Summer Game #1: War!

We have three boys and a girl. My three boys tend to be very competitive, to say the least. We have regular arm wrestling matches, foot races, and dare I even admit, distance spitting. So, if you were to ask them which math card game they enjoy most, they yell WAR!

While the Math Card Games book has quite a few varieties of war games, today I am going to talk about Addition War, game A44. However, you may also want to check the book out for instructions of the other varieties.

The objective of this war game is to help your children learn and reinforce their addition facts. You will use 40 random cards from the Basic Card deck. You can choose to include or exclude the zeros.

The game is designed to be played by two players. However, we have had up to four players play, although then we would include ALL the cards from the card deck. Let me tell you how to play the game based on two players. You can adapt the game then if you like.

Shuffle the cards and deal them face down evenly between the players. The players do not look at their cards prior to playing each hand.

Each player turns over two cards from the deck face up. Then each player says their math fact aloud, along with the solution. For example, if a player turns up the cards 5 and 2, the player will say, “5 plus 2 equals 7.”

After everyone has stated and solved their equation, the player with the highest sum wins all the cards.

If the players have the same sum, then everyone shouts “WAR!” Of course, my kids yelled it while pumping their fists in the air. At that point, each player places two extra cards face down, then takes two more cards face up on top of those cards. Again, the players say their equations. Whoever has the highest sum now gets all of the cards.

One time I had my oldest, Brady, playing the game with my youngest, Parker, who was three-years old at the time. Parker had absolutely no idea what the equations were, so Brady solved the equations for him. Parker kept turning over his two cards, winning hand after hand after hand. After about five minutes of this, we were all laughing hysterically, rolling on the floor.

To make the game more lively for the active or ADHD child, add some physical action to the game. Assign a specific event to go along with a number. For example, when the five card appears, the child has to do five jumping jacks. When they see an eight cards, they have to do a cartwheel or flip flop. Have your child help choose the the card number and related activity!

And who said math isn’t fun?

If you have enjoyed learning about this game, check out the other math card games on our blog page.

If you have a favorite game that you enjoy playing or if you would like to request a specific game to be included in this blog series, please comment below. We would love to hear from you!

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