Nooooooooo! That was my reaction when I realized that Cranium has discontinued one of my favorite games for preschool: Cranium Cariboo. It appears that are now only selling a version called Cranium Cariboo Island that doesn’t look nearly as versatile or fun for kids. The premise of Cariboo is that there are 6 colored balls hiding under doors depicting various things and the kids must find all the balls and insert them in a slot on the side of the box. Once all six balls are inserted the treasure box will open to reveal a shiny jewel. While it may not seem like much, I promise you will be amazed at the anticipation and glee that the simple action of the treasure box opening causes for young kids. I sometimes like to hide a sticker or little candy in the box to add to the excitement.
Cranium Cariboo is for jackpot for any speech pathologist or teacher who works with preschool through kindergarten age students. Without any modifications the game is great for beginning academic skills like colors, letters, and numbers but what makes the game a real winner is the other skills you can address with it. The game is great for working on so many other receptive, expressive, and pragmatic language skills. Here are some of the goals I have found that you can work on with Cariboo:
- asking “where” questions (i.e. “Where is the green ball hiding?)
- making comments (i.e. “Look! I found the green ball!)
- negation (i.e. “No ball there”, “Not under the boats”)
- vocabulary (you can use the cards that come with the game or make your own)
- prepositions (i.e. “under the boats”, “next to the castle”)
Cariboo becomes even more versatile when you make your own cards to insert into the doors on the game. I use cardstock to make picture cards that can hold up to being moved in and out based on the goals I am focusing on with my students. This works great for articulation therapy in particular and is also very useful if you are working on a certain kind of vocabulary.
It looks like Cranium Cariboo is still available on Ebay and through a limited number of retailers so get it while you can!