Age level: Early Elementary, Upper Elementary
Description: Thumbs Up is one of my favorite new releases in 2015! It’s a versatile game that both young learners and older learners enjoy, and it’s easy for learners of all ability levels to enjoy. Moreover, it practices a surprisingly broad range of essential skills for all young learners. It’s also an accessible game to young learners with autism or other developmental disabilities. To see a quick demonstration of how to play the game, there’s a great video review from TTPM here.
Skills & Modifications: There are two simple ways to modify this game to meet the needs of your individual learner. First, you can reduce the number of rings in the field of play. For example, you can just place one of each color in view of the student to reduce the number of rings the child is scanning. The second modification is to select the cards that only require the learner to find four rings, then systematically introduce more difficult cards.
Scanning – In order to play this game, your learner must be able to complete basic scanning skills. The game requires players to scan both the card and the rings in the field of play.
Quick Responding/Playing with Speed – The game is designed as a race to see who can be the quickest at finding the rings and stacking them on their thumb in the correct order. If your learner is motivated by visual games, this may be the perfect game for working on speed in gameplay.
Counting/Number Recognition – Thumbs Up is fantastic for working on basic counting skills, maintaining 1:1 correspondence. Because the game is played at a quick pace, it helps build fluency with these skills once they have been mastered.
Color Recognition & Matching – The learner must be able to simultaneously match numbers and colors. This is a great way to practice higher order matching skills, where the learner must match the color on the card to a ring in the large field of items.
Motor Skills – For some learners it may be a struggle to quickly pick up rings, but this is an excellent way to practice the motor skill if your learner is motivated by the game. It’s also fantastic for learners with autism, who frequently don’t use both hands to complete tasks efficiently.
Peer Play – I love this game for peer play because Thumbs Up has a short playing time and everyone plays simultaneously.
Pros: The rules are simple and gameplay is quick. I also love that learners of many different skill levels enjoy the game, making it an excellent option for family game night. Finally, there are enough cards to keep the game fun for multiple rounds of play.
Cons: No cons for this one!
Cost: $14.99 You should invest in this game if: you are seeking fun games for a family game night or peer play, your learner has strong visual skills and is motivated by visual games, you are looking for games with a short playing time.
ABLLS: A10, B7, B13, K15, R3
VB-MAPP: VP-MTS 10, VP-MTS 15, Math 12, Math 15
Thumbs Up! was provided to me for free by the company Blue Orange to write about here. This did not influence my opinions on the toy. The thoughts and ideas above are all my own.