Most Saturday mornings, my husband is up early and heads off for the garage sales. If he sees items I’d like (“books,” “scrapbooking stuff ” and “beads”), he’ll come back for me at about 9:00 and off we’ll go. This kind of treasure hunting is an inexpensive way we enjoy time together.
This summer, you can combine bargain-questing with a game that utilizes everyone in the family’s descriptive skills. To prepare, provide everyone in the family with some paper (preferable in the form of a pad or on a clipboard) and a pen or pencil.
Explain that your garage sale expedition is the first part of a game you are going to play. Each time you stop for a garage sale, everybody should spread out and look at everything. Without telling anyone what it is, each person must pick one object from the sale to describe. Look it over thoroughly. It doesn’t matter if you know what it actually is, if you can do a quick sketch of it instead of writing down its name.
When you return to the car, everyone will get out their writing materials and describe the item they picked from the sale (again without telling anyone what it is). On the back side of the description, each person should write the name of the object or draw a picture of it. (For pre-writers, the child may dictate his or her description to a parent or older sibling and draw a picture of the item on the back of the paper.)
Now, head out garage sale-ing! Fridays and Saturdays are usually the best days. If you’re not searching for anything particular to buy, you don’t even have to make an early start. Just leave when you’re ready and go to as many sales as you want, stopping after each garage sale to write out a new description.
When you get home and are ready to play, place all the descriptions in a pile, description side up, and stir them around to mix them up together. Now stack them and sit in a circle with the stack at its center.
To play, whoever wrote the description on the top of the pile reads it aloud to the group. Moving clockwise around the circle, each member of the group gets a chance to guess what the object is. The person who guesses correctly gets to keep the description.
If someone guesses correctly the first time around the circle, the description gets ripped in half and the writer gets to keep one half, the guesser keeps the other.
If no one guesses after three times around the circle, the writer tells the group what he or she described, and the group votes to allow the writer keep the description if they think it was a good one or to permanently put it aside.
Continue to play until all the descriptions have been guessed, awarded to the writer, or set aside.
The winner of the game is determined by counting up the descriptions (one point per description) each person has won (each half of a description that was split between a guesser and a writer will count as a full point for each of them). The player with the most points wins.
I hope you and your family have a great time! While you’re doing so, you’ll be supporting your literacy and thinking skills along the way.