Saturday, January 7, 2012

Reviews - Whizizzle Phonics (educational)

I'm taking a slight departure from RPG style gaming to review a product given to me by Matt Rivaldi. It's a simple educational card game, but it's a great one as far as I can tell. If you're a gamer parent of a young reader to be, think about picking up a set of these to boost your future gamer along.

Whizizzle is published by WiggityBang Games. It runs around $12.95 per set. ($19.95 for both)
We were given review copies of both set 1 & 2, which are going to my little cousin at her 2nd birthday party tomorrow. =D

Set 1-2-3 (very basic skills)
Set 4-5-6 (more advanced skills, double & triple consonants)



The basics of this game is a phonics game much like UNO. The complexity of the cards rises with each, the two separate boxes come in sets, 1-2-3 and 4-5-6. Each set costs around $15. Though both sets are rated age: 4+. In reality it will be based upon your child's reading level, while one child will be ready to advance to box 4, 5, or 6 at age 5, another might need to be 6. Regardless of this, the set will be useful for teaching children by playing a fun game. I really wish I'd had this when the boys were learning to read...would have made a HUGE difference. We actually had fun playing it even though we're well above the proper age category. Is it perfect? No, but it's close. I think that set 5 should still have included Is, AEIOU and sometimes Y..., set 6 can drag on a little as I describe below. It's not perfect but it is a great product...

Every kindergarten and 1st grade classroom should have a set or 2, or 8 for that matter. 8 groups of 4 for players to sit down and play. This game would really make learning to read fun. And of the kids are already familiar with UNO, then this is a great transition.

Set 1 (basic consonant-vowel-consonant words)

Set 2 cards (long vowels silents Es.)

Set 3 (beginning consonant groupings)

Set 4 (end consonant groupings)

Set 5 (double vowel groupings, and Y as a vowel in place of I)

Set 6 (double and triple consonants)

Note: For set 6, I recommend allowing match of consonant pairings regardless of position, for Example Smash and Shake since they share the Sh sound group should be allowed since it teaches that similar sounds can occur at either end of the word, and we ran into a snag where we played a 25 minute round because we all at one time or other had to draw over 10 cards to get a matching card.  

WiggityBang should think about a 7-8-9 set incorporating multi-syllabic words. 

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