13 July 2007

Scrabble is Educational and Leads to Educational Moments

scrabble at the cottage

Over our two weeks at the cottage, Scrabble emerged as the family favourite board game. I’m not quite sure why the kids love it so much and request to play it ad nauseum. I know that Wifey loves it because she has usurped me as the household champ and regularly achieves scores over 400. As a parent I love it because it involves language arts and math!

We’re using Scrabble to build our kids’ vocabulary and explore the world of words. The kids need quite a bit of assistance still, whether it is in deciding where on the board to play, what to spell or how to become a master in using all of your tiles laying only three letter words.

During a game earlier in the week between Wifey and Bubaloo, Bubaloo thought of a 5-letter word all on his own. Only he didn’t have the letters to spell the word correctly.

On our most recent game, he begged and pleaded for help again. Wifey quickly eyed his tiles and let him know that he now had the word he had wanted to spell the other day but didn’t have the letters for.

That’s when D-I-N-K-Y came into play on our Scrabble board. I raised an eyebrow and laughed.

Later that evening D-I-N-K-Y was replayed in conversation. Bella asked what it meant. I offered that it has two definitions: 1) small or tiny; or, 2) another word for weenie.

As in all good spelling moments, a definition is useless without putting the word in context. Before Wifey and I could offer up a sentence, Bubaloo came to the rescue.

“My dinky, as in my weenie, is dinky,” he exclaimed while pointing to his groin area and then making a small gesture with his thumb and pointer finger.

We all fell to the ground the laughing. But he wasn’t finished yet. In earnestness he continued on.

“My foster dad, even though he had never seen me…you know…naked…always used to joke that my weenie was dinky. I wonder how he knew that?” Bubaloo shared with a confused expression.

More and more laughter erupted from the family. But, the dinky conversation wasn’t yet over. Somehow it morphed into an opportunity to talk about circumcision. So I explained. While they now get what it is and the why, it was really difficult to give them a good visual picture of the difference between a circumcised and uncircumcised penis.

They requested photos. I suggested that we go to the library to find a book. They rolled their eyes at me and then asked, as if it would be a huge, taxing effort to go to the library, why I didn’t opt to use the internet instead.

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