Reviewed by Melody Floyde
I was very excited when I heard that we would be reviewing the Catch the Bug Reading Game. My son, who is nearly four, is just starting to recognise letters and to ask what words say when we are reading books together so this game really appealed to me as a way to help him to start learning to read and to recognise words and sentences in a fun way.
The game consists of 32 Reading Cards, 8 Animal Cards and 1 Reading Bug card plus instruction cards detailing how to play four different games with the same cards, which increase in difficulty as children become more confident with their reading.
The KLOO team had sent a letter accompanying the game suggesting that we watch the instruction video on their website before playing the game which shows you how to play the game rather than just reading the instructions. I thought this was a really good idea and something I haven’t come across with any other games. It was very useful to see the game actually being played. However the instructions that came in the box were very clear and easy to follow anyway, and in actual fact I found these easier to follow than the video.
The cards are glossy and printed on good quality card and come in a compact box which is very sturdy, colourful and appealing to look at. The box has a lot of information on it about the game and if you picked this up in a shop you would be able to get a very good impression of what the game would be like before deciding to purchase it. I also liked the fact that the game comes in such a small box as it would be easy to pack to take away with us if we wanted to which can be a problem with lots of other games aimed at this age child.
The reading cards are colour coded and very bright and appealing to look at. The text is bold and clear making it easy for children to read. From reading the box it appears that the words can be combined to make over 1000 sentences!
The eight animal cards have engaging animal illustrations on them which combine to make a large puzzle which was a hit with our son as he also loves doing puzzles. All eight animals surround the reading bug card – hence ‘catching the reading bug!’
As mentioned earlier, there are four games that can be played with the same cards. As my son is very new to reading I found that he could only manage to play the first two games which involved matching animal name and picture cards. Initially my son didn’t know what any of the words said and only recognised some letters so got a bit frustrated, but by the second and third time we played he recognised some of the words and was very proud of himself.
The other two games involved creating structured sentences which, at the moment, are beyond my son’s ability, but I can see that they will be great when he starts school and is becoming more familiar with words and reading.
I really liked the fact that this game is educational and that there are options of how to play the game and different levels which grow with the child’s ability. The game is advertised as 3+ but I would say that this is really the absolute minimum age that a child would be able to play any of the games, certainly our son, who has always had very good vocabulary and understanding for his age, was a little too young to really engage with the game. Perhaps 4+ would be more realistic.
This game retails for £7. I felt that while this was a bit more expensive than I would usually pay for a card game, as the game has so many options and can grow with the child it would actually prove to be good value for money overall.
Suitable age: 3-5 years
Available to buy from KLOO Games here.