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Zoboomafoo Game

 

This game was created for my preschooler who loves the PBS show Zoboomafoo.  When my 3rd grader saw the game he liked it and wanted to play too.  He especially liked the "animal riddle" format.  I decided to add riddles that were hard enough for him. 

To make the game board I visited the Zoboomafoo website.  They have coloring pages available and much more to check out while you are there.

Our game path begins with that lovable lemur himself- Zoboo!  Each of the characters are special spaces and have fun comments written around them.  The comments reflect their "personalities".  If you haven't seen the show I suggest you make them special spaces.  They can say things like:

You keep the Earth clean by not littering.  Move ahead two spaces.

It's good to recycle! Move ahead one.

You can add a lose-a-turn spaces.  You can also send the player back a few spaces.  I don't recommend that for this game.  Many preschoolers are still learning how to take turns and waiting out a turn may be hard.  Adding challenge spaces to a game for an older child will often make the game more fast-paced and dynamic.  The most important thing is to keep your child's personality in mind and design the games accordingly.

To play:

Players draw a riddle card.  If they are able to correctly answer the riddle they get to roll a die.  The number rolled is the number you may move.  A spinner could be used as well.

When I sat down to create the preschool riddles I didn't want them to be too hard.  I also did NOT want them to be babyish.  I wanted this game to introduce or reinforce good terminology as well.  Here is an example:

I am very big and strong.

I have fur.

I am a mammal.

I hibernate every winter.

WHO AM I ?

 

Creating riddles for my animal-lovin', older child was a bit more challenging.  I had to find a way to really get him thinking and keep him interested in the game.  I consulted his Zoobook magazines and our book Animals of the World.  Here is an example of what I ended up with for him:

I am a powerful predator.

I am at home on land and in the water.

I am a reptile.

I am a crocodilian.

I am found in Northern India.

WHO AM I ? -  a gharial

 

Suggested Variation:

You may want to use this game to work on classification skills.  It is great review once the child has already learned about mammals, fish, birds, amphibians and reptiles.  We often do this in the car  with our daughter.  We make things up as we go along.  If I sat down to create question cards they would go something like this:

I have no legs.

I am a predator.

I am cold blooded and lay eggs.

I am a snake.

CLASSIFY ME

 

The question is formatted in such a way as to present all the needed information.  This type of question requires that they put together the clues and  fit it into what they already know.  In this example the cold blooded and egg laying are the primary clues.

Enjoy your time in Zoboo land.  The natives are friendly and the board is festive.  A sure fire equation for learning, mixed with giggles.

 

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