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Word games for families

Look for license plates or get rhyming with these summer word games.

By Rob Baedeker

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Summertime wordplay

The long and lazy days of summer don't have to soften the brain. Keep your kids' neurons firing with these six word games that build vocabulary, work out memory, rev up critical thinking, and stimulate creativity.

An extra perk: These mental acrobatics are great to have in your parental tool kit to stave off boredom during long drives — or any time you're looking to keep your kids both amused and alert while school's out.

Rob Baedeker is a writer living in Berkeley, Calif. He is the coauthor, with the Kasper Hauser comedy group, of SkyMaul: Weddings of the Times and Obama's BlackBerry.

Comments from readers

"What great exerises to keep children learning while have fun. I'm planning to start using a few things this week. "
"Another game we play is more for older kids, but even those as young as 6 can play too. You start off by saying a word, and you go in rounds saying a synonym for that word. If you can't think of a synonym, you say an antonym, and the people take turns in reverse. Clockwise vs, counter-clockwise. It is a great way to keep the brains ticking over summer vacation."