ThinkFun Game Giveaway

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ThinkFun Game Giveaway

Several weeks ago, my boys and I had a play date with one of my supermom friends and her children. I casually mentioned how excited I was to start playing games together when the children were a little bit older. Sportsmanship, perseverance, teamwork… There were so many healthy life skills that games help develop.


As soon as the words “kid-friendly games” left my mouth, my friend jumped up and walked over to a large shelf filled with activities for her children. She took down a medium-sized royal blue box and asked, “Have you played Zingo?”


“No,” I said. I’d never even heard of it before. Hmm…  My curiosity was piqued.


Just as my friend placed the box on the table, her four year old son noticed the flash of blue out of the corner of his eye.  ”Zingo!” he shouted as he ran over to join us.


My friend opened the box and pulled out a bright red thingy-majig and a set of game boards filled with pictures and matching labels.

“The rules are simple,” she explained. “It’s just like Bingo but with a twist.  It motivates children to practice reading. I promise it’s addictively fun.”  It sounded like a dream come true. But I was still skeptical. Could it really live up to her rave reviews?


We invited her 2.5 year old daughter and my 2.5 year old son to join us. This would be a great test. Could young children actually play the game on their own? To my surprise, her daughter jumped right in.  “I LOVE Zingo!” she said. I mentally added another tally to the list of Zingo Fan Club members.


My friend invited my son to slide the red tile dispenser forward and back, revealing two bright yellow tiles: an owl and a bat. She asked him to “read” the words on the tiles. “Owl and bat,” he said. Then she asked him to look at his game card and check for matches. He had an owl. “Owl!” he shouted.


“I have an owl too,” the little girl said. My friend explained that the first player to say the name of their match could take it. She invited my son to grab the tile and add it to his board. Then he slid the dispenser again dropping two new tiles.


The game continued for several minutes until my friend’s four year old son filled his board first. He was crowned as the official winner, creating a perfect opportunity for us to model how to be good losers and offer a heartfelt “congratulations”.


Without a second thought, the three children jumped right into playing round two.  As parents of 2.5 year olds understand, there are few things that occupy my son’s attention for more than a minute and a half. I was blown away!!


The moment my boys fell asleep that night I hopped onto the computer and ordered our own Zingo set.  We could finally enjoy a family game night!


In addition to Zingo, ThinkTank also offers another early literacy game called “What’s Gnu” that I couldn’t resist adding to our Amazon cart.  To play, you spread out cards showing two letters and a blank.  One player slides the tile dispenser to drop two tiles.


Players must race to use the letters that are revealed to make a word on one of the cards.



The player who has made the most  words when the tiles run out wins the game.  I can’t wait to try this with my oldest son in a year or two. It’s a motivating, entertaining way to practice sounding out words and is PERFECT for beginning readers.


The Giveaway

I love the games so much that I wrote the company and asked if they would sponsor a giveaway so that you could fall in love with the activities too. And guess what?!  They said “yes”. So, here are the rules:


To enter, we’ll play our own version of “What’s Gnu?” Simply write a word that ends with {-AT} in the comment section below.  For instance, you could write {cat} or {mat} or {hat}. We’ll be making a big list of {-AT words} so it’s ok to repeat someone else’s response.


Players can add a comment once each day through Friday, July 13th at midnight (PST). That means that you could post {cat} on Monday, {hat} on Tuesday and so on.  The winning comment will be chosen Saturday, July 14th by  If your comment is the number selected, ThinkFun will mail you your very own box of “What’s Gnu?” and “Zingo”.  That’s two FREE games!!


Players must be 18 years or older to play is open to US residents only.  Good luck!


About Malia Hollowell

Malia is a National Board Certified elementary teacher turned stay at home mama to three young kids {4, 2.5 and 5 months}. She earned her Bachelor’s and Master’s in Education {go Stanford!} and spent seven years teaching in a classroom. Since starting Playdough to Plato in 2012, her ideas have been featured in Parenting Magazine, Pinterest's Top Educational Pins and Kiwi Crate.


  1. VAT

    Very excited to play for this giveaway. We’ve played Zingo at friend’s homes and love it!

  2. CHAT

    Fun games!!

  3. Drat!

    What a fun way to do your giveaway!! Thanks :)

  4. PAT!
    Thanks for the chance to win. :)

  5. FLAT

    This will be fun!

  6. What neat games. My daughter would love Zingo.

  7. Oops, forgot to write my word.


  8. I love teaching games!

  9. My incoming kindergartener would love these games!

  10. Bat

    Soo fun, great idea, I hope my 2.5 yr old would love these games!!

  11. Cat – one of my 2 yo’s favorites.

  12. Thanks for the opportunity! BAT!

  13. Hat! Love that we inspired you!!

  14. My son Matt would love this game sitting on his mat :)

  15. I love these type of games. my word beAT

  16. Placemat :)

    Thanks for the opportunity to win such fun games :)

  17. This would be great for my soon to be pre-k son. Anything he can do with his friends that vary wildly in age & ability is a special bonus.


  18. flat

  19. RAT

    Thanks for the giveaway!

  20. That
    Thanks for sharing the zingo game, I had purchased the other game for my one set of grandkids and they loved it. As a former educator, I still am addicted to finding great educational games.

  21. sat

  22. mat

  23. splat

  24. fat

  25. gnat

  26. Drat

    Thanks for the chance to win!

  27. SPLAT! :)

  28. Rat!

    This is fabulous, thanks for hosting this giveaway.

  29. slat

  30. scAT

  31. Cravat.

  32. drAT :-)

  33. Eat.

    Those look like awesome games! I’m off to Amazon after posting this, to add them to my sons wish list. :)

  34. Hat!s off to a great game!
    Would love to win these!

  35. bat

  36. Chat!

  37. Awesome learning games and so much fun!

  38. Splat! Thanks do much for the chance, found you via Pinterest!

  39. Awesome give away.

  40. Pat. (thank you for hosting the contest and for bringing these game to my attention at the perfect time for my son)

  41. sat

  42. Zingo also comes in a Number Bingo 123 to reinforce number recognition. I love Zingo and my Pre-K classroom does too!!!

  43. vat

  44. Fat! I would love to win these! Thanks!

  45. Stat

  46. My son signed HAT today, so that’ll be my word. My 3 year old would love these games. How cool!

  47. Brat!

  48. Cat! I teach pre-k and this would be awesome to use with my class.

  49. Nat!

  50. Cat

  51. rat

  52. fat

  53. rat

    I love that the vowels are in red. Great reinforcer that every word has at least one vowel.

  54. rat. I love that the vowels are red. A great reinforcer that every word has one vowel.

  55. Goat

  56. SAT

  57. splat

  58. Cat – the name of my 2 year old daughter’s favorite stuffy.

  59. Habitat

    This game sounds like so much fun. I think my daughter would love it. I’m tempted to go out and buy it!

  60. Seat…Would love to have these games to help my children get a great start to reading!!

  61. Splat! My son is currently obsessed with letters. Thanks so much for sharing about these games :)

  62. Scat!

  63. THAT! is so cool

  64. Pat

  65. mat

  66. Eat! These games sound awesome!

  67. hat

  68. rat

  69. brat :)

    This is great of you to give us a chance for a free game for our kids!!


  70. That Zingo is a fantastic learning game! Can’t wait to introduce it into my literacy groups!

  71. frat

  72. spat

  73. Scat
    Cool blog! Great giveaway!

  74. Gnat!

  75. HEAT!!

  76. Congrat!

  77. prat as in prat fall

  78. Treat!

  79. the boat fell in the moat

  80. Brat! We love zingo in our home! whats gnu is going to be my next purchase!

  81. STAT

  82. Sat

  83. knat
    would love this game!

  84. these look awesome! thank you for the opportunity! :)

  85. Bat

  86. How awesome! I NEED something to keep my little man entertained during the day to distract from the dreaded “Can I watch TV?” that comes out of his mouth all day long. He would love these.

  87. Frat.
    Loving the giveaway

  88. Splat

  89. Meerkat

  90. splat!

  91. hat

  92. CHAT

  93. Dingbat. :-)

  94. scat :)

  95. that

  96. Sweat.

  97. Flat!

  98. Rat

    Would love these games for my classroom!!

  99. Splat!

    Thanks for doing this. Both games look so fun.

  100. eat

  101. Brat

  102. Tat .
    My son has Zingo and loves it! We would love to have the What’s Gnu game.

  103. gnat


  104. Is slang allowed? Winning would be PHAT! I would love to play either one of these with my two kids.

  105. BAT.

    Of course, that is the first word that comes to mind, as my four year old thinks he IS Batman. Aside from superheros though, we love, love, love playing games.
    Thanks for sharing your experience and for the chance to win!

  106. Rat!

  107. BLOAT

  108. BEAT

  109. Rat

    These look like great games!

  110. mat

  111. I would love these games to use in speech therapy! Thank you for the opportunity!

  112. Hat

  113. Mat!

  114. What

    Awesome blog!

  115. Mat

  116. SPLAT!

  117. Fat

  118. RAT. Thanks so much for doing this.

  119. Chat

  120. Cat

  121. Kumquat

  122. Swat. Cause that is what I am doing to all these little bugs that keep landing on my computer screen, because they like the light. :)

  123. Sat! Great giveaway :o)

  124. PlacemAT. :)

  125. splat!

  126. Bat!

  127. Hat

  128. Kersplat

  129. Drat! I hope we win :o). Thanks for doing this.


  1. Build Early Reading Skills through Play! « SmartPlay - [...] The following post is shared by Malia, a former teacher and founder of the early literacy company Playdough …
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