Age level: Preschool, Early Elementary
Description: This game appeals to the silly side of young learners as they try to feed the Woozle snacks such as toenail toast and fuzzy donuts. The game comes with instructions for three variations of play dependent on the skill level of your learners. In each game, the Woozle (pictured on the right) is set up on a table 8-10 feet from the players.
For Level 1, Roll & Feed, players take turns rolling the dice, then placing that number of silly snacks in the spoon, walking to the Woozle, and feeding him. But the snacks can’t touch the floor or the Woozle won’t eat them. For each snack a player feeds the Woozle, he/she gets to take a “Yummy card” to keep track. The players work together to get 12 snacks to the Woozle before running out of snacks.
In Level 2, Bust A Move, the spinner is introduced into the game. An adult or one player is chosen as the “spin-master.” Players play as described in Roll & Feed with the added step of having the spin-master spin the spinner and tell the player what movement he/she has to do on the way to the Woozle. For example, if the spinner stops at “Bunny Hop,” the player has to bunny hop to the Woozle before feeding him the silly snacks.
In Level 3, Eyes Closed, players play as described in the first or second game with the addition of a blind fold.
To see a one minute video about how to play the game, click here.
Skills & Modifications: This game practices a range of skills in an active and motivating way. I love any game that gets kids moving! Some learners with autism may not be motivated by the pictures of food. For these learners, I modified the game by substituting the silly snack tokens with small toy foods. The toy foods were able to fit in both the spoon and the Woozle’s mouth. Thought it takes out the silly aspect of the snack tokens, you can engage the learners in conversations about which of the foods the Woozle might want to eat.
- Number Identification – This is a great and active way to practice identifying the numbers one through three for preschool learners. If you want to work on number identification but your learners struggles with the motor skills required to carry the spoon to the Woozle, you can modify the game by allowing the learner to carry the food in a basket. If you’d like to work on a broader range of numbers, you can modify the game by replacing the game die with a die that includes numbers 1-6 or 1-10.
- Counting – When I play this game with learners, we count the number of Yummy cards after each turn.
- Motor Skills – Feed the Woozle utilizes several motor skills: isolating digits to spin the spinner, using thumb and index finger to grasp snack tokens and yummy cards, carrying the spoon without dropping its contents, placing the spoon in the Woozle’s mouth, and completing actions as dictated by the spin-master. Because the game comes with three ways to play, it’s easy to play at a level that meets your learner’s current level of skill. As mentioned above, if your learner struggles to grasp the silly snack tokens, you can substitute them with small toy foods if you have those available.
- One-Step Directions – Levels 2 and 3 require learners to follow instructions provided by the spin-master. If you want to focus on this skill, you can add in other instructions for the spinner, such as skip, turn in circles, move like a monkey, etc.
- Peer Play/Teamwork – If youre learner is highly motivated by these materials, this game provides a unique opportunity for peer play because it’s structured for cooperative play. It encourages learners to communicate about the number of yummy cards collected in total and to cheer each other on as they work to achieve the goal of getting 12 yummy cards.
- Accepting Mistakes/Errors – Once learners get the hang of this game, it moves pretty quickly. This provides an opportunity to help learners practice accepting errors (dropping snacks from the spoon onto the floor) in appropriate ways through repetition and peer modeling.
Pros: I love that the game comes with three levels of play and gets kids giggling. The materials are engaging and can be used for a range of activities. Finally, the cooperative aspect of this game provides students with autism opportunities to play appropriately with peers.
Cons: This game is just fantastic. I can’t think of a single con!
Ideas of extending the lesson: The spinner can be used outside of the game, such as when you are calling student to line up to leave the classroom or as a guide for directions in playing Simon Says. It’s a fun and quick way to get kids practicing one-step directions and motor skills. With one student I also used the Woozle as a listening comprehension activity. I placed pictures of several different foods on the table. I then told a short story (3-5 sentences) about a meal the Woozle ate or about foods the Woozle likes and dislikes. After hearing the story, the student fed foods to the Woozle based on the story I had told.
Cost: $19.99 You should invest in this game if: you are a preschool or kindergarten teacher seeking appropriate learning games for your students, you are a parent seeking games for playdates or sibling interactions, or you are looking for games that are highly motivating to practice the skills detailed above.
ABLLS: A19, C9, K14, L4, R1, R3, R8, Y1, Y7, Y8
VB-MAPP: Listener Responding 8, Math 12, Math 13, Math 15