PassTheRoobyRoo_600As I opened the box and pulled out the little kangaroo, my friend said, “Ooo, cool, is that the character?” I like the simple set-up with no game board as kids focus on forming the 20 letter tiles in a circle. First child to hold Rooby Roo places her next to a letter of choice and rolls the die. Count forward or backward from Rooby Roo, flip over the letter and announce the category–names, animals, household items, nature, colors and shapes, sports, transportation or clothing. Now the challenge is to be the first player to think of a word in that category that starts with the chosen letter. Shout out “Rooby Roo” and the character is passed to you while you state your word. Correct words earn a ruby, as players race to collect 4 and win the game. Lots of chat occurs as kids are trying to think of words that match the category and letter. “Lettuce” matched L and Food while “suit” won for S and Clothes. My playing buddy naturally extended the game by trying to think of more words to match the criteria. We were brainstorming together to see how many we could come up with. How about lemon, licorice or lasagna? Kids are using their reading skills while thinking in language categories to build essential skills for learning.

Available at SimplyFun.