A mom comments that she's been committed to WOW! Words™ with her 2-year-old. Seems all had been rocking along in her home . . . until a new baby joined the chorus. Now, she says, family life is far more harried than hilarious. Hmmm.
So what to do if a new WOW! Word doesn't quite fit your life in the moment? Here are some serious hilarious tips to help you sustain powerful conversation around that particular word. And these tips adapt well for any other kind of word.
Invite your child to join you in some silly dancing.
Dramatize and sing-song (letting words seem to dance from your mouth) silly sentences, such as: I'm going to the zoo . . . to get a mon-key. You! or I'm going to the zoo . . . to get an os-trich. You!
Being your most dramatic self, repeat any fun-sounding word, such as cock-a-doodle-do, sizzle-pop, ker-ploppity, or boing-boing. Invite your child to help you make up words.
Invite your child to take turns to make up a hilarious story to tell to the next adult you meet. You might create a story, such as: “Once upon a time, a big brown dog knocked on the door. Like this. She danced into the house. Like this. She lay on the rug. Like this. She rolled on the rug. Like this. Then she stomped into the kitchen. Like this . . . .”
Sing-song repeated rhyming word pairs, such as fuzzy-wuzzy-fuzzy-wuzzy-fuzzy-wuzzy-fuzzy-wuzzy, and so on. At other times, try some of these word pairs: sippy-dippy, giggle-wiggle, funny-bunny, whoofy-poofy, hokey-pokey, eensy-weensy, piggle-wiggle. To create still more hilariously ridiculous experiences with your child, change up your voice as you repeat rhyming word pairs: Go from a whisper to a yell; high-pitched to deep, or questioning to demanding. Or repeat that word pair in its reverse: fuzzy-wuzzy, wuzzy-fuzzy. And remember to call up a particularly hilarious word pair whenever your little one or you seems in need of a distraction.
Reach into another's life. After all, we're always retelling hilarious situations we've watched others experience.
Fall back on a hilariously funny joke.
Share a ridiculously funny dream . . . or one you'd like to dream.
Imagine an absurd situation that's sure to give your child a case of the giggles.
Make a wish for something preposterous . . . like a full night's sleep. Oh, it’s a good time to toss in a reminder that your giggles are catchy just like a yawn . . . if you hilariously giggle, your child will join in.
Revisit a hilarious discovery from another day. This kind of recall not only stimulates new use of the word hilarious; it also gives your child critical oral practice with that retelling skill, an important tool needed for the learning-to-read process.
Your 2+ thrives on these kinds of playful oral language activities––all stimulated by one WOW! Word. And whether that motivating word is hilarious, imagine, manage, or another, the language exploration you’re modeling is more proof you are your child’s first best teacher!