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Think Hink Pinks!
- Paper and pencil
- An egg timer or stopwatch, if desired
- Before you begin, explain what a Hink Pink is: A word puzzle that uses a two-word clue to lead to a rhyming answer. It’s best to give several examples to illustrate the concept. Here are a few you can use to get kids’ creative juices flowing:
- Make sure the child has the hang of the game by asking him or her to come up with one as a test run. You may notice that it takes some trial and error for the child get it just right. For example, the child might pose the clue “plane up” when the intended solution is “fly high.” Explain that while “up” may be a good choice for “high,” “plane” may not be the best choice for “fly.” A plane does indeed fly, but ideally you are looking for synonyms—words that have the same or nearly the same meaning. It’s also a good idea for the words to be the same part of speech. In this case, “plane” is a noun and “fly” is a verb. So what might be a better choice for “fly”? One good alternative is “soar.” So a better clue for “fly high” might be “soar up.”
- A thesaurus can be a helpful tool if a child gets stuck while trying to think of clues. A thesaurus is a listing of synonyms. You may use a thesaurus in book form, or if you have a computer with Internet access, an online version such as the thesaurus at Merriam-Webster Online or Thesaurus.com. And if you or the child you are working with needs a review of the parts of speech, you might also look at Wacky Web Tales: Parts of Speech Help or Grammar Revolution: English Parts of Speech.
- Once the child has a clear understanding of the game, ask him or her to come up with five Hink Pinks. Have the child write the clues on one piece of paper and the answers on another.
- How you play the game depends on how many people are playing, whether you choose to make it a friendly competition, and also where you are. For instance, in the car, the child may just call out the clue and have the other passengers guess the answers out loud. At home, you may want to make it more of an organized game. For example, you and the child (or a group of children) can each write down five Hink Pink clues and then exchange papers. Then you can use an egg timer to have the child solve the puzzles in a race against the clock, or use a stopwatch to see who can solve all of them in the shortest amount of time.
- Once the game has been played, have the child go back and take a second look at the Hink Pinks he or she created. Label each word of the two-word clues with the part of speech it represents. Then ask the child if he or she notices any special pattern that keeps appearing with the words. Count up the number of clues that used an adjective with a noun, an adverb with a verb, and a noun with a noun. Ask the child why he or she thinks other parts of speech—pronouns, conjunctions, prepositions, and interjections—don’t seem to work as well for Hink Pinks. Might it be harder to find synonyms for these types of words?
|Clue: tight carpet||Solution: snug rug|
|Clue: simple locomotive||Solution: plain train|
|Clue: empty seat||Solution: bare chair|
|Clue: steak stealer||Solution: beef thief|
|Clue: amusing roll||Solution: fun bun|
|Clue: sugary paws||Solution: sweet feet|
|Clue: complimentary oak||Solution: free tree|
Make the game even more challenging! Try playing the game using two-syllable rhyming solutions (these are called Hinky Pinkies) or even three-syllable ones (Hinkety Pinketies). Here are some Hinky Pinkies:
|Clue: fake horse
||Solution: phony pony
|Clue: sea cream
||Solution: ocean lotion
|Clue: humorous cash
||Solution: funny money
Here are some Hinkety Pinketies (Because these are more challenging, they often require more elaborate clues):
|Clue: two drums talking||Solution: percussion discussion
|Clue: recall the last month of the year
||Solution: remember December
|Clue: a game of chance involving fired clay
||Solution: lottery pottery
Parts of speech
The categories used in grammar to group different types of words, such as nouns, verbs, adverbs, and adjectives.
To think both logically and creatively about a topic using different kinds of information. When people think critically, they not only attend to new words and ideas, but they also connect these words and ideas with the things they already know.