Teach Through Games: Hello Sunshine!

Teach Through Games: Hello Sunshine!

Age level: Preschool, Kindergarten

Description: If you work with toddlers or preschoolers and haven’t played this game yet, you’re missing out! The game includes a large plush sunshine and 18 double-sided cards illustrating potential hiding places for Sunshine. The adult picks a card, hides Sunshine, then lets the children search for it. When the child finds it, he/she says “Hello, Sunshine!” And I love that ThinkFun included this fifth step for play in their instructions: “Celebrate with cheers, clapping, and high fives. Reinforce the positional words with encouragement such as, ‘Great job! You found Sunshine UNDER the table!’” Several of my young learners have also been highly motivated to be the one who gets to say “Hello, Sunshine!”

Skills & Modifications: I’ve talked about many games in the past that do one thing and do it well. This is just one example. Hello Sunshine is created to teach prepositions, or as the instructions call them, positional words. It does this very well, and is a valuable tool if your child is struggling with prepositions or if your learner has mastered prepositions and can play this game with peers.

– Scanning – The game is designed as a hide and seek game. This is fantastic for teaching young learners how to scan in the natural environment.

– Prepositions – The game is created to practice receptive language for prepositions or positional words. Once the learner has mastered the game, you can switch roles and have him/her hide Sunshine. This will encourage expressive language skills, and your learner will benefit from the picture prompts provided by the cards.

– Peer Play – This is a great game for involving peers or siblings. It’s simple to play, and if necessary one learner can play with prompts from an adult or other peer.

Pros: Everything about this game is thoughtfully designed. The game is completely self-contained, with a small storage pouch for the cards inside Sunshine. The instructions also contain a parent guide describing in detail how to best use the game, and how to make it more difficult once your child has mastered it! I also appreciate that the Hello Sunshine game includes cards that have a preposition and a question mark so you can use them for items that are unique to your home or learning environment.

Cons: This is a game that you could create yourself with other objects, for example, by hiding a learner’s favorite action figure and having him/her find it. However, the plush Sunshine is highly motivating for many learners and the cards are well-illustrated.

Ideas for extending the lesson: I nice follow-up to this game for slightly older learners (ages 3-5) is to have the adult provide instructions using prepositions. Several of my students have loved a game I call “Where are you going?” I give them an instruction such as “Go BEHIND daddy.” If they follow the instruction correctly they’re already right by an adult who can give them tickles, praise, or other reinforcement.

Cost: $19.99 You should invest in this game if: you are seeking games for young learners, you are teaching prepositions and positional words, or you are organizing play sessions between one or more learners.

ABLLS: A9, A10, C6, C51, F12, G35, G36, K14

VB-MAPP: Tact 12

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