Reading Skills: Squishy Potato

Quick Coding

This fairly fast paced game puts pressure on the ability to quickly recall words, and decode and encode them – the more mastery a child achieves playing with words in this way, the easier reading, writing and communication can be.

Set Up & Game Play

The aim of the game is to come up with words that contain the sounds that are on the cards.

Stack the cards in front of the players.

Give the first player the die to roll, note the number, now have that player select a card.

They now need to start the potato moving, each player naming a word starting with that sound until the number has been achieved that was rolled on the die or the buzzer goes off (whichever comes first).

Start by setting the timer for 30 seconds and then increase or decrease the time depending on the ability level of the players. A player cannot pass the potato until they have named a word correctly starting with the chosen sound. If the buzzer sounds before the players have named sufficient words starting with that letter, the person with the potato in their hand at that time has to squish the potato and keep the sound card.

The player holding the least number of sound cards at the end of the game is the winner.

This game can also be played by saying words that end in that sound – far more challenging!


  1. Have players lie on their backs in a circle – they have to reach and roll to pass the potato to each other. Great for crossing the midline and bilateral co-ordination.
  2. When playing with 2 children, have them lie on their back with knees bent and toes touching (or almost touching), with pillows under their heads. They pass the potato by pulling up into a sitting position, then lie down to say the word, before passing again. Great for core strength.
  3. Have 2 players standing back to back, they bend down low to pass the potato between them. Wonderful for whole body movement processing and balance (have soft pillows and materials around in case of falls). You many need a break after 10 passes. When dizzy stop and get the kids to push down firmly on their heads with their hands interlocked x 10.

Also Works On: Vision; Touch; Body Awareness; Vestibular (Whole Body Movement) Processing; Balance & Co-ordination.


Activity Materials


You Will Need...

  1. Play dough (enough to make a potato sized shape),
  2. Sound cards (see below)
  3. The timer on your smart phone (or oven),
  4. 1 die