Math is one of those subjects you either love or hate, but now you can play the new math game from Sunya Publishing to put those math facts into practice! We were chosen to review Sunya – The Magic and Wonder of Math and Science Multiplying & Dividing.
The game includes a comprehensive Parent/Teacher Guidebook for Sunya Math and Science, Multiplying & Dividing, a deck of sixty number, wild, and sign playing cards, a deck of thirty Sunya math and science fact and riddle cards, and a Sunya Multiplying & Dividing Number Line. This version of Sunya can be played with children as young as age 9, all the way up to adults. 1-5 players can play at the same time, and I would say that it is more fun the more people you can play with!
There are many detailed rules and explanations. There are variations on the main game, and there are also ways that you can play by yourself or in teams. We played individually and did the multiplication version of the regular game.
The general gist of the main game is that a starting number sentence is laid out and then someone deals each player 4 cards each from the playing cards. There is also a draw pile with the unused cards.
During that person’s turn, they attempt to make new number sentences right on top of the existing one. For example using our starting number sentence above, you could look at your hand and maybe see that you have numbers (4 and 8) to play on top that would turn the sentence into 2 x 4 = 8. That’s just one example. Players can make a new number sentence using all whole numbers up to 9×9=81 for this game.
If a player cannot make a number sentence during their turn, they are forced to draw one card at a time until they are able to play their cards to make a new number sentence. This causes players to really sit and think about all of the different number combinations and number sentences that they know. It’s putting math facts into practice to try to win!
Once someone is out of cards, during or just before they make their final number sentence, they yell, “Sunya!” which means empty or void or empty quantity in Sanskrit, the classical and ancient language of India. This is actually linked to the modern English word for zero, and the instruction Guidebook actually explains that, as well as more history about math around the world. Basically, the winner is yelling, “I’m out of cards!”
Once that player wins, the fun isn’t over. The winner then draws a card from the math and science face and riddle cards and gets to ask the other players the riddle or questions. Other players may work together, and the winner can give hints from looking at the answer. If the winning player would rather, she could instead ask a question from The Meaning of Sunya from the back of the Guidebook, or the glossary and parts of a number sentence, or read a quote from the Guidebook and see if the other players can guess who said it. It’s just an extra bit of learning and fun once the main game is over!
We found that the age wasn’t as important to play this game as the knowledge of the math facts was. We played it using multiplication, and my older kids (9 and 11) were totally confused at first! It didn’t occur to them that they actually had a huge variety of math facts and number sentences to choose from when playing. When the initial number sentence was laid out, they seemed to get stuck on using those exact numbers. It took us quite a bit of playing and practice for them to loosen up and feel comfortable with playing the cards in their hands to make new number sentences.
This would be a good way to keep those math skills fresh over the summer or during a holiday break. It would also be good to play on a day where you might not be doing formal math coursework, but want to keep them sharp and thinking. It certainly requires some sharp math skills and some concentration!
There is also a version available for Adding & Subtracting, which I will look into getting for the kids since this version was for difficult for them than I expected.