SimplyFun sent us Expanders to review. We really love playing games together as a whole family, so we were excited to learn how to play it. Expanders is a board game that allows players to find numbers and the connected numbers to add up to their sum.
Expanders comes with plastic tokens, double-sided circuit boards, the mainframe, and a storage bag.
The circuit boards are numbered on one side up to 12 and the other up to 9, so that you can increase the level of challenge. There are 2 blank fillers that can be used to make the board smaller.
You lay the circuit boards into the mainframe to begin play.
Each person has his/her own color: blue, mauve, orange, and purple. Whatever side of the board you use, indicates what color tokens you use.
The first three turns have specific directions or starting rules. Once turn four begins, the rule continues to repeat until there is a winner.
To start, a player must put a token along their color bar. Then for the second action, two tokens have to be put on any two matching numbers along your color bar. Action three is choosing a number and then the numbers (at least one has to be connected) that add up to that number and is limited to using three tokens. In the fourth turn, the player is not limited to any number of tokens and chooses numbers that add up to the sum.
The first person to use all of his/her tokens wins the game.
To start with, Poppa read the rules. Then Poppa and I played a couple of games together with him explaining how to play as we went. Once we understood how it worked, Poppa and Ceesa played. Next up was Jo-Jo and Ceesa. Then Jo-Jo and Poppa. I'm pretty sure Poppa beat us all.
Poppa says, "It is fun trying to figure out how many tokens you can play at one time." Since using all of your tokens is the object of the game, this is the fastest way to win.
Ceesa says, "It is very challenging." When I asked what part was challenging, she says, "The Math." Thinking through the moves and how many token you can use at one time requires strategy.
Jo-Jo says, "I love it because of the math!" :) She is mathematical minded and loves solving puzzles.
I like that it not only encourages children to use their knowledge of addition, but that it prompts children to make a plan for using as many tokens as possible. In one turn, they may run through several different options until they come to the one that would be the most beneficial for them.
We'd recommend this game for those that are learning their addition facts up to 9 or 12. The directions initially take some time to remember, so we kept our instructions handy to refer to as needed.
This would be a great game to play in your homeschool to reinforce single digit addition. The more your children play the game, the faster they would become at addition.
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