Teachers and parents dread the “lists” that kids have to learn that challenge even the most creative educators to find a way to make it fun. Whether it is multiplication tables or lists of sight words, it is critical to master these to move ahead in math or reading.

I was testing ThinkFun’s newest member of the Zingo family, Zingo! Sight Words and not only found it to be incredibly fun for the kids as they learned their sight words but also effective for speech therapy. My little first grader was working on final /r/ and as we kept playing I realized the number of final /r/ sight words included–four, here, there, our, are and where–which was increased as we used our little carrier phrases, “‘Me’ isn’t here” or “‘Now’ is there.” We had so much practice on her sound as well as sight words that we were learning at dizzying speed! Here is my full review:

ThinkFun has again lived up to its name, creating a game to make learning sight words fun! Essential to learning to read, sight words are the most frequently used words in the English language. Unlike other words, they often can’t be sounded out phonetically and have to be learned through visual memory, which can be frustrating to kids.  Just bring out the captivating Zinger device that reveals two word tiles per turn as players race to cover their Bingo-like Zingo card first. Some of the word spaces on the cards have graphics corresponding to the word–an “x” marks the spot for “here,” a downward arrow points “in,” a speech bubble surrounds “said,” or a little figure waves for “me.” Most of the squares have colorful patterns of stripes, checks and shapes to pair with the sight words, adding some pizazz to these critical words for reading. My little testers loved the game and wanted to play multiple rounds calling out words, “I found a ‘me’,” and even read the words as they reloaded the Zinger, “Can I put ‘said’ in the bottom?” Zingo! Sight Words engages Pre-K to 1st graders in such a fast paced game that they want to keep playing, becoming more proficient readers with each round. I love when kids are having such fun they have no idea how much they are learning!