Here's a fun math card game for ages 8 and up. If your child is
younger and knows his math facts, he can join in the fun. Albert's
Insomnia is a deck of 48 cards with green, yellow, and blue backs.
The cards are numbered from one to twelve, and there are four cards
of each number. It's as quick to learn as it is to play. Deal out
four cards in a row, face up. Two cards need to be yellow-backed.
Players take turns thinking of an equation for each of the consecutive
counting numbers/positive integers (1, 2, 3, 4, etc.), using any
combination of the four basic operations and at least two of the
cards and no cards more than once per turn. Parentheses may be
used in the equation to control the order of operation.
Thus, if cards with a 2, 5, 11, and 10 are dealt, the first player
could say, "11 - 10 = 1," the second player could say "10/5
= 2," and so on until the next person cannot think of an equation.
When this happens, the last player that came up with an equation
gets to take the cards, another hand is dealt out, and play begins
again. The winner is the player with the most cards at the end
of the game.
Incidentally, the four color backs indicate the different numbers
on the face of the cards: yellow is for numbers 1 through 4, blue
is for numbers 5 through 8, and green is for numbers 9 through
12. You can see why it is important to have two yellow cards dealt
out for each hand. The instruction sheet enumerates several variations
of play depending on the number of players (solitaire and team
play) and the level of difficulty with the use of a timer.
My girls, ages 10 and 12, love this game! They say it makes them
think. By writing down their equations instead of saying them out
loud, they were able to play quietly at their brother's piano lesson.
You can play by yourself, it is portable, and it is good-for-you-fun.