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Fun and Games

by Christina Wilsdon

Checkers, Go Fish, Chutes and Ladders -- games like these, for now, sit on the other side of the preschool horizon for my daughter, Sophie Jean. She has just turned three, so we're not yet up to the stage when evenings will be spent playing Pick-Up Sticks with her. Games of other sorts, however, weave themselves into our daily routines instead, inspired by stories, songs, and even the routines themselves. Two favorites include the Green Eggs and Ham game and the No/Yes game.

Green Eggs and Ham

In Green Eggs and Ham, a take-off of the Seuss story that Sophie got rolling when she was particularly keen on this book, I'm required to make up a rhyming line to go with whatever she spouts. "I would not eat them in the pool!" announces Sophie, eyeing me challengingly. "I would not eat them in a school," I respond. Most rhymes are easy, but as her eyes rove the room or the yard and light on objects to fill in her line, I sometimes get tossed toughies like "basket" and "orange."

No/Yes Game

The No/Yes game is much simpler and truly appeals to the soul of the stubborn "me do it" toddler: she says "No," I say "Yes," she says "No," and we keep going until one of us (usually Sophie) gets the giggles.

Christina Wilsdon is a children's book writer who lives with her daughter and husband in Seattle, Washington.


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