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Using Silly Sentences to Build Language Skills

The Cow Jumped Over the … What?!

Grammar can seem like an intimidating subject, but not when you explore it with Silly Sentences! Using the 124 color-coded puzzle pieces included with the hilarious game, kids learn how to construct sentences, discover the functions of different words, and have a blast at the same time!

Sillly Sentences game box and pieces

Although Silly Sentences is recommended for children age 4-7, older kids won’t be able to resist the absurdity of the sentences that are created during gameplay. Get ready for lots of laughter and tons of very silly sentences!

Let’s Get Started

The first thing you’ll notice is that every card is color-coded according to grammatical function. Nouns are orange, adjectives are blue, verbs are green, prepositions are pink, articles are yellow, and periods are purple. Sort out all the orange noun cards and place them face-up in the center of the table so everyone can see which nouns are available to use. Deal out the remaining cards to the players.

Silly Sentences noun cards stacked up

Now that you have your cards, sort them by color and put each color in a pile.

Puzzle pieces sorted by color

How to Play

On each turn, players may do one of the following:

  1. Lay a card from their pile and pick a noun to play along with the card they laid.
  2. Lay a card from their pile, add an adjective (if they have one), and pick a noun to add as well.
  3. Lay a card from their pile that cannot be followed by an adjective or a noun.

It’s your turn first! Look for an article card to start your sentence—and remember that articles are yellow! You have to begin every sentence with a capital letter, so find an article card with a capital letter—it could be either The or A—and place it on the table.

"The" puzzle piece from Silly Sentences

Do you have an adjective that you can play? If so, go ahead and play it and then choose a noun to play, too. If you don’t have an adjective, just play a noun card with your article.

It looks like you can play an adjective from your pile and add a noun from the table to your sentence.

You picked scary and cow! Good choice!

Puzzle pieces that say "The cow"

Now Player 2 can either add on to your sentence or start a new one of her own. She decides to add on to yours and plays the verb card jumped. Player 3 adds a pink preposition card, over, and then it’s your turn again.

Puzzle pieces that say "The cow jumped over"

Can you finish the sentence? Find a lower-case article card, like a, and then pick an adjective card (if you have one) and a noun card to add to your sentence. This is where the sentence might get very, very silly!

You don’t have an adjective, but you can play a noun card, so you play the word house and your turn is over.

In Silly Sentences, every sentence has to end with a period, so the next player plays his purple period card and completes the sentence.

Puzzle pieces that say "The cow jumped over a house."

Your sentence is complete, so it’s time to read it out loud: The scary cow jumped over a house. Now that’s a silly sentence!

You can have as many sentences going as you like (AND you can play on the other players’ sentences, too), but if you can’t add a card to any of the sentences in play, you miss your turn. The first player to use all his cards is the winner!

Three completed silly sentences

Look at all those silly sentences!

Quick guide for Silly Sentences

6 Ways to Build Language Skills with Silly Sentences

  1. Practice sentence construction. This game provides a physical way to construct sentences that hands-on learners are going to love. Because the cards only connect in very specific combinations, kids quickly learn how the different words work together to form sentences.
  2. Learn grammatical functions. The color-coded cards are perfect for helping kids become familiar with the grammatical functions of the words in a sentence. As you play, use the grammatical terms (articles, adjectives, nouns, verbs, and prepositions) as often as possible to help kids learn these terms.
  3. Reinforce the basic rules for creating a sentence. You can’t start a sentence without a capital letter, and you can’t finish one without punctuation.
  4. Build vocabulary. Forty of the 124 cards are noun cards and every noun card has a picture to illustrate the word. Even if your child is unfamiliar with the noun, the picture on the card will help him learn the word.
  5. Add some extra silliness. Instead of placing the noun cards face up on the table, keep them hidden so that each noun is a surprise when chosen.
  6. Have a contest! Have each player choose two cards from the noun pile. Now see who can play the silliest sentence using just the cards in his or her pile.

Notes from Our Game Testers

  • The puzzle pieces are very sturdy and should stand up to a lot of gameplay.
  • The game instructions include a simpler puzzle activity suitable for younger players.

Does your family have a favorite board game that is a fun and “sneaky” way to build language skills? Please share in the comments below!

silly sentences game review graphic
All About Learning Press, Inc. is a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for us to earn fees by linking to Amazon.com and affiliated sites. All proceeds from our partnership with Amazon.com will be donated to local libraries.

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Connie

says:

We have silly sentences game age 4-7. We feel there should be a further set of words to upgrade the basic set but cannot find any. Is such a set available?
The puzzle pieces could also be available as magnets to use on a fridge. We’ve all had letter magnets why not word magnets too

Robin E.

says: Customer Service

Connie,
There are word magnets available commercially! LOTS of options, actually. My favorites are the poetry magnet sets that have enough options to allow for rhyme and rhythm in the sentences and phrases built.

I don’t think there is an add-on for this game. At least I haven’t been able to find one. However, we developed our own Silly Sentence Match-Ups printable that includes sets for levels 1 through 4 of All About Reading.

Erin

says:

So we just did the lesson with silly sentences in Level 1.. And my daughter is begging for more silly sentences.. I already ordered the game before seeing this post, but can you pretty pretty please make some extra sheets of silly sentences to coincide with the different levels?! I haven’t seen her that excited to read and her fluency was amazing because she was too busy laughing to over think like she usually does when reading!

Robin E.

says: Customer Service

Erin,
Did you see?!? We loved your suggestion and we now have printables for silly sentences activities to coincide with each level of All About Reading. Check out our newest blog post, Silly Sentence Match-Ups. :D

Erin

says:

No I hadn’t!!! How awesome!!!

Robin E.

says: Customer Service

Erin,
Thank you again for this suggestion. Marie and the blog team loved it as much as I did and it is now on the calendar! Look for silly sentences activities for all AAR levels sometime this summer.

Robin E.

says: Customer Service

What a great idea, Erin. I’ll pass this suggestion along; it’d be fun!

But let your daughter know that there will be funny activities in the other levels too! One of my daughter’s favorite activity in the whole series is in level 2. It’s called “Party Monsters Make Dinner” and by drawing different ingredients, the menu includes things like coffee & hot dog sandwiches and radish & fish cake! It resulted in soooo many laughs and giggles!

Rachel

says:

What a great idea for a learning game! This feels like a version of Mad Libs for younger children.

Robin E.

says: Customer Service

I see what you mean, Rachel. I’ve enjoyed so many Mad Libs over the years!

Jackie Hamlyn

says:

From my experience, children love it when you use silly sentences. It really motivates them and makes learning fun.

Robin E.

says: Customer Service

I’ve had the same experiences, Jackie. Being silly is a fun way to motivating learning!

Magdala

says:

Looks like a great game, subtle learning while having fun and being silly.

Merry

says: Customer Service

Exactly! Games can be a great way to teach concepts and have fun together.

Sherry

says:

This looks like a fun addition to our game selection.

Jessica Hamer

says:

This game looks so fun!! You guys have the BEST ideas!! I know my boys would love this one.

Jenn

says:

So fun! Thank you for this recommendation.

I love the multi function of the kit. I can use that at different grade levels/abilities to intervene at their level. I also love the silliness factor taking out the intimidation that so many grammar rules create! This is in my wish list for sure!

Merry

says: Customer Service

I hope you and your kids have fun with it, Patsy!

Brandy Austin

says:

This game looks helpful! Thanks for sharing!

Nicole

says:

These are so much fun!

Sarah Raineri

says:

Will def be purchasing this. Thank you!

Merry

says: Customer Service

I hope you and your family enjoys Silly Sentences!

Lesley

says:

Our family love to play ‘Pass the Bomb’ in which a ticking bomb is passed from player to player who much come up with a word containing the letter group on the turned over card before the bomb goes off and you lose the game (and shriek like a fool!). It’s a great way to brush up on spelling skills – and to learn new ones without anyone even thinking they are giving their brain a workout.

Robin E.

says: Customer Service

Oooo, thank you for the recommendation, Lesley! It looks like a lot of fun.

Anita Woods

says:

My 4yo has been reading for a year and love to play games, and we are now learning the parts of sentences. She would love this game!

Robin E.

says: Customer Service

Anita,
This would be a great game for a young reader. It would provide practice in a fun and exciting way!

Felicia Fiedler

says:

This looks like a great way to reinforce reading in such a fun way!

Kaisa Askerlund

says:

I like this. It would be great to use.

Christina

says:

This is great!

Catherine Hashimoto

says:

It looks like you can differentiate with the amount of words. I noticed that the different parts of speech are in different colors. And it appears like the adjectives can be left out and still the articles and nouns will fit, or an adjective can be put in front of the nouns., or a few adjectives can be put in front of the nouns.
REALLY thought out!! I would love to get one or two for my class (depending upon the cost).

Robin E.

says: Customer Service

Yes, great eye, Catherine! The game does allow for a lot of flexibility with the sentences, much like English’s flexibility.

Catherine Hashimoto

says:

How much do they cost?

Robin E.

says: Customer Service

Currently on Amazon, it is under $10.

Dolores Miranda

says:

This looks like such fun!!This would be perfect for my daughter!!

Samantha

says:

Looks like fun!

Emma

says:

Looks like an awesome game, Considering for my kid. Looks like fun!!

Mary Simons

says:

Looks like a fun game!

Emily

says:

This looks like a great game! I will consider it for my younger child in a couple of years.

Barbara

says:

“Silly Sentences” is a fun, motivational game that makes reading and language fun and interactive. The word cards are also beautiful and have picture clues for new vocabulary. My students thoroughly enjoy making the silly sentences and continue to learn and grow each time they play. I highly recommend Silly Sentences!

Robin E.

says: Customer Service

Thank you for the recommendation, Barbara. It’s great to hear your students have enjoyed it and learned from it!

Lindsey

says:

We love this game! We actually played several times last week!

Jennifer Ciano

says:

This is a fun way to learn about sentences. We have this game at home and my daughter loves it. She likes anything funny.

Anna Pry

says:

my kids love these kinds of word/puzzle/games but we don’t have this one yet, they would enjoy it

Beth

says:

What a fun way to learn language skills! It looks like something my kids would enjoy.

Bronwyn

says:

My daughter has Autism and hearing loss she is a year behind her peers at present especially in reading and phonics. We have been looking for a reading programs to assist her and hopfully bring back to joy of learning. This looks like an amazing program we would like to try!

Robin E.

says: Customer Service

Bronwyn,
We have two blog posts that you will likely find helpful. Teaching Reading and Spelling to Autistic Children and Auditory Processing Disorder: 10 Ways to Help Your Child The second one doesn’t directly apply to your daughter, but many of the tips and ideas for auditory processing disorder will be helpful for partial hearing loss as well.

Please let me know if you have any questions or need more information.

Alison

says:

This looks like fun! I wonder if my son would enjoy it… :)

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