to children that special vocabulary exists just for baseball. You could introduce the word, “jargon,” as you explore some words and phrases reserved for use at a baseball game. A fun discussion of ball park lingo might include the phrase, “Around the horn,” the term for the practice of infielders throwing the ball to one another to celebrate a recorded out, provided there are no runners on base. A “Banjo Hitter” is a batter who lacks power and usually hits bloop singles, just past the outfield dirt. The name is said to come from the twanging sound of a soft hit - like the twanging of a banjo. Be on the look out for a “Circus Catch,” the term used when an outfielder makes an outstanding catch, sometimes reminding spectators of watching a circus acrobat as the fielder goes through impossible contortions in the process of snagging the ball. Look for opportunities to use the newly discovered ball field terms as the family watches the game. Maybe you could devise a point system with 10 points for the first to use a new term correctly, and 5 for each subsequent correct use. Vie for who will be your family’s baseball lingo GOAT! For lots more baseball jargon, check out this Wikipedia article This month’s newsletter freebie is a word search puzzle with 30 baseball lingo terms to find.

Aquarium Photo Captions

Visits to the aquarium can really bloat the number of photos on everyone’s phone. And with good reason - we get to see creatures at the aquarium which are usually viewed only by other aquatic species. Before all the photos are deleted, consider a caption challenge. Silly captions will have the whole family giggling, but the effort of stringing together words which somehow fit the photo AND are funny will stretch your dyslexic child’s rusty writing skills. Since captions are only one sentence long, the activity should stay fun for everyone. An adult or non-judgmental sibling can assist with spelling when needed. The results of the family effort might be the best ever family trip summary email for Grandma!

Kitchen Supply Store - Tool Uses Reimagined Game

“What do you think THAT is used for?” must be the most whispered question between folks visiting the gadgets wall of kitchen supply store. Learning specific words for kitchen utensils is a powerful vocabulary builder, and knowing what those tools

intended use is valuable. For the Tool Uses Reimagined Game, each family member selects their favorite unusual kitchen tool (or two or three) from the gadget wall, either purchasing or snapping a picture. The intended use of the gadget is learned, but kept from other family members. At the hotel, or back home, two fake but plausible (or hilarious) uses for the tool are invented by each player. When each player has written their two fake and one real use on a card (when needed, help with spelling is encouraged), the game begins. Each player shows the gadget or picture of the gadget, and convincingly gives the three possible uses. Other players write the number of the use they believe to be correct, and points are awarded for correct guesses. This game hits so many language skills for the dyslexic child! Learning new vocabulary words, asking a store clerk what the tool is used for (and remembering the answer), inventing fake uses and writing them succinctly, giving a presentation of their tool and uses to the other players, listening carefully as other players present, and evaluating choices for which is most likely to be correct are all language tasks. The family cook wins in this game too, with the best stocked gadget drawer of the neighborhood!

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