Lakeshore Learning has long been the premier provider of educational products for kids. I recently had the opportunity to try out the Pop and Win Alphabet Bingo Game with my girls (3 and 5).
The game is intended for 1-4 players (children ages 3+). The game includes: 3 dice poppers, 12 game cards (4 for each popper), 40 plastic chips and a handy plastic storage pouch. The game cards are thick and laminated, so they will definitely withstand being used by young children. The popper is extremely inviting to children! How could it not be, it makes noise! In fact, it’s not only fun for little children to pop and change the letters, it is also great fine motor practice and can help strengthen little fingers.
The game comes right out of the box ready to play! Each popper is a different color and matches its own set of 4 game boards. Very young kids can tell which cards they need to use based on the color popper they choose.
Personally I think the game is best intended for 1-3 players. If playing with 4 children, 2 kids would have to share one of the 3 poppers. We are always working on sharing and taking turns, but very young kids will focus more on their turn to make the dice pop than watching their cards.
Each game board is two sided: one side is labeled with uppercase letters and one side has lowercase letters. The dice in the popper only includes uppercase letters, so the backside of the game board will be more challenging for older children. Unfortunately the game is not marked for very young children to know which side to use. It would have been nice if the board was labeled somehow so the children knew which side to start on. This could easily be fixed by placing a sticker in one of the corners. You could then teach very young children, who are not yet able to match upper and lowercase letters, to always start on the side with the sticker.
Each set of cards focuses on a different set of letters: Green (A-I), Orange (J-R) and Purple (S-Z). Each board has 8 letters and a free space. Within each colored set of boards they have different sets of letters on them. For example, one board might be labeled with A, B, C, D, E, F, I and G while another board might be labeled with A, B, C, D, E, G, H, I. I like that the boards are all different and that the game teaches children in a traditional bingo game board fashion (with the free space being in the middle). The free space, however, might have been used for another letter for the children to recognize.
I absolutely love that this game can be played independently by children. Students can work at their own pace and ability (upper or lowercase letter matching). My own children have differing ability levels (one is able to match upper to lowercase letters and the other is still working on trying to match upper to uppercase letters). This game is perfect for both of them and they loved playing it. I cannot wait to put it in my literacy center when school starts in August. It will be the perfect beginning of the year game to get students excited about the center, to have an activity the children can do independently, and for a fun activity to work on letter recognition skills.
The instructions included in this game include 3 extension activities, a suggestion for family involvement, as well as 2 informal assessment ideas. All of the additional ideas appear to be intended for older children and students who are ready for more challenging activities. This game could easily be used with kids in Kindergarten and First Grade by using the extension ideas.
To purchase the Pop and Win Alphabet Bingo Game or for MORE great resources, visit: Lakeshore Learning.
*The Preschool Toolbox has received the Pop and Win Alphabet Bingo Game from Lakeshore Learning in exchange for the review above. While Lakeshore Learning has provided the materials, all opinions expressed above are our honest views on how the product can be used by caregivers, parents, and teachers at home or in the classroom.