Sunday, August 2, 2015

Riddle Me This!

Young children delight in sharing riddles. We can use this love of word play to help children develop oral language, an understanding of sentences, and how details work. Your use of language doesn’t need to follow the true riddle format that older children may enjoy. As children become more familiar with language they see the humor in little ditties such as, “Why do birds fly south for the winter?” Answer – “Because it’s too far to walk.” These joke-type riddles will be popular as children grow. For now, think of riddles as brain exercise.

Ask your child to play a game with you. Say, “I am going to give you clues. See if you can solve the riddle.” The following is a good sequence:

What animal is black and white?
This animal raises its tail as a warning.
This animal gives off a bad smell?
What animal is it?

Answer: Skunk

You can give many clues like this. More examples include:

What animal lives in cold places?
This animal is a bird but cannot fly.
This animal waddles on ice and swims to catch fish.
What animal is it?

Answer: Penguin

What animal is large and gray?
This animal likes to eat grass and bananas.
This animal has a long trunk.
What animal is it?

Answer: Elephant

Children will hear clear sentence structure and vocabulary about the natural world. They may learn new details about animals.

Then ask children to come up with their own “riddles.” See if they can match your sentence structure and use vocabulary about the animal world. Go outside and have children look around for ideas. They can give clues about what they see: squirrels, dogs, ants, etc. You may easily know what animal is being described but let children speak a series of clues. This gives valuable vocabulary practice - - - in any language!

Standards Alignment:
NAEYC: 2.D,.03,  2.D,.06,  2.D,.07,  2.G.08,
Head Start: IV.A.3, VIII.A. & B, IX.C.

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