Monday, February 10, 2014

Kalah: Our New Favourite Math Game!

I have mentioned before that we learn a new math game every Monday and continue to play it throughout the week as much as we please. This week's game was once again from Peggy Kaye's excellent Games for Math.

Unlike many of the other games we've played, winning Kalah relies on strategy, not luck. Of course, dice-rolling games can often help even the playing field between Mama and children and make them equally likely to win or lose. Still, I found that this strategy game was simple enough that within three rounds, SA had figured out enough tricks for himself to be as likely to win as I was. This game has many variations (and names!), and after checking it out online, we found we enjoyed this version better than the Games for Math version.

While you can buy wooden boards to play on, Kalah works equally well with an egg carton, beans, and a couple of cups. There are already many places you can find directions online, so I won't repeat them here. I found these directions very clear. Peggy Kaye recommends this game starting in grades two or three, but if you have a child who likes math, they may be ready for it sooner.

If you'd like to try it out in order to get the hang of it before teaching your children, you can find an on-line version here.