Wednesday, June 13, 2012

Make Memories with MadLibs

Do you remember what "Mad Lib"s are? Those quirky fill-in-the-blanks style notebooks that allow the user to re-create a story using their own words and phrases? 

Recently my children were reading the back of a cereal box that had a Mad Libs style story, and I had an epiphany. Why not buy a Mad Libs book for our own use, and have some fun during meal time? It would also help reinforce language-learning concepts (such as what is a noun, adverb, adjective, etc) while fostering creativity. PLUS, creating Mad Libs could be our "thing" that let us connect with each other around the table, instead of the kids asking me (for the umpteenth time) to tell them about a story when they were babies. I went down to a school supply store, bought a thick book of 125 stories (for just $6.99!!!) and got crackin' with the family time.

In case you don't remember exactly what Mad Libs looks like (or in case you'd rather create your own stories) the following is what a Mad Libs style story about the classic nursery rhyme Humpty Dumpty looks like:

   (cartoon/fictional character name)    sat on a wall,
   (same name as before)     had a    (adverb)    fall.
All the King's   (animal)    , and all the King's      (noun)   
Couldn't put      (same name)   together again!

My own kids re-envisioned the story this way: 

   Spiderman sat on a wall,
   Spiderman  had a    silly    fall.
All the King's   elephants    , and all the King's      microwaves   
Couldn't put      Spiderman   together again!

One of the ground rules I use with my kids is that they can't re-use the same word repeatedly when we do Mad Libs (of course in the above nursery rhyme this isn't possible, but it's just not funny to read multiple Mad Libs back-to-back all about Alvin the chipmunk (my oldest son's current favorite movie) or about  supreme pizza (my youngest son's favorite food). Happy Mad Lib-ing!

Just for kicks and giggles, I found a funny clip from Jimmy Fallon HERE where he took the "Night Before Christmas" and created a Mad Libs mash-up.  Enjoy!

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