One thing you mightn't know about me is that I'm a Pyjama Angel! A what?
Well, whilst I'd love an awesome pair of wings and a reason to wear pyjamas all day every day, it's actually a volunteering position. You see, last year I signed up to volunteer with The Pyjama Foundation - an organisation that trains up volunteers and equips them with the resources needed to visit children in foster/statutory care and help them with their learning in a fun, playful way.
As a pyjama angel, I'm not a tutor - I meet with my little guy each week to hang out, play games, talk about his week, play soccer and fit in some learning in a fun way. He struggles with reading and writing and I've come up with a bunch of fun little games to encourage him to practice his reading/writing without even realising it - and I thought I'd share this one with you!
This "You Know" card game is a lot like regular UNO, however, it's got a learning twist on it. Since I put together an editable template for my little guy, I thought I'd share it with you so you can use it for your own kids, siblings, friends - or even yourself. It can be changed to work for a whole variety of things - whether you're looking to work on math skills, spelling, vocabulary or even shapes and colours for little kids.
So let me share this game with you! >>
All you need to create this card game is:
- A set of my Printable You Know Sight Words Card Game - download the PDF or editable publisher files.
- A printer
- A pair of scissors
- Optional: sticky tape to put together the folder on the final page (just cut out, fold at the line and tape the edges)
So once you've cut it all out, you need to know how to play, right?!
"You Know" is played the same way as UNO and instructions are included on the printable folder/pocket for the cards, however, here's a quick run through (as well as ideas to use this game to learn other things below).
Deal out seven cards for each player. Place the remaining cards face down as the "PICK UP" pile and turn over one card to start play.
The first player needs to match either the colour or the number in the corner of the card to the play card. For example, here the player would need to put down either a green card or a card with a 3 (in this case, a three letter word) and say the word that appears on their card.
See, this player doesn't have a green card, however, they have a 4 (four letter word) card that they can put down instead - so they can put down kind, say the word and the next person has their turn.
A SKIP card skips the next person's turn and the player after that then needs to either play a SKIP card or a card of the same colour to continue.
When you don't have any cards you can play, you can either put down a WILD CARD (if you have one) and change the colour or pick up a pile from the PICK UP pile.
When you have just one card remaining, you need to call out "I know!" and the person with no cards remaining wins!
How to adapt You Know for different ages/topics:
- To practice sight words add sight words to the cards as shown in the picture. NOTE: If you're playing with kindergarteners/first graders etc you will want to use lower case words as that's what they're likely learning at school. My little guy finds capital letters easier to understand so we use a mix to build his confidence and I swap the cards out week by week.
You can also change the numbers in the corners to be larger to use longer words.
- To practice math switch the words for equations. You could use addition, subtraction, division or fractions.
- To practice nouns/verbs/adjectives change the numbers to N/V/A/etc and write nouns/verbs/adjectives etc on the cards.
- To practice colours you can change the words for numbers as per normal UNO
- To practice shapes switch the words out for shapes.
And there you have it! Too easy!
I was a little unsure of how this game would go down with my little guy, however, the first time I brought it over we played ten rounds and he told me I had to bring it back the next week to play again.
I kept note of the words he found tricky to use in other games and whilst about 5 games in he asked if we could not say the words out loud (as he'd gotten two words he wasn't sure about), I told him we didn't have to say the words, however, as I continued to say them, he automatically said them as well.
But tell me, do you have little ones in your life who would like this game?
And would you like me to share other fun ways to learn as I come up with new games?