Isn’t it funny how the majority of people regard themselves as terrible at maths? In reality, we’re probably all a lot more capable than we realise. It’s one of those subjects that’s just a bit dry and difficult to take in. So, playing maths games is a great way to make it more interesting, and sneak in some extra maths practice outside of school. We’ve been trying out some maths games from Orchard Toys. Read on to see how we got on and enter the giveaway to win a bundle of maths games to try out yourself.
The first game we tried out was Mammoth Maths. This focuses on addition and subtraction for 5 to 8 year olds. The thing I’ve loved about all the Orchard Toys maths games is their accessibility to children of different ages. Libby isn’t desperately strong at maths, but she has been doing addition and subtraction for a couple of years. Lia is a couple of years younger and has only recently started subtraction. In Mammoth Maths, there are two styles of counters. The lighter colour has easy sums, whereas the darker colour has more difficult sums. This meant that the girls could play together despite being at very different points in their maths ability.
To play the game, players roll a dice to move around the board. When they land on an addition or subtraction sign, they have to do a sum. When they’ve said the answer, the player can check whether they’re correct using a magic torch viewer. If they get it right, they can hang the sum on their mammoth’s trunk. If a player lands on a feather, they can tickle another player’s mammoth to make it sneeze. That player then loses a sum from their trunk. The winner is the player who makes it back to the cave first with all four sums on their trunk.
First Times Tables
Aimed at 5 to 8 year olds, First Times Tables can be used as both a learning resource as a game. Parents can initially introduce times tables using the number line to explain the concept. My girls have already started learning times tables at school, but need a bit of extra practice so we jumped straight into the game.
The First Times Tables game is based on three stacks of pancakes. Each player spins the spinner to see which times table they’re going to answer a question from. There’s also a setting on the spinner that makes you miss a turn. When you’ve turned the spinner, you grab a pancake from the corresponding pile and do the sum on it. The answer is on the other side and players flip the pancake over with a spatula to see if they were right. A right answer means you can stack the pancake on your plate. To make it easier for Lia, she was allowed to use the number line to work out her answers. Libby had to try to get the answer without the number line. As for me, my spinner landed on “miss a turn” virtually every time I went near it, much to the girls’ delight.
Times Tables Heroes
The final game we tried out was Times Tables Heroes. This is aimed at children aged 6 to 9 years old. I was concerned that Lia wouldn’t manage it because she’s only 5 and isn’t particularly advanced in maths. However, it was actually a really good activity to get her thinking about times tables. Particularly because the game allows you to focus either on all the times tables, or just 2, 5 and 10 to make it a bit easier.
To play the Hero City Board Game, players first put together the board and spinners. Then, choose between the easy spinner that only contains 2, 5 and 10 times tables, or the difficult spinner that contains all of them. A player spins two spinners. Each has a number on it and you have to multiply the two numbers together to get the answer. Answers can be checked on a times table checker that is included. On each turn, a player gets to do a sum and move forward. If they land on a shield square, they get to move an extra space or two, as long as they tell a little story about their super hero character. This seemed a lovely way to incorporate storytelling with maths. For quicker times table recollection, turn the board over and play Multiplication Bingo.
Orchard Toys Unicorn Friends Jigsaw
We were also sent the Unicorn Friends jigsaw which has lovely big pieces and is aimed at children aged 4 and over. When I saw it, I thought it would be a bit basic for Lia, but she actually really enjoyed it and was proud to complete it. As well as the jigsaw itself, the box contains a wall poster with the same picture on and a learning guide with discussion points. It’s a lovely addition to the toy box for any unicorn loving child.
Win a set of Orchard Toys educational games
If you know a little one who would love these games, this is your chance to win one of each. The prize is Mammoth Maths, First Times Tables, Times Tables Heroes and the Unicorn Friends jigsaw. The prize will be provided and sent by Orchard Toys. Please read my competition terms and conditions before entering via the Rafflecopter below.a Rafflecopter giveaway