I recently had the opportunity to review this learning-to-read game, “Ooka Island Adventure” from Ooka Island Inc. This is a reading game aimed for ages 3-7 to help teach younger children how to read using a three-pronged approach:
The reason that this is aimed at a younger age group is that the founders of Ooka realized that if you can teach children early enough on, most significant reading problems you come across later on can be avoided. (Something I noticed time and time again in my 7th grade classroom).
Pricing for this product is as follows:
While again, Evelyn is only 10 months old and isn’t quite ready for this product, I did do my best to test it and play with it.
The games are easy and fun to play with, and while some of them take a little time figure out initially, you get the hang of it quickly. The story line is fun and compelling, especially for the targeted age group. It’s easy to see how sounding out sounds in a game and creating words can teach kids to read before they even realize that they are learning!
The setting of the island and the different games and challenges are well done, both in teaching and playing. It’s also aesthetically pleasing.
To put it simply (and to keep the review short!) I am definitely interested in getting this product in about 2 1/2-3 years for Evelyn.
Some other fun facts I learned while reviewing this product:
- Ooka Island was a family affair: The creator was a teacher in a smaller community in Canada. In the 1960s, one of her sons had 5% of hearing and there wasn’t a lot of support set up in school for him. His mother started creating reading programs for him and found the connection between reading well and speaking well. She was super successful and soon had everyone in the community sending her their children with any sort of disabilities or just reading problems. Recently, they brought the technology aspect in with help from another son (who is a teacher), and he created the story line.
- Ooka Island did quite well with a big study done by the US Public Education department when they studied several reading programs out there.
- It was essential to the creator that she didn’t want to lose the “at the table 1×1” aspect with the technology that was so important in helping students in person.
- Why Ooka? They started calling in “Booka” Island, but when the children testing it spoke about, most dropped the “B” and just called it “Ooka”, and the name stuck!
Interested in checking this product out? You can get 30% off if you go through this link! 🙂