The Math Fairy loves games! Don’t you? Here are a few things I love about math games in particular:
- You’re doing math but it doesn’t feel like dreary calculations or drill. Even if it’s facts related, it always feels more fun!
- You can chat. The Math Fairy loves to talk so any time she can talk and play at the same time, that’s super fun! Even if you don’t love to talk, you might enjoy listening and that’s fun too.
- You can make new friends. Sometimes if the Math Fairy is feeling a bit awkward with a new, stiff group of students who don’t know each other, we play a game. After a little while, everyone starts to relax, have fun and chat a bit. So, we’re getting to know each other better without having to play one of those annoying “getting to know you” games.
- You can feel smarter when you are finished playing, or even while you’re playing. It’s a fact that when you challenge your brain to work in a new way, your brain will grow new connections and that means it’s getting smarter!
Here are some of the Math Fairy’s current favorite games. You would have to purchase them but maybe someday we’ll get our libraries to have them and we can check them out!
This is the Math Fairy’s current favorite. Once you get the hang of it, it’s so much fun! You have to identify visual patterns. They’re pretty complicated but once someone has explained the basic idea, or you’ve read the directions, you can just start playing. You can play by yourself, like solitaire, or with one, two or more people. I also really like how you don’t have your own “hand” of cards, but rather the cards are laid out on the playing surface and everyone is looking for a SET together. The more you play, the better you’ll get. At the Math Fairy’s school we have a SET club that meets once a week. So fun! Start a club at your school and we’ll challenge you to a match.
The Math Fairy cannot tell a lie…initially the reason she loved this game was because of it’s extreme cuteness! The package is so darling and triangular! The tiles are so smooth and colorful and friendly! But now that we’ve played, I also love this game because it’s fun! It can be a challenge because you have to use multiples and sums at the same time so I would suggest playing in teams of two the first couple times. That’s a great way to learn a new game because you can help each other out. Once you’ve got it figured out, you can continue playing in teams or branch off on your own.
Blokus and Blokus Trigon
These two games are related and both involve placing shapes to cover a board. That sounds simple, but as you’ll see, there are definitely strategies involved. When I’m explaining this game to people I often say that it’s the opposite of Tetras. Instead of trying to place your pieces to that they fit together exactly, you must place your pieces so that they only touch each other on corners. Try either one ~ they’re both fun and they’re both easy to get started. Four people to a game on this one and it’s not really good to play in partners…too crowded!
This is a super fun dice game. Around the Math Fairy’s home you can purchase this game at the local drugstore. It’s portable, inexpensive and fun for ages 6 and up. The basic idea is that you roll two dice to get your sum and then remove the numbered dice that total that sum. Once you’re finished with your turn, any number cubes left count against you. The first person to 150 is the loser. The first time the Math Fairy played she was trounced royally by her aunt and uncle! In her defense, they had played lots and she had not. Just wait until next time…..
This game is very, very similar to Scrabble except with numbers and equations instead of words. Like Sumoku, this is a great game to try for the first few times in teams so that you can get the hang of the rules, the scoring and figure out some of the winning strategies (like adding onto other people’s equations!). Just remember that whatever you put onto the Equate board must be true! For example, you could play: 4 + 5 = 9 = 11 – 2, but you cannot play: 4 + 5 = 9 x 2 = 18 because 4 + 5 does not equal 18!!! All parts of a math sentence must stay true. Give this one a try and stretch your brain!