Where is Sock Monkey?
A cross between Twenty Questions and Clue, this game gives wiggly preschoolers and young grade-schoolers a lesson in deductive reasoning and a chance to race around the house, says Sherry Artemenko, a speech therapist and creator of playonwords.com, an award-winning speech therapy site.
How to play it: One player hides the six-inch sock monkey (which comes with the game) while the other players close their eyes. When the hider returns, the players take turns drawing illustrated cards with yes or no questions—“Is the monkey in a room with a fridge?” “Is it in the living room?”—designed to uncover the monkey’s whereabouts. When a player draws the “Go look” card, she must race to a room to find the monkey before the timer goes off.
What it teaches kids: Your preschooler or kindergartner won’t be able to read the questions, but she can figure them out from the illustration—a decoding strategy that will come in handy when she learns to read. The game also gives her practice in asking questions, listening for the answers, following directions, and putting clues together—all crucial skills for the classroom.