The Infamous Auntie Nym

“Have you met my Auntie Nym?  Well, let me tell you, she can be difficult.  When you tell her to stand up, she will always sit down.  When you ask her to go in, she will always go out.  If you ask her to turn on the lights, she will always turn them off.”

My Aunt(ie) Nym is actually a relation creation used by my favorite supervisor, Donna.  Equal parts Amelia Bedelia and contrary toddler, Auntie Nym is like the Jerry Lewis of the speech room.  Oops, too dated a reference.  Auntie Nym is the Katy Perry of the speech room.  She’s hot, then she’s cold; she’s yes, then she’s no; she’s in, then she’s out…  You get the idea.  Kids love her.  Her name, obviously, is a play on “antonym” and, at least where I live the pronunciation of “aunt” as “ant” (or the Southern “auntie”) lends itself as a perfect reminder of that sometimes tricky vocabulary term.  And few kiddos after a couple of lessons would forget that ol’ Auntie Nym was notorious for doing the exact opposite of whatever you wanted.

Donna has a kooky doll she uses as a visual aid and the kids have a ball thinking of what Auntie Nym would do in a given situation.

When you start working on antonyms you might want to begin by having your students “give” Aunt Nym instructions:

Child:  Tell her to move fast!

Therapist:  Look at that!  She moves slooooow. (demonstrate)

Child:  Tell her to go to sleep.

Therapist:  Uh-oh.  Look, she woke up.

Once they have some exposure to basic opposite pairs, you can reverse the process.

Therapist:  Aunt Nym, please shut the door. (pause)  Uh-oh.  What will she do?

Child:  Open the door!

For higher level language skills you might consider writing a letter to “Auntie Nym” giving her instructions for a visiting a restaurant (one the kids are familiar with) or another location/event the children know.  Auntie Nym can write back, retelling what she did (exactly opposite of what was instructed) and the hilarity that certainly ensued.

I would LOVE, love, love, love to see an Auntie Nym video parody on Katy Perry’s “Hot n Cold”!  Come on, tech savvy peeps–hook us up!

Need some assistance thinking of opposite pairs?  Try these:

Open-shut Old-new/young Hard-soft
In-out Near-far Day-night
Up-down Fast-slow Happy-sad
Noisy-quiet Love-hate Expensive-cheap
Empty-full Long-short Thick/fat-thin
Hot-cold Messy-neat Sink-float
Wet-dry Over-under Never-always

P.S.  Auntie Nym wanted to sign off—“Hi!  Have a terrible day!”

I use letters from Aunt Nym that are written to my students.  To view, click here.




This Post Has 8 Comments

  1. Cindy

    I “hate”. this idea. It is so “awful”!

    1. admin

      Cindy, You have one of the “worst” (best) blogs out there so I’m “furious” (thrilled) you’d take the time to comment 🙂 Kim

  2. Elizabeth Vosseller

    Such a terrible idea (FANTASTIC!), I am never (it’s on there NOW) going to post this on my Growing Kids FB page. Such a difficult (super easy) idea for parents and therapist try with their kiddos!

    1. admin

      It ruins (makes) my day to get a comment like this. I hope it proves to be a disaster (hit) in your therapy room! Kim

  3. Debra Kerner

    This has got to be one of the ‘worst’ ideas you have come up with yet. I’m sure kids are ‘bored to tears’ and just ‘sit’ and ‘mope’ while they do ‘nothing’ and ‘not’ learn. I am so NOT thankful for this ‘mundane’ idea and may have to get my middle schoolers write you a letter telling their thoughts on this!!! Debra

    1. admin

      Debra, I would be so “disappointed” to receive that letter and promise I would “never” write back! Kim

  4. I *hate* this idea too. lol…

    Sharing this on my new website’s pinterest board: The Classroom Creative. Great even for kids without speech issues.

Comments are closed.


The views expressed in this blog are my own and are intended to inspire other speech-language pathologists in their own practice. If you are a parent, teacher or other educator, these ideas are not intended to take the place of treatment by a certified clinician. Read full disclaimer here.