If you’ve been following my blog, then you know we play quite a few games in our home. I chuckle to myself when my daughter reminds me about game night because we play games every day.
I love starting our day with our morning basket, which always includes playing at least one game. It’s a great way to start off, and it’s the rare time when it leads to a bad mood. In fact, when I know one of my kids is starting with a general grumpy mood, or if we find frustration later in the day, a well-chosen game typically helps to turn it around. Being able to learn while playing, is simply an added bonus.
I look for games that I can pull in to help teach and reinforce all subject areas because if we’re having fun, it’s easier to learn.
Today, I’m reviewing the game Clumsy Thief from Melon Rind. It’s a math game!
Players begin by combining two cards to make piles that add up to one hundred dollars. Once a pile is created, the pile can be added to one card at a time, so long as the new card placed on the pile results in a sum of one hundred dollars when added to the previous face card of the stack.
Once each player has created all of the money stacks that he can, the second phase of the game begins. Players attempt to claim or steal piles of money from each other in a free-for-all style of play.
Claiming a pile can be done in one of three ways:
- If you have a card in hand that can be added to the top card of an opponent’s pile with the sum of one hundred dollars, you may take the other player’s stack.
- You may play a thief card to steal a stack, including one that had already been stolen using a thief card.
- A jail card may be played on a stack with a thief card as the top card. The jail card prevents anyone else from taking this stack.
When everyone has played the cards that they can, players draw a new card and play begins again. It can be a very fast and chaotic game.
Game play ends when someone runs out of cards, or when there are not enough cards in the draw pile to permit every player to receive a card.
Players then add up their money. Whoever has the most money at the end wins.
It’s a great game for practicing addition skills. It encourages mastery of being able to at the least add quickly to one hundred in order to be able to get the most money cards.
Now, I’ll admit that we modify the speed of this game depending on who is playing. When we play this, I’m looking for a fun way to master addition skills, so if moving too quickly is going to discourage playing then it’s not serving the purpose.
Sometimes it’s as simple as playing a two-player game with me as one of the players. This way I can slow my game play to give the child I’m playing against time to think. As the fact knowledge flows, I can adjust the speed at which I play.
If it’s a challenge adding the cards up, then we’ll take turns. This gives the child time to focus on adding and remember the game rules without the stress of beating his or her opponent to a stack.
It is an enjoyable game. When played without adjustments it does get crazy and funny.
I would caution those who have children who do not like having things taken from them in any way, that you may either want to adjust or avoid this game.
Clumsy Thief has been an enjoyable addition to our math practice games.
What games does your family enjoy that reinforce math skills?