I have to praise the makers of the game Zingo. It is a fabulous game. Although the original game recommends for ages 4 and up. I decided to purchase it for M at age 3. I figured the fun tiles and easy clean up would be worth the try. Well, this game is the game that keeps on giving.
Zingo is like Bingo. There are two main parts of the game: the red container that holds the tiles and dispenses them and many two-sided cards with shapes and words that match with the dispensed tile. The red container has a contraption that accepts cards and spits them out without the need of batteries. It is easy to use and makes a fun click sound. The two-sided cards allow a choice: green or red. One color is more competitive. When the red container dispenses two tiles, if you have a match with your card, you yell out the tile and take it to match with your card. The first person to fill their card wins. Now, if two people are after the same tile, the person that says the tile first, gets the card.
As a kid, obvious benefits include fun and learning. Zingo teaches observation, reading, pattern recognition, promotes reflexes, speech, and dexterity in picking up and putting away the tiles. The biggest benefit to this game is that it is entertaining for the adult too. The game requires constant interaction and feedback. M became quite skilled with this game and soon, I found myself in a healthy competition with my three-year-old. Yes, you read that right. She wins most games, and it is not for a lack of trying on my part. I think part of her motivation is how involved we are when playing with her. I don’t find myself yawning or constantly looking at the clock when I play Candyland.
We also enhance learning by asking questions:
How many tiles do you need to win? (promotes math)
Which tiles do you need? (promotes reading)
How many tiles does Mommy need to win? (promotes observation, math and multitasking)
Winning and losing sportsmanship
I also ask M to answer in Spanish and Mandarin so we can practice our language skills.
We have also graduated to the Sight words version which has helped her reading tremendously at the age of 4 as she can now recognize those words in books, signs and whatever item that contains words. To make the game more challenging, we have now changed the rules to if you say a tile that you don’t have on your card, then you need to give up a tile. This has helped promote restraint.
If you’re looking for a fun and interactive game to bond with your child, I highly recommend Zingo.