Value Game Pack: Home Edition

By Beatrice Brown
Games by Bea
www.mygamevalue.com

PO Box 1773
Shelton, WA 98584-3561
360-432-9075

My children don't like flashcard drills for math. And, truth be told, neither do I--even though I see their value in quick fact recall. But, they're boring! Boring with a capital B! We do like games, though. In fact, we try to incorporate at least one math game into our weekly schedule if at all possible. Imagine my joy upon receiving a math game that utilizes math flashcard drills in a non-boring way!

VALUE is a bingo-style game that reinforces math facts for children from kindergarten all the way through middle school. In the home edition pack, there are eight different VALUE boards, which are very similar to bingo boards. Each column is represented by a different letter (V-A-L-U-E) and a different color. Under each letter are various numbers in the same colors.

Sixteen different decks of flashcards are available for use with the VALUE game boards. Each deck of 55 cards focuses on a different math skill in the areas of identifying numbers, addition and subtraction, multiplication, division, and fractions.

There are five flashcard decks available in Identifying Numbers:

• Dots to show a set
• Numbers 0-10
• Number words zero-ten
• Spanish number words zero-ten
• Numbers before, between, and after

There are four decks available in Addition and Subtraction:

• 0-10 facts horizontally
• 0-10 facts vertically
• 0-10 with missing numbers
• 11-19 facts

There are four decks available in Multiplication:

• 2's and 5's facts
• 3's and 4's facts
• 6's and 7's facts
• 8's, 9's and 10's facts

There are two decks available in Division:

• 2's, 3's, 4's and 5's facts
• 6's, 7's, 8's, 9's and 10's facts

The Fractions deck practices adding and subtracting fractions.

When using one of the decks, mom (or another person) is the caller. She shuffles the deck and draws one card to show the players. The fact on the card is color-coded to the same colors as the VALUE board. The player must figure out the answer for the flashcard and then look in the correctly colored column of his game board to see if the answer is in that column. If so, the player places a marker on the game board. A set of paper punch-out game markers comes with the set. (I chose to use colorful plastic game chips instead simply because I have a stash at my house and they were more "fun." The creator of the game suggests that candy pieces, beans, or buttons could be used.)

A master number chart comes with the set, enabling the caller to keep track of the answers to the flashcards. Just as in the regular game of bingo, the first player to cover five numbers in a row is the winner.

I couldn't believe how much fun my children had with flashcards while playing this game! I am so pleased to finally have something that reinforces math facts in a fun way. Even though it's somewhat competitive since there's a winner in the end, chance allows even the less knowledgeable child to win once in a while. This goes a long way in my house, where too many games are won by my older child simply because she happens to know more.

Just in case you're wondering (because I think about such things), each deck is labeled! So when the two-year-old gets all the decks out at once and dumps them in the floor, you will be able to put each deck back together successfully.

The VALUE boards and flashcard decks are purchased separately. After you purchase the VALUE game pack for home, you will need to choose which flashcard sets you'd like to purchase as well. Buying several sets at once would be a tad pricey, but you might consider it money well spent if you begin seeing math improvements in your children. Another option is to purchase a class set for a co-op type setting. The basic class set of VALUE cards is just a little more expensive than the home set, but the flashcard sets are priced the same. A group of children would love this game just as much as a family!

Product review by Cindy West, The Old Schoolhouse® Magazine, LLC, October 2009