Tuesday, September 24, 2013

Making Math Fun

So I wrote this post last week, but I took the pictures and did the final edits today.  Yesterday I had my wisdom teeth removed, so that means this post was finished under the influence of narcotics.  Forgive any randomness you might come across.

Years ago, Josh's brother introduced us to Gamewright games.   They have a large assortment of card games that are great for the whole family to play.  Last Christmas, I picked up a new one, Ka-Ching, on sale at a local store.  Neither of the girls were really ready to play it, so I just put it in the cabinet and forgot about it.

Sierra has had trouble committing her multiplication facts to memory, so I was looking for a way to encourage the process when I remembered we had Ka-Ching in the cabinet.  I got it out and found it was just what I was looking for.

The game is pretty simple to play.  There are money cards and stock cards.  All of the stock cards are laid out, face up, in five columns at the beginning of the game.  Each player is given $20, and the rest of the money is laid out as the bank.  Each player is also given a wild card worth 2 dollars.

Only two people play at a time and on your turn, you either buy one card, or sell two.
Here's where the genius comes in.  Say I want to buy a stock for $6.  I need to know if I have enough money, and also make change at the bank.  In this instance, to buy a $6 stock, the player needed to figure out $10-$6 is $4 and then take an appropriate number of $2 or $1 bills to make change for themselves.  There's a lot of basic addition and subtraction practice here.
But what if I want to sell?  You're allowed to sell two stocks if the colors match (that's where strategy comes in, you can try to block your opponent from buying higher value stocks in the colors they need).  To sell, you have to multiply the values.  So if you have a $6 and a $3 stock, you sell them for $18.  Now you need to multiply, plus add (to get the correct amount of money from the bank).

When there are only two columns of stocks left, each player must play one more turn, then the game is over.  Whoever has the most money wins. 

(she lost, she doesn't much like losing, especially to mom or dad)

I've been tutoring another child who needs to build a stronger addition foundation and work on multiplication.  We always end a session with a math game.  Sierra sits in on the sessions so she gets some extra review too and the kids LOVE it when I get out Ka-Ching.  They'll happily play the other games I give them, but they beg for Ka-Ching and when it's over, they rush to see if they can get in a second game before it's time to leave.

This game is definitely a winner.  I only wish there was an add-on pack with stocks valued up to $10 (and more money cards to accommodate the higher numbers) so we could do a sort of "lower elementary" or "upper elementary" game depending on who was playing.  Soon, I'm going to write up a post of our favorite math games you can play with a regular deck of cards, so check back for that!

**The links above are regular affiliate Amazon links.  I was not asked to, nor compensated for writing this review and we purchased the game with our own money.  Just a great find that I want to share!

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