Mini Mountain

Kay Emerson
Zillio Games
www.zilliogames.com

1270 Westwood St
Redwood City, 94061
650-260-2276

Multiplication, subtraction, addition, and even division can be taught and reinforced with this fun interactive game. There are a variety of games to play on the Mini Mountain, and they are appropriate for teaching all levels of math. From simple games that teach consecutive numbers to more advanced multiplication and division, everyone can use the mountain.

The Mini Mountain is a circular, rotating structure of 12 colorful staircases that gives a visual picture of multiplication families and number lines. Each staircase represents one of the number families from 1-12. Each step on the staircase then represents one of the numbers. The height of the step shows its relation to other numbers in that multiplication family. At the top of the tower is a treasure trove with a lid. This is a handy place to keep awards, clues, or the three dice that come with the game.

Included with the Mini Mountain are 12 colorful foam number cards with tokens numbered 0-65. On their own, these can be useful in teach counting, multiples, or sequencing. A game booklet is also included with detailed instructions for the many games you can play. There is a chart in the back of the book that lists the games and what type of math they supplement. And there are also ideas for fun imaginary things you can "win" at the end of the games.

Twenty-one different games are described in the instruction booklet. There are games for younger children that teach number order, simple addition, and the commutative property. There are games that focus on the multiplication facts and ratios. There is a section of "bottom up" games, where the tokens are used to travel up each staircase. Finally, there is a miscellaneous section that includes such games as "Mother, May I" and "Sunken Treasures." Each game gives an objective, age recommendations, and detailed setup and play instructions.

I found this to be a very helpful, highly visual math supplement. When my older child was able to visibly see the pattern of a multiple family, I saw a marked improvement in his math work. My younger child made great improvement with her counting and addition facts from just one afternoon of playing games on the mountain. And my children really enjoyed playing these creative games. There are a lot of foam tokens included, but they store nicely in the foam cards. The Mini Mountain is not a small game; it measures 18" in diameter and is 8" high, and it does not compact at all for storage. But overall, I found this to be a great supplement to our math curriculum.

Product review by Charlotte Gochnauer, The Old Schoolhouse® Magazine, LLC, October 2009