Click to Look Inside: MAXIMIZE YOUR CHILD'S BILINGUAL ABILITY

“How Hot Is It?”: A Summertime Game for Laughter and Language Development

July 23, 2013

I hope it's not this hot where you are!

In The Magic of Magazine Subscriptions, I mentioned that I had ordered a couple of new subscriptions for my kids. It’s only natural, of course, that as your children get older, they grow out of certain magazines and grow into others.

Well, one of these magazines is called “Ask” (from Cricket Magazine Group), which features nonfiction articles about the world at large. Not long ago, we received our first copy, an issue titled “So Many Seasons,” and one of the pages had some clever quips in response to the question “How hot is it?”

It’s so hot the cornfields are popping!

It’s so hot the trees are looking for shade!

It’s so hot the hens are laying hard-boiled eggs!

As my kids seemed to enjoy these jokes—and since it’s pretty hot in Japan now—I thought maybe we could try creating a few of our own. So we spent some time brainstorming, and laughing like looneys, while I faithfully scribbled down their ideas. An activity like this, which children will join in eagerly for the amusement, is not only a good workout for their language ability, it serves to stretch their creative thinking as well.

Today, then, I’d like to present the best of their responses to the question “How hot is it?” I hope you enjoy them, but please keep in mind that Lulu is 9 and Roy is barely 6 so their “jokes” don’t always make perfect sense.

How hot is it?

It’s so hot a dog turned into a hot dog! (Lulu)

It’s so hot when I opened the freezer, fire came out! (Roy)

It’s so hot my teeth broke off! (Roy)

It’s so hot the mushrooms are flying out of the ground! (Lulu)

It’s so hot I want to be a popsicle! (Lulu)

It’s so hot the sun is starting to melt! (Roy)

It’s so hot the pig turned into pork! (Lulu)

It’s so hot the frying pan is cooking a cat! (Roy)

It’s so hot the fan is looking for another fan! (Lulu)

It’s so hot when I looked into the pig’s butt, hot lava came out! (Roy, in a particularly spirited burst of imagination)

Give it a try

If it’s hot where you are, too, I suggest trying this little game—in any language you like—and seeing what your kids come up with. Because children seem to have a natural affinity for exaggeration and absurdity, the fact that the activity calls for an extreme response is what kids seem to find so engaging and fun. (You can try the same thing in winter with the question “How cold is it?”)

For more summertime laughter (and language development), see “Daddy Is Dangerous”: A Fun, Effective Word Game for Bilingual Kids.

How about you? Give your kids a few examples, then try brainstorming responses to the question “How hot is it?” Feel free to leave a comment with your children’s ideas!

1 Galina July 23, 2013 at 5:31 pm

It’s great! I need to try it with my 4 year old son. Who knows, he might be ready :)

Reply

2 Adam July 23, 2013 at 5:55 pm

Galina, thanks! I hope you and your son have fun with it! :mrgreen:

Reply

3 kiara July 23, 2013 at 8:50 pm

Those jokes are really really funny. Your kidz are amazing…my baby Viola (3 y.o.) is already repeating them ahahah

Reply

4 Adam July 23, 2013 at 9:16 pm

Kiara, my kids are happy to hear that you and Viola like their jokes!

Reply

5 kiara July 23, 2013 at 8:53 pm

lava and popsicle are our favourite

Reply

6 Fon July 29, 2013 at 10:52 pm

It’s so great to read this joke to kids. I’ve never thought of that before. I’ll give a try on my kids.

Reply

7 Adam July 30, 2013 at 8:48 am

Good for you, Fon! Have fun!

Reply

8 kiara July 30, 2013 at 1:38 pm

It rained here, but just for a while…with warm and strong wind..so refreshing…

Reply

9 Jennifer Brunk August 3, 2013 at 10:18 am

Your kids are hilarious! What original little bilingual minds they have. I love the game – thanks!

Reply

10 Adam August 3, 2013 at 10:31 am

Thanks, Jennifer! And you have a wealth of great games and activities at http://www.spanishplayground.net. I encourage everyone to stop by Jennifer’s site, whatever your target language!

Reply

11 Nikoya August 4, 2015 at 5:18 pm

Hi Adam,

Such a hilarious game! I tried to play a quick one with my daughter just a while ago, and here’s what she came up with. I didn’t have to struggle with this one at all, and she enjoyed reading the examples you gave above!

It’s so hot the animals are searching for a fan.
It’s so hot the aluminum foil caught fire.
It’s so hot the dolls look tanned.
It’s so hot the fan is burning.

Reply

12 Adam August 5, 2015 at 5:21 am

Nikoya, I’m glad you and your daughter had fun with this little game! The principle behind it is one of the “secrets” to promoting use of the minority language: make it fun and children will be eager to engage in the activity.

I encourage you to look closely at the page of Creative Ideas for many more ways to prompt enjoyable use of the target language. Good luck!

Reply

13 Nikoya August 16, 2015 at 10:54 pm

I saw your reply only today! :-(

I quickly read through the Creative Ideas page, and randomly picked out one…I have never heard of Mad Libs before, but when I read what it is about, looks like a perfect one to start with my daughter! :-)

Thanks for such unique ideas…can’t wait to start…will update on it after a while!!

Reply

14 Adam August 17, 2015 at 6:02 am

Nikoya, the Mad Libs idea is very fun and very effective. It’s definitely one of my favorite activities for language exposure and practice. Hope it gives you and your daughter some good times together!

Reply

Comments, please! (Your email address won't be displayed.)

Previous post:

Next post: