*This post is brought to you in partnership with Academics’ Choice. I received free product to facilitate my review. Opinions are my own. 

As a kindergarten teacher turned homeschooling mom of 4, I’ve long been a fan of BOB Books. BOB Books have been helping children learn to read for many years. Through predictable text, repetition, and the usage of sight words, BOB Books help emergent readers build confidence and foundational literacy skills. BOB Books Happy Hats Board Game uses the same strategies to help kids build reading skills in a FUN way!

Any time you can make learning fun for kids, you’ve increased not only their engagement, but their willingness to learn. The BOB Books Happy Hats Board Game will capture the attention of young learners while helping them develop letter recognition as well as word-building skills.


Children will be delighted to see the characters they’ve come to know in the BOB Books. Sam, Dot, Mat, and Mit will help your child explore letter names and letter sounds as they create simple words to help pave the path to reading success. My son was so excited to see Mat! “Hey! I know that guy!”

The familiar characters, cute hat tokens (wonderfully double-sided so you don’t have to take time to flip them!), and ease of game-play adds to the overall buy-in for young learners.


This game fits PERFECTLY with our current reading curriculum. My kindergartner is working on word families, such as _an, _at, _op, etc. He and I will be using this game to supplement our regular literacy activities. I am grateful to have a meaningful learning activity like the Happy Hats Board Game on hand for days when he’s a bit wiggly or bored of more traditional reading activities.


Game Play: 

Each letter of the alphabet occupies one space on the game board. Hooray for letter recognition! (As a teacher, I also personally love that the letters are in lowercase form. So often, kids are only taught the uppercase version of letters. I love that this game gives extra practice for the lowercase letters!) Prior to play, each participant is dealt 5 Word Ending Cards. Players move their figure the number of spaces spun on the included spinner, landing on a letter. The player then looks at their Word Ending Cards, and tries to make a word. For example, my son landed on the letter “h” this morning. He had the word endings, op, og, ug, it, and ap. Together, we sounded out each of the potential words, and discovered he could make the words “hug” and “hit.” (He chose hug because “hug is a nicer word than hit.”) =)


Each time a player makes a word, they receive a hat token. Play can continue until hat tokens are gone, until you’ve circled the board, or until a player reaches a pre-determined number of hat tokens. Parents can assist children with word creation if necessary, making this game a wonderful teaching tool.

Find out more about this awesome early reading game on the BOB Books website.

Academics Choice disclaimer