ThinkFun What's Gnu
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- Fast-action spelling
- Up to six players can play
- Thirty-six word-starter cards
- Teaches word recognition, vocabulary building, and reading
- For ages between 5 to 8 years
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From the Manufacturer
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Top Customer Reviews
As designed, the players are supposed to slide the game mechanism and reveal 2 letters. The first to call out a valid word using a letter on the 3 word cards in front of them gets that letter and can complete a word card. First player to complete all 3 word cards wins. That might work if you have 2 kids at the same level, but obviously it is completely unrealistic for a beginning reader to compete against adults.
We changed up the rules so that each person gets 6 word cards. The first player slides the game mechanism and gets two letters and tries to use them in their word cards. There is no time limit, and if my daughter needs to put tiles in each card and sound it out, that's fine. Once the two tiles are done (either used or thrown out), the next player goes. With 3 players and 6 cards, a game takes about 20 minutes, which is a good amount of time for kids this age (and we can obviously change the number of word cards we use). Toward the end we were even joking around and making funny definitions for fake words. My daughter was laughing and having fun. She had no idea how much reading and spelling practice she just had.
I like that there are no batteries, it makes no noise, there is essentially no set-up (this is quite portable), and games can be made more challenging to suit kids' needs as they develop reading skills. I only gave it 4 starts instead of 5 because the instructions that came with it seem uninspiring and overly focused on time-based game play. If you have K-2 children, just toss the instructions, find your own ways to play, and you'll enjoy this game.
I pull out several cards that will make a word then she makes the words, sounds them out and decides which word she likes better. For her the fun was making the words, not "winning".
She's not a game kid, we have lots of the classic games that we gave her as gifts and her three year old brother has played them more than she has. But this one we've come back to again and again, today she said "Wahoo gnu".
The only criticism I have is that they could have created a lot more word possibilities with the word cards.
Beginning readers who are learning phonics would find it interesting. For our children, this period is between ages 3 and 5.
Kids know when games are supposed to be educational, the way they know that carrot cake and zucchini bread are ways of getting them to eat vegetables. This game falls into that category. It is helpful for adults to play with children, to help them sound out word possibilities. It is not realistic for children of different reading abilities to play the game without one player being bored and another being frustrated. Therefore, it is at best a game for one or two kids. The novelty would be fun for kids who are still learning to sound out words---these kids may require a bit of help. But the kids who don't need help would find the novelty to wear off quickly.
The above is just our experience, and it may be different for other people. We never enjoyed the game as a family enough to get it out frequently.
In this game students see two letters using a "machine" that "spits" out the letters randomly. Each card has 2 sides. One side needs 1 letter; one side needs 2 letters. (Thus far we've only used the 1 letter side.) If a child can use one of the 2 letters he/she has to yell out the WORD! I've had students grab the letter, yell out the letter, say the word wrong, etc... However, that breaks the rules and the student doesn't get the letter. :( If the child does indeed make a word, the card is kept with the letter and the child gets a new card. If letters aren't used they go back into the pile.
It takes time learning how to play this game. My strugglers obviously needed more support than my non-strugglers. The goal is/was to help students make words and recognize words and this game does exactly that. It also helps them to differentiate between vowels and consonants, a skill that needs a lot of work.
I have another game by the same manufacturer that has a word selector but for some reason it doesn’t work. This one, however, works like a charm! I move the top of it and out “pops” two letters! There have been no issues so far. I say this in case you have the other game (Bingo Sight Word) and have had issues. (Good News! I received the new one and it’s working perfectly. Way to go!) Rather than flipping cards using the “machines” makes the game more exciting.
I highly recommend this game for anybody, parent or teacher, who is looking for additional help in the area of word work. It helps with sounds, letter recognition, 3-letter words and so much more.
Not so short. Sweet. To the point.
Most Recent Customer Reviews
It didn't do what I wanted it to do. Couldn't do a search. No instructions on how to use it.Published 8 months ago by Paul B. Jones
This was a Christmas present for my oldest grandson. We played it this afternoon. Everyone had fun.Published 19 months ago by Wellington Steeler Fan
Wonderful game of learning phonics and spelling. you can really extend this game even further when it comes to learning. Have them work on dictation, copywork, narrating, etc. Read morePublished 19 months ago by einstein
Good spelling game for kindergarten+, but the concept of proper words has to be there for it to be fun and enjoyable, otherwise it gets boring real fast.Published 20 months ago by jrenken88
Fun ! My five year old loves these games. Worth the price. I also used this game flashcard style with the two random letters. Read morePublished 21 months ago by Cameraman