Is the Thesaurus A Book About Dinosaurs or A Dinosaur to Our Grandchildren from Preschool to High School

Synonyms BingoGrandpa and I just saw a fabulous musical on Broadway, Bright Star, which is closing like some other fabulous musicals this season, because theater goers are choosing to spend on one very expensive ticket to Hamilton, rather than see more of Broadway’s offerings. If it makes it to your area, definitely see it. One line in Bright Star, which has little to do with the theme, story, and music, comes from an actor with a small part, whose crush on a librarian brings some humorous lines. One of the best is his return of the Thesaurus, which he thought was a book about dinosaurs.

Those of us of long years know and love the Thesaurus. Our grandchildren might well think it is a book about dinosaurs.

Our eldest grandson was writing a thank you note for a wonderful gift he received. He considered it so wonderful that he used the word, “amazing” six times in the note. He saw nothing wrong with his multiple use of the word, as it expressed how “amazing” he felt the gift was to him, but his father was underwhelmed. This Grandma mentioned the Thesaurus.

No, he did not think it was a dinosaur, but he did not instantly think of this reference tool to solve his most recent problem. I remember always using the Thesaurus to make my writing better and more interesting. With the Internet, the on line Thesaurus is immediately available. Yes, there is an app, and one must have it on every device, including grandchildren’s.

We immediately replaced all but one of the “amazings ” within minutes, and learned some new vocabulary words, another benefit for our grandchildren.

So, now, we can introduce the Thesaurus to our grandchildren and ask if they think it is a dinosaur, but expand their vocabulary and language skills in the mix. Of course, first look up any word in the Thesaurus the grandchild wants. Synonyms are on every test, and what is better than word play with grandchildren .and brings the Thesaurus to them to enhance their lives. What a tool to give them! And in so many ways.


There was a time when this Grandma had no idea what an app was, and that it was an abbreviation for application.  Yes, this Grandma has joined the grandchildren.  The first place the grandchildren want to look is on their electronics.

Highly rated for preschool and up is a free Children’s Picture Dictionary.  It is not yet a thesaurus, but there is no reason why grandma cannot think of synonyms.  It has large pictures and voice recordings so children can learn what words mean.

Thesaurus Rex is also rated age 4 and up and is a thesaurus.  This costs money but is highly rated and works off line. Dictionary and Thesaurus works for older children.

They also have Thesaurus Rex with 30,000 entries which costs a small amount.


This Grandma still loves books to hold and there are many to choose from.

DK First Dictionary and Thesaurus

This is wonderful for ages five and up. It includes “opposites, similar words, and word origins, alongside phonetic spellings and easy-to-follow definitions. Word Detective” games and “Word Banks” help children expand their vocabulary while having fun.”

Touted as a companion to this First Dictionary is Kingfisher First Thesaurus,  which his a “fun’ read as well as reference book.

It has “more than 100 key words and more than 1,000 secondary words, as well as synonyms and antonyms. Simple example sentences and amusing cartoons clarify and visually reinforce word meanings while making the process of discovery fun.”

The American Heritage Children’s Thesaurus

For age 8 and up, this has over “4,000 entries and 36,000 synonyms, this updated edition of the award-winning American Heritage Children’s Thesaurus encourages young writers to think analytically about word choice. Synonyms are divided into two groups: “best choices” and “other choices,” so children can find the right word for every context. Every sense of each entry word is illustrated by an example sentence showing typical usage. Helpful feature notes and more than 150 full-color photographs make this the most appealing children’s thesaurus on the market.”


A wonderful quiet activity to do with grandchildren is a workbook.  There are even preschool workbooks for synonyms and antonyms that are fun.

Fun with Opposites (Sesame Seeds Preschool Act Bks)

For preschoolers, this Sesame workbook has “big and little hidden objects, color cool pictures, make their way through amazing mazes, and solve fun puzzles in this educational activity book.”

K-2 ELA Volume 4: Vowel Teams, Syllables, Synonyms and Antonyms, Homonyms

For K -2, this full color workbook filled with focused and effective exercises to do with children.  It is available on Kindle.


Yes, there are games for synonyms and antonyms.  One is a game that is fun for the game nights that families are having, called BLURT!


For ages 10-up, includes a junior version for ages 7-9. An Amazon best seller, “Blurt is a great vocabulary builder for kids, a hilarious addition to adult parties, and a must for family game night for 3 to 12 players. Rapid word recall challenge. For 3 to 12 players in teams. This product contains small pieces.”

This Grandma loves bingo and there is a synonyms bingo game.  Why not use bingo to build vocabulary.

Synonyms Bingo Game 

For ages 8-12, this games helps “players build vocabulary skills by learning and using synonyms for 37 common words. Reinforces spelling and reading skills. Traditional 5 x 5 grid format can be played six ways to meet the needs of learners of all abilities. Fun for large or small group use. Set includes: 36 playing cards, over 700 chips, caller’s mat and cards, and a sturdy storage box.”

We Grandmas have so much to offer our grandchildren. The wisdom of long years to share may come from the “dinosaur” age of reference books of our youth. Thinking out of the box and using a Thesaurus, whether an app, a game, a workbook or a book, to play with words brings so much to our grandchildren. If with the grandchild, go to the bookstore and explore the Thesaurus offerings in books and workbooks, and if not, just get them on line. Remember an I Tunes gift card is a great visit present.  Pure Grandma





Speak Your Mind