Math(s) games

A discussion on FB about literacy led on to numeracy, and I thought I’d put them in a blog post for ease. 

First up I must confess that I love math. I also love math with an s, too. I just dig numbers and all the cool things you can do with them. 

Numbers don’t scare me or phase me (but worksheets do). I’m confident enough that should I ever need to up my math game I could buckle down and do the work. This is the attitude I would like pass on to Nomi and Zoey: confident with numbers and maths, and if they need to up their game for pursuing an interest/job/survival-in-a-post-apocalyptic-world they can do the work to get there. (Heck that goes for everything else as well. Self directed learners FTW!) 

I noticed with N and Z that they had more of an interest in numbers and counting, than in letters and words. So we play board games with dice, cards and dominos. Lots of counting and number recogniztion. It all came slowly and naturally without being forced or smothered. 

I’ve seen Sum Swamp being recommended on various blogs, and it’s a great game. You have three dice (two number and one operations) and they make a simple sum with every throw. We love it. We had to tweak the rules to make it work for us. One of my daughters is rather competitive and is not happy when the tide turns against her in a game. 

We put “term limits” for how long you could get stuck waiting to throw an odd or even number (three goes) before moving regardless, and the Endless Loop can be a hot mess. For the Endless Loop we limited it to a maximum of three loops round before the exit activates, and EVERYONE can leave.

After we’d been playing Sum Swamp for a bit a friend shared on Twitter this blog post by Denise Gaskin. Love it. Ran out and got multiple packs of cards to make Math Cards for us all. 

I went on to read Denise’s Maths You Can Play: Counting & Number Bonds, Addition & Subtract book (super quick and brilliant read) and I have her next book on Multiplication & Fractions ready for when we get there. 

We are slowly working through all the different math games in her book, but we always come back to Math War, and Math War Addition (only with cards numbered 1-5 at this point). It’s simple, fast and fun. You can play it anywhere. 

Zeus on the Loose is another great game, and thanks to Denise we’ve tweaked to work for us. It’s a card game where you are trying to hit 100 and have ownership of Zeus by playing number cards & special god cards (google it if that made no sense). Easiest way to keep track of the total is by using a 1-100 board, and buttons. We also keep our hands open in front of us rather than hidden. 

So this is how we are playing maths at the moment, and I plan on getting Prime Climb in a year or so as that is another game I’ve heard great things about. 

What are your favorite (math) games? 

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