Learning to Read with The Reading Game Review

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Disclosure: I received the below product to facilitate this review. All opinions are my own.

This “The Reading Game” review I originally wrote and posted in 2015! We are STILL using this game in our house and I’ve even shared it with my kids’ teachers. Two of my children have now been through this game setup and both enjoyed it immensely (one boy and one girl).

I have found it a FUN way for kids to “earn” new books without feeling like they are just coming home and practicing their sight words. It makes a fun way for kids to not only feel confident in being able to read full books by themselves (and not just easy BOB books either!), but it also takes away the pains of constant reading “practice” with kids who are less interested in practicing.

Below you can see a full overview of The Reading Game, but it basically is a color coded flashcard card and book set. Start by reading the sight words on a specific color set. Once your child learns those specific sight words they earn the same colored flashcards. Then the corresponding book.

The sight words are built so that they can read the entire book on their own. Once they’ve accomplished that they move to the next color. The books are illustrated and are great stories about all sorts of things from skunks to snakes!

Reading Game review

The Reading Game is one of those fantastic brands that I discovered while I was at EDexpo in Atlanta a few years ago. Maybe because my son was in kindergarten at the time working hard on reading, but I was extra excited when I saw how this game worked. It is SO fun, rewarding, and definitely has a more “big kid” feel to reading than BOB books. I immediately knew my son would go nuts over it.

Since then (now that he’s 12!) I’ve also used this reading game with my daughter to engage her in reading practice at home. The outside of the game box didn’t really draw me into it but don’t judge a book by it’s cover! (er….a game!)

Levels in The Reading Game:

The Reading Game review for kids learning to read

There are 6 complete “levels” to this reading system starting from left (skunk) to right (zebra). Everything is color coded and extremely simple to follow. When all of the levels are complete your child or student will have learned 180 vocabulary words, many of them Dolch and High Frequency words. (Plus if you use Wordly Wise like we did – this game is by the author of Wordly Wise!)

Ok – so 6 levels – let me break it down extremely simple for you. I’ll show you how the first level works and every level after that is the exact same for it’s color.

How to Use The Reading Game:

The Reading Game review for kids learning to read

Every level is themed by an animal and color coded. The skunk here is all red. The FIRST step is to take the number 1 cards you see at the top left and lay them out – it will be a memory matching game with the vocabulary words. Once the child has learned the words and paired up matches in the memory game you move on to the number 2 memory card words. Once that is completed the child has earned the 1-2 Skunk Flashcard you see at the top left.

On the back of that card is a picture and paragraph that the child can read which uses only the vocabulary words they just learned in the memory match game. After that they can go through memory matching game cards 3 and 4, earn flashcard 3-4, then finish up with memory matching games 5 and 6 and earn flashcard 5-6. At this time the child is rewards with the very first book in the series!!

The Reading Game review for kids learning to read

Not only is the book a large size like an older child’s book (not the tiny “See Jane Run” books) but the illustrations are also fantastic! The entire book is only created using the memory card vocabulary words to ensure that the child can read it. My son noticed right away that it was like a “real” book, not a “baby” book as he calls his BOB books at school.

The Reading Game review

 Let me tell you a little about my son. He is a very smart child and ahead of the kids in his class, but he does NOT like to work at all – I can’t tell whether he is lazy or bored! Either way he hates being required to do school work of any kind. However the first day I showed him The Reading Game he literally spent FIVE STRAIGHT HOURS reading. I was absolutely floored.

Every day he comes to me wanting to do more memory card games so he can get his books. I am incredibly proud of him. I don’t let him take the memory cards until he says aloud the vocabulary word every time he flips the card.

The Reading Game review

After he earned his Skunk book he moved on to the Snake cards and book.

The Reading Game review

I freaking LOVE this reading game set. It makes learning to read fun with the memory card game and my son felt like he is earning a reward every time he gets a flashcard and ultimately a book. My daughter just begged for reading time so she could earn a new book.

We were currently half way through The Reading Game and my son often brought the game to me saying he wanted to work on his next animal. Each memory card game teaches only a few new words at a time. The stories are funny and clever and of course everything meets Common Core Standards.

The Reading Game review for kids learning to read

Overall – this is hands down the BEST, easiest, and most encouraging reading system I’ve encountered. I HIGHLY recommend it! It’s great for beginning readers like my son was as well as for struggling readers up through the 4th grade.

You can find out even more details on The Reading Game’s website and can even purchase it here on Amazon. You can also get the game with Scholastic Book Club Bonus Points, if you do the Scholastic Reading Club.  It is only 1190 points. (Item # 045696).

More Reading Fun:

Winnie the Pooh story book reel on ceiling

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  1. What a great giveaway! My older daughters would love to play this game with their younger brother. They’re 7 & 9, and read all the time! Little Rigby is just starting to learn his words (age 2), and seems eager to connect the concepts with the words.


    1. I would love this for my class of second graders, they enjoy playing games and thinking they are just having fun and not learning anything!

    2. Luci eblin says:

      I work at a title one school and have a student who believes he can’t read. He can, but I just can’t convince him. Like your son, I can’t tell if he just does not want to work, or if this little boy just needs more motivation because nothing excites him. This game seems ideal! Not only for him burst I am sure it will attract others to want to play, and read too. Thanks for offering it’s as a freebie! I would love to win and bring it in to share!

  2. I have two little first graders in my multi-grade classroom who would love to get their hands on these.

  3. This looks so much fun! I would use it in my classroom with my K students. They would love this!

  4. Jill Niethammer says:

    I teach first and have an ELL student that could seriously use this game. It looks fantastic. Thank you.

  5. April Terrell says:

    i teach first grade with English language learners that this could really benefit.

  6. Stephanie Luciano says:

    I have a few first graders in my ICT classroom who struggle with reading and comprehension. Most of these students are my non special education students and I want to help ALL my students master important skills that they will need going forward.

  7. I have a first grader that has struggled all year. He broke his leg and has been out since Christmas break. With all his struggles I believe this game would allow him to build some self confidence and get him headed in the right direction to becoming an amazing reader!

  8. My 5 year old wants to learn how to read so she “can go to kindergarten.” (That is her own personal requirement)

  9. Vesna Bosnjak says:

    I am going to bed each night worrying about my Kindergarten students. I have so many struggling readers in my class and feel that I’ve done so much to try to get them to recognize sight words/sounds/all the fundamentals they need to become beginning readers. I’m struggling to find things that will engage them. I would love to win this game to use it as a tool to help my students!!!

  10. I teach 2nd grade but have a few kiddos who could use this extra practice! And they would love this 🙂

  11. I have several first graders who could really benefit from this game. It would bring a bit of variety and excitement to the standard curriculum. Thanks for holding this game giveaway!

  12. Melissa C says:

    what a great giveaway! My wonderful first grade class could really use this!

  13. This game would be perfect for my kindergarten classroom of English Language Learners!

  14. These books would be wonderful in my classroom. Our students are working on basic reading skills. I think that the bright colors and assorted games will really appeal to my special education students!

  15. I would love to be able to use this in my pre-k/kinder room.

  16. Belinda Parker says:

    My very first classroom (3rd grade) will benefit from this game! I will start my new job in August, and would love all the freebies I can get!

  17. I am teaching a Sped academic class and this would be great for my students that are learning to read.

  18. Keli Naylor says:

    I am a Pre k teacher and a parent to a four and seven year old. I would use these books in my classroom and also my own beginning readers! I currently use BOB books with both and I definitely see the struggle with motivation!. This sounds like it addresses reluctant readers in a fun way! I love how it makes the child feel like a real reader (they should!.). I think believing they are reading “real’ books is a big step in believing in themselves as a reader 😉

  19. Mandy Newton says:

    I’m currently doing literacy support at my school and would love to use this with some of the kids who are really struggling. Since most all kids love to play games this won’t even seem like ‘work’! Learning through play is a great way to engage all kinds of abilities.

  20. Audra White says:

    I teach Title I Reading. My 2nd and 3rd graders would love this!

  21. Esther Taylor says:

    I would love to use this as a learning center for the elementary students who visit my library.

  22. i would love tnuse this With my ESL Students!

  23. I teacher elementary resource. I currently have 7 third graders that I teach reading and math. Two of these guys are non readers and the others suffer with basic sight word reading. This game would be great for helping each of them master sight words and other small words. What a self esteem booster for those that don’t read at this time!

  24. Hello, The preschoolers at my family daycare could really put these books to good use. Along with any future preschoolers that attend Honey Bear Child Care located in Great Mills, Md.

  25. Stephanie Green says:

    My first grade class would have so much fun with this game during reading groups and centers!

  26. Amanda Tasler says:

    I’m a career teacher but have recently changed rolls to a Title I Reading teacher. I am using a game approach in my Title classes and this would be an amazing addition to my kids!!!

  27. Rachel Wright says:

    I teach English Language Learners. Anything to help my little ones learn to read is great! Games make it so much less frustrating! I would LOVE to have this for them!

  28. Laura Kauth says:

    I would love to get my hands on this game to use with students on my caseload!! I work with students with learning disabilities in grades 1-6, and this would be great for all of my first through fourth graders!!

  29. Cassie Amason says:

    I would use it in my classroom. I teach at a high poverty elementary. I teach a1st/2nd split. I have readers of all levels including some non readers. My students don’t get support at home so I try to do as much as I can at school. I would love this reading game.

  30. kathy bowler says:

    My daughter has a 7 year old , a 5 year old, and an almost 3 year old. I would love to give her this as she tried to interest the 5 year old in reading and spur on the 7 year old to see reading is fun! the almost 3 year old will certainly want to do what big brother and sister are doing so it is a win-win situation for all.

  31. Our NINE Kindergarten classrooms would love this reading game!

  32. Sada Gallick says:

    i would use this with my kindergarten son and my reading intervention students that I teach at school.

  33. My kinder through 2nd grade intervention students would LOVE this game! At the beginning of this school year my classroom was flooded. I lost many games/activities and because they were my personal items, I did not receive reimbursement. I’m slowly starting to build my inventory back up, and this game would be a great help!!

  34. Emily Schlinker says:

    I am an elementary school librarian and I would love to have this for my teachers to try out!

  35. Rosemary McMasters says:

    I have taught for 30 plus years and have never found a game I liked that covered so much material and motivated young children. My group this year has so many struggling students. I get frustrated when they want to give up. This looks like a winner for my class.

  36. Miki Keller says:

    I love this! My son Brody is in kindergarten and we have been looking for new ways to get him to enjoy reading and I think this game is exactly what we’ve been looking for! Thank you!

  37. My husband is a 3rd grade bilingual teacher who could really use this for his kids! Their reading levels range from Pre-K abilities to 3rd grade reading levels. They would be great for centers!

  38. My kindergarten class would LOVE this. I have kids of different levels so the color coding would be so helpful when setting it up for small group work.

  39. Jessica Small says:

    My 5 struggling 4th graders could use this during intervention as well as our 20 Kindergarten reading buddies we meet with every Friday 🙂

  40. I have a 7 yr old reluctant reader at home who I think this would be perfect for! And I also have several below grade level students in my room who would LOVE this!

  41. Jeanne vitetta says:

    Would love to try this with ELL student who has attended Kumon and our resource teacher all year and still has shown only a very small amount of progress. This may interest him since it is game based and confidence building by independent reading of mastered words. I would love to try it with him.

  42. Denise Shames says:

    I have a class of 15 ELL all from a low income area. They are prek level and we have just begun learning letter sounds and writing initial sounds. They would love this game and it would help a lot by giving them additional vocabulary words and some new confidence in speaking, understanding, and writing the English language.

  43. Amy Beilhart says:

    I have a few struggling readers in my first grade class who would benefit from playing this game! They would love it!

  44. I would love to use this in my multi-grade resource room. It would be very beneficial for my struggling first graders and my ESL students v I also would be able to us it with my own children, especially with my first grader who hasn’t figured out why his sister loves to read!

  45. I have several students in my 1st grade class that would love this. I have several students who need help and would be doing so much better if they had some help at home. Since that’s not happening, something like this would be a great motivator and support for them.

  46. Debra Landis says:

    I teach 4th grade Reading/ Language Arts in an inner city school. I have 8 students with IEPs and 2 with 504 plans. My other 8 students are also struggling and are reading 1-3 years below grade level. I have been searching for something to motivate them all to be better readers. This game sounds like exactly what they need.

    Thank you for the information. Must purchase if our class does not win the giveaway.

  47. Sara Baughman says:

    I’d love to use this with my second grade classroom as well as my own Kindergartner! Thanks for sharing!

  48. Kelly sexton says:

    Would love to try this with my daughter as well as the kindergarteners in in my class.

  49. Debbi Kramer says:

    my daughter teaches at a high poverty school that really needs to boost their test scores. Source material is very limited. There are seven 1 st grade classes that could share this game. I would love to be able to give them this great learning tool. I love sharing all of your ideas with my daughter, it lets me share in her joy of teaching. Thank you for all your efforts

  50. I teach kindergarten and my class consists of 89% ELL students. We have some who have not been able to read on a DRA level and I have some who are above level. I do so many activities with these kids to get their letter names and sounds but they still struggle with reading. This games seems like it will hold their interest and engage them.

  51. Lori Bailey says:

    i teach Kinder. Most of my struggling readers are boys and I think they would LOVE this game 🙂

  52. I teach first grade and have a student in the foster care system who benefit from this type of game. He tries to avoid any “work” in language arts. He needs lots of assistance and this would be a great addition to our intervention program.

  53. Samantha Carrabba says:

    I would love to use the Reading Game with my Kindergarten class.

  54. Sharon Cavitt says:

    I have a Kindergartener who is similar to your son because he is very smart but doesn’t like to work (especially on reading). I feel like if your son liked it, so would mine. I am also an intervention teacher who works with struggling students. I have a few second and third graders who are reading well below grade level who would benefit from playing this game.

  55. Hillary Riebman says:

    I teach kindergarten at a school with high poverty and many students new to the United States. I really coułd use this with my whole class, but I am thinking of one boy in particular. This special student is really struggling to learn to read. His family is struggling with a lot of personal and financial issues. He loves animals and would really respond to progressing through the animal levels rather than numbered levels. He really needs something to make him feel special and like he’s moving forward like the rest of his classmates. This would be his special thing since he can’t do what most of the other kids are doing. Thank you for sharing this resource.

  56. Heather O says:

    Would like to try this with my 2 kiddos!!

  57. Alice Hsu says:

    What a great giveaway!!! I can see how s fun game can encourages reading. Hope to win this to give it a try!!!

  58. Melissa T. says:

    I teach well below level 2nd graders. They work hard to make even the littlest of gains. This would be an excellent resource to use to “spice – up” our learning!

  59. I would love to try out this “game” with my son as he is beginning to explore reading. I also use the Wordly Wise system at my school with much older scholars (6th and 7th graders), and the results have been amazing. In using the program for half of a school year, they saw 1.5 years growth in vocabulary. I would love to see what the author’s systems could do for my son!

  60. Traci Paden says:

    I teach below level 3rd and 4th grade students. This game would make a great center station activity or small group teaching activity.

  61. I’d either gift it to my mom who is a Kindergarten teacher, or use it with my little guy, who will start Kindergarten in the fall!

  62. lisa Mark says:

    I would love this for my 5 year old who is struggling to read

  63. Marci Goulette says:

    I have a great friend who has a struggling 5 yr old who they would like to see repeat Kindergarten. He is a rock star in Math but just doesn’t care about reading. He loves to play games and this would be a great way for him to learn without even realizing it!

  64. jenna tomaszewski says:

    I teach Kindergarten in a title one school, this would be a blessing.

  65. Candice P says:

    I would love this for my son! He is 6 years old and in Kindergarten. He loves math, but does not like reading or writing. I think having a game to play would help him be more interested in learning to read. I am also moving back down to 1st grade next year and I think these would come in handy!

  66. This would be wonderful for my son who is learning how to read. He loves to play games and is a very hands on child.

  67. Tanya fox says:

    I would use this with my reading groups in my kindergarten.

  68. Cristy Ames says:

    I would love to have this in my classroom for my sweet kiddos.

  69. This would be a greatly appreciate in my K classroom, where I have quite a few struggling readers.

  70. Ranelle Jones says:

    I would be able to use this during center time! Well, my kids would be able to use this during center time. I could use this game to help my ESL kids learn their sight words easier and pick up some vocabulary during that time.

  71. I have a struggling reader in my first grade class whose mom is having trouble working with because he isn’t motivated and doesn’t want to read “baby” books!

  72. My first graders would love to utilize this resource!

  73. Araceli Bowman says:

    My daughter is in kindergarten. She does excellent in other subjects but is having a difficult time reading. She really struggles. I have tried just about everything and nothing has worked. I think this would work wonders for her since she likes to play games.

  74. Carolina Castro says:

    looks like a great game. I would use this with my bilingual kindergarten class. I love that it would help ALL my students not just the struggling ones. I also have some really bright kids who sometimes get bored/lazy and it would be great to have a game that would motivate them to learn a little more.

  75. Lisa McIntosh says:

    I am a 1st grade teacher and I have a great deal of diversity in my room. Meeting the needs of every child can be difficult at times! With a program like this it would be easier to accommodate all learning styles. The books look interesting and would hold the attention of the students. I also have a grandchild who is now beginning to learn to read, this would a great tool to use with him also!

  76. I am a resource room teacher and have students with learning disabilities from kindergarten through fifth grade…this would be awesome to have in our room!

  77. Mara Goldwhite says:

    I would use these books in my TK class! It seems like it would be very motivating for my little ones that are ready to read.

  78. Monique Golden says:

    what a great giveaway!!! I would love to have in my kindergarten class. My students will love the games.

  79. Denise Menchaca says:

    I would use it with my struggling EL 2nd graders. What a wonderful sounding program!!! Thanks for sharing out about it!!

  80. Jennifer Michael says:

    I have two uses for this game, my son and my class. I teach 4th grade and have several struggling readers in my class. This would be great to use to help them build confidence. On the flip side, my son is 3 and I’m working with him on beginning sight words. I think this would be great to have to use with him in about another year. I would love this game and if I don’t win I just might have to use some of my Scholastic points for it!

  81. my niece would love this, She would play with her friends and her cousins.

  82. I have two boys I’d use this with, ages 4 and 6. They LOVE games, and I think this would be super beneficial to helping them learn to read.

  83. I would love to win this for my son who just turned 5 this month. We have been practicing reading at home, to sound words out and what sound each letter makes. He enjoys reading and this would be a really fun tool for him to get better and better at reading. Thanks! Julie [email protected]

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