The inference skills children need to understand stories told to them by an adult will later be fundamental to understanding texts they read themselves. This means that getting children used to making inferences before they begin school can be a good way to prepare them to succeed in understanding texts at school.
Figure it Out is specially designed to stimulate children’s ability to make inferences. The Question cards require that children make inferences in two ways. The first and easier type of inference is made by listening to questions and observing the situations illustrated on the game board; these are the cards marked with the magnifying glass. The second, more challenging type of inference involves listening to a situation and imagining an outcome based on the situations depicted on the game board; these cards are identified with a lightbulb.
In all these types of inference, children must clearly understand the questions asked. More difficult questions require a higher-level understanding of the subtleties of language, since children cannot base their understanding and answers wholly on the visual information on the game board.
The path travelled on the board when playing Figure it Out also presents situations that commonly occur in a park, which makes the game more interesting and easier to understand for children. Children can easily draw on first-hand knowledge to make the necessary inferences.