This spring we had our Spring Conference with our son’s teacher a few weeks ago. He got a glowing report, but she was suggesting to all parents that we get math flash cards for our kids to practice quick addition and subtraction. Getting him to use flash cards is super tough because they aren’t that much fun. I totally get it. I remembered that I had bought a math game that I thought would be good for traveling this summer, and had it stowed in the treat cupboard. I decided to pull it out early so we could practice in a way that is much more fun. The game is called “Math Dice, Jr.” by Think Fun.
The game comes with 5 colored dice, 1 multi-sided die, a game board and 6 tokens (to mark your spot). Everything folds up and fits into the included pouch so you don’t lose all of the bits and pieces. The pouch is smaller than my iphone, so it can fit in a bag or cupboard or drawer. It would be easy to play on an airplane, at a picnic, camping, or at home!
The idea of the game is to be the quickest to create equations with addition and subtraction. They say the game is best for kids 6 and up, and I would say that is about right, unless you under 6-er is pretty good at adding and taking away. As kids get better at the game you can also add multiplication to mix too! The only thing littler kids might find a bit tough is rolling the 5 dice at once. They are kind of big and small hands might struggle a little bit. A cup to help roll or rolling only a couple of them at a time might be the best solutions.
Here is how the game works (and I am using what they list in the instructions and paraphrasing):
The youngest player starts by rolling the big white die. Then they roll all 5 of the colored dice. Using the colored dice, players have to come up with equations that equal the number on the white die by adding or subtracting numbers on the colored dice.
All of the players look at the dice and the first person to yell “Math Dice” gets to be first to show the equation they have come up with. The example used in the instructions uses the numbers above: player one would say 2+3=5, player 2 would say 6-1=5, and player 3 would take the die with 5 on it as it equals 5. Each person moves one space on the board for each die they collect in the round. When all of the pieces have been moved, the next player throws all of the dice and you repeat the steps, trying to get to the next sum. Play continues until someone makes it to the finish first. There are 2 finishes marked on the board. There is a short game and a long game. We found the games last longer with more people playing, but in all, each of our games were between 5-8 minutes, which makes it easy to say yes to a quick game before getting ready for bed or when time is tight.
We all give the game a big thumbs up and have loved playing Math Dice so far. Our son is enjoying practicing his math, while our flash cards collect dust! Last night he worked out 3×3 all on his own too – it was great! This is going to be fantastic to take along on our camping trips this summer for sure and we are going to get a lot of use out of it.
I remembering the game costing around $7.00, so it was well worth the money! Check it out!