Thursday, May 26, 2016

Sunya Publishing Review

Schooling tends to be a bit relaxed around here. I'm a firm believer that little ones learn best through play. That doesn't mean that we don't do any book work, but that we incorporate fun and hands-on learning often in our days. Games are an easy way to combine learning with fun. So when we had the opportunity to try out a brand new game from Sunya Publishing, I knew my little ones would be happy to play.

Sunya - The Magic and Wonder of Math and Science Adding & Subtracting (they also sell a multiplication & division version) is a card game for ages 7 and older. Players take turns making math facts. There are two different games that are played similarly, one for addition and one for subtraction.  

The game includes the following:
  • Parent/Teacher Guide Book
  • 60 Adding & Subtracting Playing Cards
  • 30 Math & Science Fact and Riddle Cards
  • Adding & Subtracting Number Line
This is such a new product that it's still in development. The Schoolhouse Review Crew was given the special privilege of testing it out. Because of this, there might be some kinks that need to be worked out.

The game itself is simple to play, but the directions are rather wordy. Some parts took me a few reads before I figured out the rules. I'm hoping they simplify the wording before going to print, because the game really is a good one. 

A number sentence (either addition or subtraction) is placed in the middle of the table. Each player begins with 5 cards (after being dealt 4 and drawing 1). He then makes a new number sentence using just the cards in his hand or a combination of those and the cards on the table.

For instance, if the sentence on the table reads 4 + 3 = 7, a player can place cards (2, 5) directly on those to create a new fact such as 2 + 5 = 7 or he could change it altogether, such as 6 + 3 = 9.

If a player does not have a play in hand, he draws one card at a time until he can play. There are also rule about reverse plays, wild cards, exchanging cards, the 0 and 1 rule, and an optional rule for blocking. If anyone needs help solving an equation, he can use the included number line card.   

The game proceeds until someone plays all of his cards in the number sentence. Sunya is a word from Sanskit, meaning empty or void of any quantity. In the game, the first person to play his last card declares, "Sunya!" and wins.

The winner then gets to draw a math & science fact and riddle card from the pile to read to the other players. The cards are filled with things like "How is the moon like a dollar?" and "What is a googolplex?"

The three older kids (10, 8, 6) and I have been playing Sunya. Since the main objective of the game is to strengthen your math skills, helping each other make sentences is encouraged. The kids like this part because it means that it doesn't matter if the other players see your cards. In other words, they don't have to try to juggle all their cards in their little hands without anyone else seeing what numbers they have. The riddle and fact cards have been a big hit too, as our whole family loves solving things like that. There have been lots of laughs as we play the game and many "please, can we play one more time?" In fact, we've been having so much fun that one of them said, "Wait, that was school?" I'm always happy when they're enjoying learning.

The guide book lists a couple other variations of the game, but we haven't tried them just yet. They both start with the basic game, but then get more difficult as more rules are added. The book also gives some suggestions for math activities using the number cards to be used with younger children. 

Our family has enjoyed this game. If you're looking for a simple game to encourage math abilities, you'll want to keep up with the news from the new company, Sunya Publishing.

If you'd like to read more reviews of this product or of the Multiplication & Division Game, please head to the Schoolhouse Review Crew blog.

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