The Five Finger Game: how to find that just right book

The Five Finger Game

Your child is excited to pick out his or her own books at the library.  Yea!  Choosing books to read is so much fun, but there are so many to choose from.  How can you help find great new books to read that are not too easy or too hard for your child to enjoy?  We suggest playing the Five Finger game to find the book that’s just right.  When your child has a book he might like in his hands, ask him to play the Five Finger game with you. 

Here’s how you play:

  • To begin, ask your child to open the book to any page.
  • Next, have him read the page.
  • While reading, have your child put up one finger for each word he or she doesn’t know.
  • Then count the fingers.

Goldilocks and the Three Bears

Remember the fairytale Goldilocks and the Three Bears*?  What…you don’t? Go watch this classic fairytale through our Bookflix service and come back. We’ll wait for you.  Just like Goldilocks, who found things in the Bears’ house that were just right, you’re looking for your child’s just right book. 

How many fingers did you count?

  • If your child put up 0-1 fingers, the book is too easy for him.
  • The book is just right if he or she put up 2-3 fingers.
  • If you counted 4-5 fingers, the book is a little too hard for him to read on his own right now.  Maybe you can read it with him.  (hint, hint) 🙂 

The Five Fingers method of selecting reading level appropriate books is well known and used by educators and librarians the world over. We hope it helps you make book selection and reading even more fun for your child.

*Just in case you’d like to read the story with your family, here’s a link to all the Goldilocks and the Three Bears items in our collection.