News & Reviews

Learning is Fun at Word Games Author: Roshan Choudhury   Posted On: 25 Aug 2019

Word Games @DI
The morning rains threatened to put a dampener on the 'Word games' session planned at DI by the library committee. By the afternoon, the skies decided they too wanted to play along with the kids. Sun shone in all its glory as children came in for the workshop. The swimmers from the camp rushed to Indoors@DI. 
The organisers, Christabel, Rajashree, Rituparna, Simran, Mohore and Leslie could be seen having last minute discussions. Soon Christabel, the main MC for the sessions took the microphone and got the eager children to line up age wise. Soon they were sorted into 4 teams - Red, Blue, Green Yellow. Uncle Leslie called out the team names and a singing symphony emerged as each team shouted out their team colours. They made up the DI rainbow. Everyone was charged up and ready for the games to begin. 

Running Anagrams
Leslie introduced the DI children to the wonderful world of anagrams. He said he is a teacher, but teacher could be rescrambled into cheater, invoking a burst of laughter as children imagined their teachers cheating. Each child was given a pen and a paper. The oldest participant in each group came up and were given instructions for their teams.
Christabel shared a strategic tip. By putting the alphabets in a circle, making the words would be easy. Chits with the words that had to be re-scrambled were given out. 
Children worked together to solve the anagram puzzle. Team Red was the fastest. 
Some teams came up with more than one anagram for the clue words which was very impressive considering that this was the first time they had been exposed to anagrams. Little brains with infinite skills had started working.

Paper challenge
Each team was divided into Juniors and Seniors for this game. The word search game had 3 sets of puzzles given to each child. This game had all the children seeking the hidden words in the grids of alphabets given to them. Little Urvi was the first to complete.

Four Letter Words 
A sheet of paper was given to the juniors and seniors of each team.
Juniors were asked make 4 letter words from the alphabets in the main word. Uncle Leslie demonstrated and wrote the final task word - APOSTLE. No sooner had Uncle Leslie written the word, the Juniors ran to their team tables and started making words. Children could be seen making their own strategies using Christabel's circle tip, columns etc to ease their task. Understanding that strategies help get ahead in a game was a lesson they had definitely learnt. The juniors could be seen experimenting with words and often asked the organisers if the 4-letter word they had come up with, was actually a word.

The Seniors had a different version of the four letter words. They were given the word POST and they had to make larger words with the POST in it. Children were very excited as they scribbled down words. I was given the task of correcting the team submissions and we all had a hearty laugh at the innovative and intelligent words the children produced ...  sorry POSTed.

Jigsaw Proverbs
The teams remained divided into Juniors and Seniors for this game. Little Sierra felt very important as she distributed paper to each team. The Juniors had to guess proverbs from the jumbled words chits they were given. They unscrambled proverbs like 'the pen is mightier than the sword', 'don't put all your eggs in one basket' etc. One team logically and creatively made the sword mightier than the pen. Children can't be faulted for their logic in these troubled times!


While the Juniors learned about proverbs, the Seniors played the good old game of hangman.  As children sat with rapt attention listening to the rules, it dawned on us that this was a new game to them. Hangman was a game we grew up playing in school, in free periods, during breaks in the rainy season when going to the gardens was forbidden. Children these days must be playing games suited for the millennials they are. Uncle Leslie shared a valuable tip -  "try vowels" he said. As hard as the seniors tried, this Hangman game resulted in everyone hanging.

At 6 pm precisely Christabel asked the children to report to her and within the wink of an eye they lined up in teams. Our DI children had learned to understand and follow instructions instantly as they lined up for more fun that awaited them.

Talking through my hat
Christabel first wore the hat and talked through the hat as she explained the rules of the game. 
Jayden's dog, the stuffed Pluto, was made the mascot for the evening and was placed on the table. Fashioned with newspaper by Rituparna, the funky recycled hat was placed on several heads as each team member weaved a yarn as they built a story after the starting line. Uncle Leslie and Aunty Rajashree were the judges for this final game of the evening. Uncle Leslie shared a tip, those who could make others laugh would get most points. Teams weaved interesting stories on the funny starting lines they were given - Yesterday my pet dinosaur got out and .... Had the team members explore their creativity. 
Children enjoyed holding the microphone and building on the story for the 30 seconds they were given. Rayed clarified that the dinosaur was not just any dinosaur, but was the mighty T-Rex who wrecked the neighbour's house. The funny narration had the children and the judges laughing out loud.

It was a dark and stormy night...
Little Jayden wove a story about a little boy Tommy who encountered a ghost. Mishal introduced a superhero to the mix, and Divaansh taught the vegetarian ghost to be non-vegetarian. Kairah made the ghost try to eat a person which was of course impossible since a ghost with no body couldn't possibly eat a full bodied person. A vacuum cleaner also came into the story, to suck the ghost into it. The creativity had all of us holding onto our bellies as we laughed.

I was very hungry but I can't cook...
Oh no my parents have gone mad...
Children spun yarns on the interesting topics. While some stories were funny and creative, some needed to inject some more excitement into the stories. While the scores were tallied, little Sierra distributed "luck" from her little purse.

Rajashree announced the results and encouraged the children to read more books.  A special mention was made for JS Rangwala who got all 53 words correct in the word search. An incredible feat indeed !

The final tally of points had the Red team ending with 50 points, Green with 54, Yellow with 55 points and the winning team Blue scored 64 points, well ahead of the rest. The winning team had the honour of cutting the delicious 'Word Games' cake. 
The children had built up an appetite and were seen munching on the delicious treat of fresh chocolate do-nuts and cheese sandwiches, cake and juice. 
As the children ran off to play the organisers sipped on tea and thought about the wonderful evening gone by. 

[Photos by Rituparna, Simran and Roshan]

Editorial note: Judging from the feedback from both kids and parents, the new trend of having Learning is Fun Games once a month seems to have caught on and will continue.  Thank you, Team Library.