3/12/21 Fun Friday: Tree of Life Mama Game of the Week, Poetry for Neanderthals

This week’s game is Poetry for Neanderthals. As soon as I saw it on amazon, I figured it would be a hit with my 11-year-old, because of the inflatable club. I was right! As soon as we got it he blew it up and started carrying it around. It’s a great language arts game for gameschooling. It gives you the opportunity to teach/remind your children/students what a “syllable” is. It’s basically like Taboo. The clue-giver gets a card with a keyword on it. As the clue-giver you are trying to get the guesser to guess the keyword. You can only use 1 syllable words for clues. If he use polysyllabic clues you get bopped with the club.

Each card has more than one keyword on it. If you get the guesser to guess the first keyword, you can move to the bottom of the card and attempt to get the guesser to guess the phrase. The phrase always involves the top word plus something else. So for example, the card might have “stomach” on the top, and then “stomach ache” on the bottom. Another example is “pool” with “pool noodle.”

I love this game because it’s great for getting people to flex their creative linguistic muscles to think of monosyllabic synonyms. The inflatable club is definitely a way to draw boys in. It does get annoying, however, to be constantly bopped with it, if you keep messing up. You might have to remind your overenthusiastic little people to bop gently.

We played it yesterday for gameschooling. It definitely counts for language arts. My 11-year-old guy had a hard time remembering to only say one syllable clues. He’s actually still grasping the concept of what a syllable even is. I’m sure as we play it more he’ll get used to it. It’s fun to see if you can think of a whole sentence involving monosyllabic words instead of just giving a string of the words unconnected, not in a sentence. Then you really sound like a caveman.

I also like that you can play with just three people. It would definitely be better with a crowd, so that you have more guessers. It’s also nice that if you have three people, everyone has a role on every turn, to be either the poet (the clue-giver), the guesser, or the bopper. It’s recommended for ages 7 and up, 3 or more players. The box says 2+ players. I’m not sure how that would work. There’s another variation to the game so maybe the 2+ players applies to the variation. I would say mature 7-year-olds can handle it. It’s probably better to play with 10-11-year-olds and up.

For more ideas on gameschooling go here. One of the reasons I love homeschooling is because I can play board games and read aloud books in the middle of the day with my kiddos. Happy gameschooling!

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