For me, road trips and stormy afternoons in a little cabin in Montana meant one thing, word games. My cousin and I would sit around making up stories, reading comic books, deciding who we would marry and what awful colored wedding dress we would make the other wear and my favorite, Mad Libs. The game its self is genius. No other activity could make me want to use my grammar skills and learn new words with so much enthusiasm. So I thought it would be fun to create a home-made reusable version.
I took some letter stamps from the craft bin, along with some black ink to make parts-of-speech grab bags. Then all I had to do was write down my favorite words for each category (verbs, adverbs, nouns, adjectives, interjections), cut them out and place in their designated bag.
I then typed up a reusable template (see links to templates in materials) that provided the guidelines for the stories.
And there you go, home made Mad Libs! Granted the original version lets you pick the word from your mental vocabulary, but I thought it would be more fun to let kids look up the words they like in the dictionary for each category and write them out for the grab bags. That way you never know what word you are going to end up with, which makes the end result all the more entertaining!
Letter stamps, fabric pens or sharpie
Kid safe scissors
Small cloth bags (could also use lunch baggies or paper bags)
Pens or markers for writing
The story outline (feel free to make your own, or use one of mine)
So next time you're on a road trip or stranded inside on a stormy afternoon, have some fun with words, learn a little something and laugh long and hard at the wonderful results!
*Last time in Books and Stories: In Defence of Books