Sunday, December 18, 2016

The Phonics Games & Other Classic Learning Games

When my daughter was about six, she walked over from the TV room to me and asked with a sly smile whether I knew how how much The Phonics Game was worth. I admitted that I did not.

Triumphantly, she said: "It's worth every penny!" and smiled, since she knew that it was -  somehow -very funny.  Imagine my joy when I checked out Ebay recently and sure enough, there was The Phonics Game for sale in "practically new condition."  I immediately bid high, knowing it was worth every penny.  Smile.

The Phonics Games

The phonics game contents
The Phonics Game included cassettes, many types
of cards, a timer, VHS tapes, and a mirror!

For those watching,  the 80s and 90s were a time of seemingly endless TV commercials for Hooked on Phonics and The Phonics Game, each with a 800 direct response message.  Aiming at the guilty-feeling of many mothers, especially the poor, these ads promised an increase in grades if they only bought them.  Hooked on Phonics was particularly aggressive until the FTC under the first Bush Administration cracked down on their non-verified claims and aggressive marketing techniques and took them out of business.

Spirograph was another educational toy popular in the 60s and 70s. It was really a simple matter of rotating some gears inside circles with a colored pencil tracing the pattern that that a hole in one of the gears made. It was addictive fun and we all learned patience and to make elaborate symmetrical designs. Educational?  I'm not sure but Hasbro had a huge hit on its hands with it so I bought one for our office as part of the ever-growing Retro Educational Technology collection.

Spirograph by Hasbro
Spirograph by Hasbro
A Precursor to VocabularySpellingCity
The Game of Cootie
The Game of Cootie
Cootie Game
Cootie Game

The HsngMouse for Hangman
The Famous Star on VocabularySpellingCity
who  his own hangman game
Here are a list of the classic interactive games featuring the HangMouse: HangMan Online, Sound It Out, Letterfall, Word Find, and  Read a Word

1 comment:

Johne said...

What's missing from my collection? I'd like a reel to reel tape recorder, a telephone switchboard, a triangular mac, and a nice old wooden or metal set of drafting / geometry tools,.

In terms of books, I'd like to fully understand the history of teaching reading in America and get an original of the exemplar of the key texts from each pendulum swing. I'd like Dick and Jane, an original McDuffy Reader etc etc