Games to Play on the Magic 100 Words Deskmat

Games to Play on the Magic 100 Words Deskmat


  • Start by writing the child's name on the top of the deskmat (mat) in the space provided. The first word many children learn to read is their own name. So build confidence by asking them about something familiar.
  • Place the mat in front of the child and ask:
  • "Can you see your name on the mat?"
  • "Point to your name on the mat."

In learning about the way our language is written children need to be able to learn how to 'break the code'. The games played on the deskmat (mat) are explicitly designed to support children in their learning about how sounds and words are written.


  • "Show me where the letters are on the mat."
  • "Show me where all the words are on the mat."
  • "Point to the letter that is at the beginning of your name."
  • "Point to the letter that is at the beginning of Mum, Dad, and, but, can, do, from, get, had, it, just, love, lot, now, open." etc
  • Continue with this game by asking about the initial letter of familiar - people, family, friends, animals, toys, sports, hobbies etc


  • Show the child the letters at the bottom of the mat.
  • Explain that each letter has a name, just like they sound when we sing or say the alphabet - A B C D...
  • Then explain that each letter can also make different sounds, e.g. 'A' can say 'a' as in apple.


  • Ask your child to look at the words on the mat and invite them to play the following games.
  • You will need a clock, mobile phone or watch that has a second hand for timing some of the games.
  • Say as many words on the mat as you can in one minute.
  • Choose a color on the mat and say the words in that column as quickly as you can.
  • In learning centres you can time each other and keep score to determine who is the fastest at saying the words.

Practise often so that the child/ren get faster and faster.Learning to the say the words quickly is a very good way to improve reading. The faster you are able to say the words helps readers to think about the story or information in the book rather than all the little words in between. These games are based on a skill known as Rapid Automatic Naming (RAN) which highly correlates with successful reading.

Assisting children to learn to say these high frequency words at a rate of about one word per second is an excellent strategy to enhance reading.The Magic Words Playing Cards have been specifically designed to assist children in learning these words and learning to recognise and say them quickly. All the RAN games can also be played using the Magic Words Playing Cards.


  • Get someone to say a word and see how long it takes to locate the word on the mat. Do this many times until you are familiar with where all the words are on the mat.
  • Once familiar with the words try to spell the word by typing it out on the letter buttons at the bottom of the mat. It is ok to look at the word while typing. Checking to see that you are spelling it correctly is a great way to learn how to spell new words!


Recognition of a word either by pointing to the word when asked, playing Magic Words Card Games or reading the word in books is a much easier task than having to remember what a word looks like and being able to spell and write it accurately.

Children need to be given ample opportunity to practise "bridging activities" like copying words, tracing words, finding words in words and tapping or typing the words, while looking at them, on the alphabet chart at the bottom of the mat before they should be able to spell it from memory. These activities are prerequisite strategies to being able to write the words correctly.


  • Have someone make up a sentence from the Magic Words Deskmat.
  • Make the sentence using the Magic Words Playing Cards.
  • Then as you locate the words say the sentence back. Start with short simple sentences and gradually increase as confidence grows.
  • This game is particularly good at improving short term auditory memory.

Sample sentences:Magic Words Playing Card Games
I like you.
I will come.
I will come now.
I will come with you.
I will come with you now.
I want to come.
I want to come with you.
I want to come with you now.
I will come to you now.
I can look.
I can look up.
I can look down.
I can look at you.
I can look at you now.
I could come with you now.
I could go there now.
I want to go out there with you.
I want to go out there with you now.
I want to go out there now and see them.

There are literally hundreds of sentences that you can make up!


These six letters make more three letter words than any other combination.
These letters are S, A, I, N, T, P

# Ask children to tap out as many three letter words as they can using the deskmat buttons.
Examples: pat, sat, pan, tan, pin, sin, tin, nip, sip, tip, nit, pit, sit, nap, sap, tap, asp, pas, spa
Others: in, it, is, at, an, pant, pain, past, spin, span, saint, paint,

# On the reverse side of the mat show the child the numbers from 1 - 100.
# Point out that numbers follow one after the other in sequence, 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, ...
# Initially, demonstrate touching each 'button' as you count from 1 - 5.
# Then move onto 1 - 10, 1 - 20, etc to 100.

Touching and counting together is a skill known as 1 - 1 matching. It is important for both understanding numbers and for reading one word at a time according to the words on a page.

Magic Words Certificate

The first word that a child generally learns to read is their own name. Since early childhood children may have seen their name written hundreds of times on their back-packs, clothes, books, bedroom door, pre-school paintings, locker and lunch boxes. Children can often begin school recognising other family members names, "Mum", "Dad" and words in their environment such as "stop", "walk" and "school".

The certificates can be given at anytime that a child knows the words in a particular color. These certificates should be used to encourage young readers and build confidence. Certificates can be produced from the Magic 100 Words Manual, Magic 200 Words Manual and the Magic 300 Words Manual for the words in each colored level - 12 Golden Words, Red Words, Blue Words, Green Words, Orange Words, Indigo Words, Violet Words, Magic 100 Words; Pink Words, Purple Words, Aqua Words, Lemon Words, Lime Words, Magic 200 Words; Pearl Words, Ruby Words, Sapphire Words, Jade Words, Amber Words, Magic 300 Words.

Remember that the Magic Words certificates are given as soon as a child can recognise the words (they do not have to know how to spell and write them). Also, real reading requires children to read words across all of the Magic Words color levels.

Example: I like..., I can..., Look at..., Here is..., This is a...

Always allow children ample opportunity to play games with the Magic Words Playing Cards by matching the words to the book the child is reading.

Replacement Magic Words Playing Cards

FREE offer to replace any of your missing or damaged Magic Words Playing Cards, simply:

1. Sort out your Magic Words Playing Cards to determine if there are any missing or damaged cards.

2. Mail, fax or email us a list of missing cards.

3. We will REPLACE any missing or damaged cards FREE OF CHARGE subject to * Terms and Conditions.

* TERMS AND CONDITIONS - Please note that cards will be replaced subject to availability and discretion of Magic Words International - whole sets will not be replaced, ie, Golden Words, Red Words etc.

37 Dependable Rimes

ack ail ain ake ale ame an ank ap ash at ate aw ay

eat ell est

ice ick ide ight ill in ine ing ink ip it

ock oke op ore ot

uck ug ump unk

Source:Wylie & Durrell 1970

Rime Example Words

-ay jay say pay day play
-ug rug bug hug dug tug
-ill hill Bill will fill spill
-op mop cop pop top hop
-ip ship dip tip skip trip
-in pin tin win chin thin
-at cat fat bat rat sat
-an pan man ran tan Dan
-am ham jam dam ram Sam
-est best nest pest rest test
-ag bag rag tag wag sag
-ink pink sink rink link drink
-ack back sack Jack black track
-ow low slow grow show snow
-ank bank sank tank blank
-ew new few chew grew blew
-ick Dick sick pick quick
-ore more sore tore store score
-ell bell sell fell tell yell
-ed bed red fed led Ted
-ot pot not hot dot got
-ab cab dab jab lab crab
-ing ring sing king wing thing
-ob cob job rob Bob knob
-ap cap map tap clap trap
-ock sock rock lock dock block
-unk sunk junk bunk flunk skunk
-ake cake lake make take brake
-ail pail jail nail sail tail
-ine line nine pine fine shine
-ain rain pain chain plain
-ight knight light right night fight
-eed feed seed weed need freed
-im swim him kim rim brim
-y my by dry try fly
-uck duck luck suck truck buck
-out pout trout scout shout spout
-um gum bum hum drum plum