We first tried to call this game Boomerang, but Connection is what stuck. This is just a talking game we made up…we play in the car, waiting rooms, dinner table… one person starts with a random word (a toddler is a great random word generator) and you take turns free-associating words until you come back around with a logical connection to that first word. We call this “bringing it home.” If it goes on too long or there’s an obvious connection back to the first word, we might say, “Come on, you could have brought it home.”
Sometimes you might ask what the connection is–mainly out of curiosity, but there is really no wrong next word. With younger kids you get some odd connections, but it makes sense to them! There’s no winner, no loser, nothing needed, and the only source of conflict is the usual debate about who gets to go first.
A typical round might go like this: PIG > mud > dirt > garden > grow > tomatoes > salsa > spicy > jalapeños > Mexican food > tacos > tortillas > chips > dip > pool > party > presents > birthday > balloons > float > sky > clouds > rain > snow > hot cocoa > marshmallows > sweet > salty > bacon > PIG!