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Wednesday, May 07, 2014

Riddle Me This

A few months ago I blogged about a fun early-reading treasure hunt game called uKloo. We have since downloaded the app, and Lucas was the lucky recipient of the new uKloo Riddle Edition sent to him for his birthday by the creator, Doreen!

While Lucas enjoys the original uKloo Early Reader Treasure Hunt game, I knew the Riddle Edition would provide more of a challenge for him.

In the early reader version the cards tell you exactly where to go for your next clue, ie, "Look in your mom's shoe." or "Look under your pillow." Lucas still had fun with that game, racing to where the card sent him wondering what the next card would say and where he would have to go next. It is great for early readers as the sentences are short and incorporate a lot of the sight words kids are learning in preschool and Kindergarten. There are 3 levels so the sentences start to increase in length.

The riddle edition has longer sentences and more than one sentence on the card. Since it is a riddle the card doesn't tell you outright where to go to find the next card; instead you have to figure out the riddle in order to know where to look for the next card. Lucas loves this challenge. There are also 3 levels in the riddle edition and blank cards to make your own riddles and cards to write out surprises (as you can do with the early reader game as well.)

Over the past few months I had been spending one weekend a month in Columbia for some training. I left Friday morning after the kids were in school and came back Saturday evening. Before I would leave I went around the house setting up the uKloo games (early reader for Kayla so she would be successful doing it on her own, and riddle for Lucas). They enjoyed coming home from school on Friday and knowing I left them something fun to do while I was gone. I would leave a note under their pillow, or a small hand-held game, or a lollipop. It was a great way to connect with them while I was gone as they knew I was thinking about them before I left.

uKloo is great for all children, including children with special needs, by working on a wide range of skills. The game has been formally tested by the National Lekotek Center and awarded and AblePlay Seal. You can see their rating in Riddle Edition category here. (5 stars in Sensory, Communicative, Social/Emotional and 3 stars in Cognitive and Physical). I'm not quite sure how the 5 star rating works, but I am curious about the 3 stars in the "Cognitive" category. I would give it 5 stars in cognitive. As you can see in the video below when Kayla is reading the cards and trying to figure out the riddle her processing is not as quick as Lucas. Kayla also tends to hear the last word(s) and focus on just that instead of the whole concept (in this case the riddle) and so she does tend to sometimes have problems with answering comprehension questions about a passage she's just read etc.

So in the first riddle Kayla reads it is asking for the favorite place to sit while watching TV. Kayla is also impulsive in her answers (in general) and blurts out "Frozen" because she is just focused on hearing "watching TV" and that's what she wants to watch. You will hear me emphasize the word "SIT" to her to bring her attention back to what the riddle is really asking.

While Kayla can't do the Riddle cards as independently as she can the early reader cards, I can mix the cards up in a round of play, throw in a riddle card to make her stop and think about it. The more we work on paying attention to the whole riddle and not focusing on the last thing she hears, the better she will get at it. That's why I think it should have 5 stars for working on cognitive skills - all that reading and processing and problem-solving!

Here is the video of Lucas and Kayla reading some of the cards to show you what the riddles are like.

My last thought on this product is that every household with young children should have this game!

Update: Ahren, from the National Lekotek Center, left a comment below explaining how the rating system works and why the Riddle Edition has 3 stars (the Early Reader does have 4 stars for cognitive). Thanks, Ahren, for the explanation!

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Anonymous said...

Hi Michelle,

Thanks for writing such an excellent blog on uKloo and sharing the video of your kids using the Riddle Edition. We love the uKloo games at the National Lekotek Center!

uKloo received a 3 in cognitive because children that have Down syndrome, intellectual delays, ADHD and other cognitive disabilities may have trouble comprehending and solving the riddles independently as they are written.

The AblePlay ratings help caregivers gauge the accessibility factor of products for children with different types of disabilities.

To give a different example, a trampoline is a product that requires physical skills like balance and coordination when jumping. If a child has cerebral palsy and is utilizing the trampoline, they may have trouble with balance reaction to the moving surface. So AblePlay would not give a trampoline a 5 star rating in the category of physical.

Thanks for sharing your blog!

Ahren Hoffman
773-528-5766 x401

Anonymous said...

michelle, wonderful! 1st for leaving them something to find when you are gone and to show you are thinking of them. AND THE UKLOO!! what a great game for all!! what fun and so much learning going on when reading the clues. love mom.

ahoy.jenni said...

Kayla is reading so well, I was impressed!! I am also impressed she leaves her glasses on (we are having lots of trouble getting Matilda to wear hers)
This would be a good game for birthday parties too.