Monday, August 25, 2014

The Super WHY ABC Letter Game

A few months before Blake's 3rd birthday I let him walk through the toys at Target and tell me things he thought he would like to have. I made sure to point out the games and puzzles to him too. One of the games he picked out was the Super WHY ABC Letter Game. (If you are unfamiliar with Super WHY it is a cartoon on PBS Kids.)

The game says Preschool, age 3+ and 2-4 players. I figured by looking at the back of the box that he wouldn't be able to understand all parts of the game but there was a lot that he could actually already do. I went ahead and put it on his birthday wish list. Obviously we got it, from someone. (Misty and Kealey to be exact!)

Front of the box.
The first time I opened it I was like "Oh no that's going to have to wait a while" I just let him play with the characters and the spinner at that point. When I had time to sit down and play it with him (not while I was cooking dinner) I quickly realized that it was a great game! I'll give you a quick break down of the game. Each character has a special skill just like in the cartoon. Alpha Pig...alphabet power, Wonder Red... word power, Princess Presto... spelling power and Super WHY... power to read.  Players take turns spinning the spinner to move around the outside of the board. Whichever character circle a player lands on they must draw a card from that pile. The first one to reach FINISH is the winner. (Those are our rules.) At first I figured Blake would only be able to do the Alpha Pig cards because it is matching the lower case letter on the card to the upper case letter in the center of the board. The more we work on reading skills the more he is able to do. So here is how we currently play the game.

Alpha Pig Cards- Blake has to identify the letter on the card as well as find its uppercase match. He also tells me the sound the letter makes. He points to the letter on the board and names the letter.
Wonder Red Cards- wonder red is all about rhyming. Rhyming is a pretty tough skill so we go over it each time we land on the space. I always ask him to tell me a word that rhymes even if he doesn't know one. I tell him a few words that rhyme with the give words. For example on the card if it says CAT and RAT I first ask him if he knows any words that rhyme with cat and rat then I tell him BAT HAT FAT all rhyme with CAT and RAT. I have him listen to me say the words and listen to how they sound the same at the end. I also have him say the words to me. I always give him another chance to think of a words that rhymes with the original words. I still praise him even if he uses a word I told him. :)
Princess Presto Cards- Most of the cards have a picture and they ask you to identify the first letter of the word. I show Blake the card and he says the name of the object such as a log. Then I ask him what letter log starts with. We also isolate the beginning sound. Then he points to the letter on the board. 
Super WHY Cards- These cards are the hardest cards so we do basically the same thing with these cards as we do with the Princess Presto cards, the only real difference is that I point to the word on the game board and spell it to him. He identifies the picture such as a DOG I ask him what letter and sound dog starts with. I then find the word on the board and spell it d-o-g. He often spells it with me a second time.

Our set up today.

Just a sample of each card.
It's just a board game so why do I love it?

I love it for a lot of reasons. The fact that Blake can even sit down and play a board game means that he has reached a milestone in his development. We change up the rules a little to match his abilities but he is engaged in this game and understands what he's doing! He is getting some math skills in when he spins the spinner and counts as he moves the appropriate number of spaces. He is also gaining an understanding of how it works to move around on a game board, which is tricky! In this game specifically he is learning lots of reading skills. He is learning to cooperate with others and take turns. He is practicing his listening skills each time as I read the cards to him. Most of all he absolutely LOVES this game. It is one of his very favorite games. I think that it challenges him enough but doesn't make him feel defeated. He's so proud of himself when he is able to do what the card asks him. Naturally I love anything that is making him feel confident. He is becoming a reader and doesn't even realize it. (At least I don't think he does!)

Do you have a favorite board game to play with your little one? I have more games that we love I'll share another time!

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