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The Reading Game

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My five year old loves games, and is currently learning to read. So I thought this game sounded just fabulous when I heard about it!

The Reading Game is a fast action memory card game created by the author of the popular series Wordly Wise, Kenneth Hodkinson.

When we got the game in the mail, I immediately loved the cute animal characters! Opening the box, I found six decks of matching playing cards, six illustrated story books, and a parent and teacher’s guide.


So let me introduce you to the six adorable characters that live in this box- the skunk, snake, bear, penguins, unicorn and zebra:

The skunk is the first character in the series. The parent, teacher or sibling takes the first ten skunk cards labeled with a number one, and lays them face down. These cards have five words printed on them, each occurring twice for a simple game of matching. The two players take turns flipping over any two cards trying to find a match. If the two cards do not match, they are turned back over in place. Once a match is found the person who found the match takes the cards and says the word several times over. The parent/teacher should help the reader say the word if they can’t yet read it.

When all ten cards have been matched together, the cards are shuffled and placed face down again to continue playing with the same set of ten until the student can read the words himself without hesitation. Once the five words are mastered , set 1 is replaced with set 2, and the game of matching continues. After the reader has mastered all ten words from sets 1 and 2, the parent/teacher opens the teachers guide where they will find test sentences consisting of the five words from each game to read. Once the student can read game 1 test sentence and game 2 test sentence well, then games 3 and 4 are played, followed by the reading of the tests sentences. The same is followed with games 5 and 6. Once the student has learned all 30 words from all 6 games and can easily read the test sentences, then the reader is ready to read the story of the skunk without a stripe. This is an 8 1/2 ” x 5 1/4″  illustrated book made from shiney, thick pages folded over and stapled to form a soft book. The illustrations are black and white and look kind of like smeared charcoal drawings. The words on the page are big enough for the child to read. There is no capitalization or punctuation, but each sentence is grouped together with breaks between them.

After mastering the skunk story, the child repeats the card games, reading test sentences between each 2 games, and then reading the story books for the snake, bear, penguins, unicorn and zebra. Each subsequent story incorporates words from earlier books in the series, for a total of 180 words in all.

You can purchase The Reading Game for $24.95 plus shipping from the website.  It is for 2 players, ages 4+ (one being the tutor, teacher, or an older student or sibling able to help out the budding new reader!) There are also free additional teaching resources available on the website such as Pre & Post Sight Word Assessment and Test Sentence Worksheets for each of the six card game/book sets in the series! Just take a look at the Educators page to download them!

Gunn Ranch Academy Adventures

Levi and I sat down with the game and I showed him the cute characters and reading books. He LOVES card games, so was excited to shuffle and play with the cards. When I sorted out the first ten cards with the number 1 on them and turned them face down, he groaned a little bit.  When he turned the first cards over and saw words, he was done. He didn’t want to play at all. I explained to him that after he matched all the words in the whole deck that he would be able to read the book!

He grabbed the book and flipped through it, sounding out a few of the words. Then he noticed there were no capital letters, and there was no punctuation.  The sentences he reads in his current reading program start at the left, point out the capital letters at the beginning of new sentences, and he knows the sentence is complete with the period at the end. He can also chant his older sister’s Language Arts program chants, and started chanting, “A sentence, sentence, sentence is complete, complete, complete, when five simple rules it meets, meets, meets.” Then he told me these aren’t complete sentences, LOL. He also did not like the pictures. He said they looked black and scary.

He asked if we could please not use this for his reading and stick to his other books.

While I love the theory and idea behind this game, it didn’t work for us. I am thinking of passing this game along to a really good friend of mine who teaches remedial reading in the primary school here where we live. I think this might be of use to her and be a blessing to many kids learning to read over there!

I do know several Crew Mates’ kiddos on the crew did love the game, so I would definitely recommend reading all the reviews of this on the Crew Blog!

Happy Homeschooling!



*I received this game as a member of the TOS Crew for review purposes. No other compensation was received and opinions are my own.


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