Back in July, I wrote a post full of suggestions for fun, natural ways to combat the summer learning slide. In case you missed it, I’ll give you a spoiler alert — none of my ideas involved worksheets, book reports, or comprehension quizzes! And that post struck a chord with you all! I received so many comments, messages, and emails full of appreciation for the ideas and thanks for the reassurance that parents (unless explicitly directed by a teacher or learning specialist, of course) really don’t need to do anything out of the ordinary to keep learning going through the summer!
And now, I’ve got an addition to that post: Alphabet Go Fish! This is another game to add to your collection, this time one that might help develop or keep early literacy skills. Do you have Alphabet Go Fish in your home or classroom game collection? If not, remedy that now!
In Alphabet Go Fish, players aim to collect pairs of matching letters. Each card shows both the capital and lowercase letter, as well as a picture (and caption) of something that starts with that letter. Our six-year-old knows all of her letters, so actually reading the letters is not a big challenge for her. As of just a few weeks ago, our younger daughter only knew maybe 10-12 letters, but just from playing this game a few times in the last few weeks has learned a few more! In addition to boosting letter recognition (and in the Peaceable Kingdom version, simple words, too), games like Alphabet Go Fish help children to develop strategy, memory tricks, motor skills (it can be hard to hold cards!), sportsmanship, and more!
You may have also seen my post about what we keep in our restaurant/waiting area “go bags.” I’m adding Alphabet Go Fish to that list, too! And Alphabet Go Fish gets bonus points because I can easily throw it into my purse if I don’t want to take a second bag with us somewhere but know that we might need an activity to pass the time.
So what age is best for Alphabet Go Fish?
We’ve had our Alphabet Go Fish deck for about 2.5 years, but it hadn’t gotten much use until this summer. Our older daughter was, up until recently (until our discovery of Sleeping Queens, actually!) very averse to playing games, of any sort. Our younger daughter absolutely loves games of any kind, but had little to no letter knowledge to use in a game like this.
Peaceable Kingdom believes Alphabet Go Fish is appropriate for ages 4 and up. Remember that you know your children best! And, remember that most four-year-olds will not know every letter of the alphabet, nor should this be expected of them. Our younger daughter (who will be 4 next month) always plays on a team so that she can have help when she needs it. Remember, this is ultimately just a fun game and not a test of letter recognition or a formal educational opportunity!
What other games have you loved playing with your children this summer?