Learning to read is an important milestone for kids. To some it comes naturally while others need some encouragement and maybe a little extra practice in skills leading up to that first book. Developed by a former second grade teacher, “Storybook Game Set- Level 1, 5 Pack” adds a fun step before opening the book, that eases kids into the process. Each set is a card game and beginner’s book using the game’s vocabulary organized around one of the five short vowel sounds. We played /ă /cards filled with Dad, Jan and Sam, who have a van, pal, cat, hat, map and more as well as sight words such as the, on, and in on the Wild Cards. Based on the premise that kids do better when they are not pressured to read a book before they are ready (good advice), this game-book set starts off with a little competitive fun. Deal out the cards and start to find matches by asking another player if they have a card like yours or turn over one in the wheel of cards on the table (much like Memory) to see if you get a match. Kids are comparing word forms and letter sequences, leading up to reading the word. As suggested, we started playing with no pressure to “read” the words on the cards, just make matches. I began to read them as my friend stacked up her winnings, and soon she attempted a bit. With more play time, eventually she will be able to ask for a match by name. Since kids love matching games, this is a fun early learning tool to reinforce reading and get ready for that first book!
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