We like to try to make math fun when we can. For the past couple of weeks the kids have been playing Sunya – The Magic and Wonder of Math and Science Adding & Subtracting, by Sunya Publishing.
I’m lucky, for the most part my children really enjoy math – but that doesn’t mean that they don’t need extra practice with it sometimes for reinforcement. I’m not a big fan of flash cards, and I know my children aren’t – they just don’t learn that way. Sunya is a fun game that’s like a cross between Uno and Boggle Snap.
What did we receive in our package?
- An instruction book
- Sunya number game cards that included a plus, minus, and equals sign (60 in total).
- Fact and riddle cards (30)
- A number line
We dove right into the instruction book so that we could play the game – that’s right, this game isn’t just for kids. The adding and subtracting game is aimed at children from 7 to adult (There’s also Sunya – The Magic and Wonder of Math and Science Multiplying & Dividing which is aimed at people from 9 to adult).
The instruction book includes the basic way to play plus an additional two more advanced forms of play. It also includes copies of the riddle cards at the back. Unfortunately, the instruction book is what currently lets Sunya down (hopefully this will change), I’ll explain more.
The kids really wanted to get started playing when the game arrived in the post! The only problem was that I was having trouble trying to understand the instructions. Tristan and Kallista opened the card decks and started to play on their own while I scratched my head. Every time I thought I understood, then next section would have me more confused. Really, I think Sunya just tried to account for every possibility which made for an over-complicated rule book.
In the end, I think that the way the kids were playing on their own through intuition was pretty much the way to play. Tristan is 8 and Kallista turned 6 during this review and with the basic rules both of them had fun.
The basic game (as I understand it) is that 4 cards are given out to each player. (One thing I like is that Sunya suggests that players can see each others’ cards in order for players to help each other-good for younger or beginning players).
Then the dealer creates an equation using either the plus or minus sign.
A player picks up a card and sees if they can make a new equation over the one already on the table. The catch is that you can’t lay a card of the same number on top of each other.
If you don’t have an equation in your hand, then you keep picking up cards until you can lay something down. When you have 8 cards you have the choice to exchange some of them.
The first player to get rid of all their cards, is the winner. But to properly win, they must say, “Sunya!” as they place their last card down.
Then the winner asks the other players a question or riddle, such as “You are visiting a friend whose one story h ome is made entirely of redwood. What color are the stairs?”
Answer: There are no stairs, the home is one story! Tristan’s very goo at questions like this 😉
The basic game must be learned first before moving on to the upper levels, in which the single digit cards can also be used as double-digits.
Included in the instruction book are additional Math Activities For Young Children. These are very simple activities that can be done using the Sunya cards. If a child can play the card game then they will find these activities too easy; but they could work well for younger siblings.
The children played Sunya a few times a week, in the house, outdoors, at the library, as well as in the dentist’s office reception room while I had an appointment.
Will we continue to use Sunya? Yes, we will. The children enjoy it and I’m sure before long the kids will move on to the more advanced games. It doesn’t take long to play, and it’s easy for throwing in a backpack to take on the move. Even Phil got in and enjoyed playing, which makes this game a keeper for us (although we may adjust the rules to suit the kids).