One year I subscribed to Martha Stewart magazine. I have to say it is a beautiful magazine full of good information. I also have to say it would take me three years to do half of the suggested projects! I kept the magazines for awhile because they were too beautiful to just toss out.
One day while flipping through an issue I was struck by the quality of the photographs. I decided to go through them all and cut out every picture that appealed to me. That night I created the Adjective Game.
I tried to cut the photos out in a fairly uniform size. Then I glued them to the blue paper you see in the pictures. When I was sure the glue was dry I then covered them with clear contact paper to make them durable. That is all the prep this game requires. We have pictures of furniture, food and pictures from nature. Our deck has 24 cards in it. You can vary the number to suit your needs.
The genius of this game is really in its simplicity and flexibility. This game is one of the first my daughter, then 2.5, could join us in playing. There are two ways to play.
Our favorite way of playing is to use any game board we're in the mood to play on. This could be a bought game like Monopoly or a homemade board. Anything with a path and spaces on it. We use anything from a four sided to a twenty sided die. Roll the die. The number you role is the number of adjectives you must give about the picture. Once you have done that you are allowed to move that many spaces on the board. Place the card in a discard pile. First to go around the board once or from the start to finish wins. For games with very many spaces you may have to shuffle and use your deck twice.
The second way of playing is what I call the "quick and portable" way. Grab your stack of cards and a die and shove them in your purse, bag or pocket. You're ready to play in any waiting situation. We've played while waiting for a check up and in restaurants. To play you roll the die and draw one card from the deck. If you role a four then you state four adjectives that describe the picture. If you're able to do this you keep the card. Play until you've used all the deck. Winner is holding the most cards in his "keep" pile.
In truth everyone wins when playing this game. You'll see those gears turning in their heads as they try to come up with adjectives not yet used. This game is PERFECT for non-readers. When my daughter was 2.5 I would show her a card on her turn and she would say "flower". I would smile and say "yes it IS a flower. What can you tell me about this flower?" I think prompting questions or helping is perfectly ok. Now at age 3.5 if I ask her to describe something to me she is quick to rattle off a string of adjectives. As the parent I always tried to model "advanced" vocabulary for my children. It helps avoid overusing words like big, pretty and soft.
This same deck of cards can be used when studying another language. You can review color words and size and even the gender of the noun. I usually accept words or phrases and then model complete answers for them.