3 Details About The Fidget Game From Shark Tank

Reading is a critical skill for kids to learn early on, but it can be tricky to teach without the right tools for the job. The Fidget Game arms kids with what they need to take on these challenges all while going against traditional methods. 

The game, made for kids from pre-K to third grade, employs multisensory techniques to teach children how to spell and read. The gameplay is relatively straightforward — the players are given a bubbled fidget mat and a series of cards based on their grade level. The user then picks a card, reads the word on it, and rolls their dice. However many numbers come up on the dice will be how many bubbles the player gets to pop. The player who pops all their bubbles first wins. The game includes over 200 commonly used words, allowing kids to build crucial foundational skills in pronunciation and spelling in a fun, engaging manner. 

With a mission to create equal access to reading and literacy resources, The Fidget Game is looking to make its mark within the educational space. It may just get that opportunity, as the company is set to be featured on this Friday's Season 15 episode of "Shark Tank," where it has the chance of walking away with a lucrative investment. Now, it's time we spell out all there is to know about The Fidget Game and its founder. 

The Fidget Game came out of personal experience

The founder behind The Fidget Game certainly knows her way around the teaching space. With a Master's Degree in education from the University of Windsor, Brandi Dugal's passion for teaching has taken her all over the world. For over six years, she taught in countries such as Indonesia, Canada, Thailand, Vietnam, Bahrain, and the United States, focusing on classes ranging from pre-K to sixth grade. 

During her final year of teaching, Dugal had a class where the majority of her students were reading below their grade level. She heavily researched outside-the-box methods that would prove effective, which led to her discovering the power of multisensory teaching. Dugal soon realized the potential this technique has for struggling parents everywhere, saying in an interview with Benzinga, "As an educator, I saw firsthand how difficult and stressful it was for children to learn how to read. I wanted to find a way to make learning fun and less stressful for them, so I created The Fidget Game." 

Her motivation for creating the game went beyond educating kids — it was also about creating a fun way for them to learn that would excite them. "Children should be able to learn important skills in a fun and engaging way, and board games can help them do just that," Dugal continued in her Benzinga interview. "I hope these games can make a difference in the lives of children with all different abilities and help them become confident and successful readers."

The game already has a high success rate

While relatively new to the market, The Fidget Game has been making its mark with students and educators alike. Proven success will be crucial for Brandi Dugal's educational game company as she enters the "Shark Tank," where the show's panel of money-hungry investors will want proof of its viability in the market.

The game was initially created to aid Dugal's struggling students, who were largely reading below their typical age range. It made a significant difference, as 95% of the class were meeting or exceeding their reading requirements within six months of regularly playing The Fidget Game. Currently, the game is being used at over 50,000 schools in the United States, alongside untold numbers of families that use it at home.  

The team itself has grown to include 100 teachers and reading specialists. They remain dedicated to keeping The Fidget Game a fun experience while continuing their research on how to enhance the game's educational aspects.

Shark Tank will mark a first for The Fidget Game's founder

The Fidget Game founder Brandi Dugal may have worldwide experience as a teacher, but running a company is a new venture for the passionate creator. In fact, her upcoming appearance on "Shark Tank" will mark a first for the educator-turned-entrepreneur as she continues to advance her business journey. 

In a recent Instagram video, Dugal broke the news of her "Shark Tank" segment and shared that being on the show was her first time pitching The Fidget Game in any capacity. "So the exciting news is ... this Friday at 8/7 central on ABC, we will be on 'Shark Tank' so you can tune in and watch me do my first business pitch ever. I have never pitched in my life," she said. "I was a teacher for six years, it was way out of my comfort zone ... I'm excited, I'm nervous, more excited than nervous." Hopefully, her excitement indicates that a deal was made with one of the sharks. 

Impressing the celebrity investors on "Shark Tank" is a tall task but The Fidget Game has a fair shot at success. Given the team's earnest mission and commitment to research, it is likely that the sharks will find merit within the company. Regardless of the outcome, The Fidget Game has already proven it's a success at getting kids more comfortable with reading.