Adjective Games: Fun with the English Language

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adjective games
Adjectives are an important part of speech and will feature heavily in children's comprehension of language. (Source: Evelyn Saenz)

Everyone loves to flourish their language and, more often than enough, that is done using adjectives. Adjectives or describing words allow mundane objects to be filled with character and excitement. Adjective games can be used to help children grasp the concept of these descriptive words and carefully curate them into sentences. Helping children learn how to correctly place adjectives and learn the differences between adjectives and nouns is paramount to their facility of learning language. Adjective games do this in a fun and controlled manner and ensure that your children understand how to use adjectives correctly in a sentence. Language learning doesn’t have to be boring. 

Adjective Games: What is an Adjective? 

An adjective is often known as a describing word. It has the special task of changing how something is perceived. A more technical way of approaching that is that it modifies a noun. Adjectives function as a word that gives more information about the noun that accompanies it. It is used in speech to make something that could be perceived as rather ordinary or mundane into something more colourful. 

Adjectives don’t have to follow nouns but, more regularly, they are placed before the nouns. The role that adjectives serve is to give a descriptive, visual picture for people’s minds when they read a piece of work. This is important for visualisation in a reader’s mind but also allows them to see how the writer views them as well. Adjectives can be presented in different forms. These are referred to as comparative adjectives and superlative adjectives. The comparative form of adjectives can be used to say that someone was warm but another person felt warmer. Superlatives are fairly easy to remember as they add ‘est’ onto the end. An example of this could be “Jack was tall, but Sophie was the tallest”. Some adjectives require additional words to have a comprehensible sentence. Using adjective games to explain these is a fantastic way to engage your children in understanding more about how adjectives are used. 

There are a few rules which make using adjectives much easier. This is something that you could share with your children to make their engagement with the material a more enjoyable experience for them. Short adjectives that end in a consonant can add a suffix to make their statements even more powerful. Examples like ‘cold’ can be used in this way;  “The Arctic was colder than the Sahara”. Another way is, of course, the ‘est’ for superlative adjectives. “The Sahara is the warmest desert on earth” is an example of a superlative adjective in action. If wanting to emphasise longer adjectives, using things like ‘more’ is a great way of describing a word in a larger magnitude. Things like “The sun was more brilliant in the sky yesterday” could be used to highlight this.

Despite adjectives being used as describing words, it is possible for nouns to describe other nouns. Things like ‘soccer ball’ are examples of noun modifiers. They are put together to describe another noun. This is a trick that can help in adjective games as well and would be suitable for older children as they learn to differentiate between different words. Adjectives are words that are used to describe nouns, but what about verbs? A word that describes a verb is known as an adverb. These can be made incredibly easy from an adjective. All that has to be done is to add the suffix ‘ly’ to any adjective. For example, if we take the word ‘magical’ and write ‘magically’, we have transformed the word. These are basic examples but they will help if trying to teach literacy using adjective games

adjective games examples
Adjective Games are a great way of ensuring that your child is able to differentiate between nouns, verbs, and adjectives. They reinforce their learning by presenting a dynamic alternative to simply studying. (Source: Evelyn Saenz)

Adjective Games for Kids: Fun With Language

Once you have established that your child knows what an adjective is, you can start introducing them to adjective games. This is an easy method to introduce your children to using language in a more coherent and comprehensive way. This adjective game allows for children to learn the differences between nouns, adjectives, and verbs easily without mixing them up. Adjective games like ‘Adjective Ping Pong’ are a great way of engaging people with a fun educational activity that helps children learn literacy. It’s a very simple game that involves not repeating the word twice and making sure the word selected isn’t a noun or a verb. Each player will go in turns like a ping pong ball being hit side to side. This can continue until someone doesn’t say an adjective and the other person gets the point. 

If your child is more advanced, you can introduce a five-second rule where they have to say an adjective within that time limit to ensure that they get the point. You can use feathers to tickle people on the nose of those who lose the point. This is a fun way of engaging children with language and helping them think fast on their feet about adjectives. This, in turns, provides an opportunity for their vocabulary to be widened and for there to be more complexity and structures in their syntax. Adjective Ping Pong is just one example of many adjective games that can be used to challenge children and develop their literacy skills and language abilities. Providing exciting ways to learn the language is a more effective way of ensuring that children remember what they are learning, and also that they are able to use language coherently and correctly. Not only important in speech, but adjectives also feature heavily in reading and writing comprehension and playing adjective games solidifies what they’ve absorbed and learned. Learning how to use adjectives correctly can give confidence and clarity to people as they speak, and help them learn how to be more descriptive as they talk. Incorporating adjective games gives your children a head start in language development and literacy skills as they master the differences in words.

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