I’ve said it before that math is not anyone’s favorite around here. I can’t say that I blame them. It’s not mine either. But I can say for certain that one way that learning math can be exponentially easier to learn is by knowing your times tables really well. When you can rattle off your math facts 7, 14, 21, 28, 35…..really quickly, it eliminates a lot of the figuring out of the math problems. And when math takes less time to finish, everyone is happier.
Here’s the problem with learning your times tables really well though…flash cards stink.
I pull out the flash cards and cue the tears. I’ve tried to make them fun. I’ve made games out of doing flash cards. But the kids see through my tricks and still cry. Every. Single. Time.
I received HoliMaths game in exchange for compensation of my time and an honest review. As always, opinions are all mine 🙂
So, imagine my wonder when HoliMaths X basically took problem cards with loads of colors, times tables “cheat sheets” and happy little Spanish-speaking smiley faces for wild cards, and my kids were laughing through a game where they are actually learning their times tables. And learning their times tables really really well.
Our interest in HoliMaths X was instantly piqued when we received a box with all sorts of interesting labels and Spanish words all the way from Chile. My immediate feeling when I opened the box was a bit of a deer-in-the-headlights feeling when the entire thing–including the game instructions were written in Spanish–no Español, y’all.
But I quickly learned that this growing company–created by a wonderfully, innovative family in Chile, provides not only downloadable English instructions on their website, but they also provide videos of the many ways to play this awesome game. They’re also working on releasing instructions that will be available in 5 different languages (English, Spanish – Brazilian Portuguese – French and German) in the coming months.
Learning your times tables without crying
Here’s what you need to know about the game.
To make it more digestible for developing mathematicians, HoliMaths X is split into two different boxes–the first one covers times tables 1-6 and the second covers 7-12. This is great for us because my 8-year-old is still very much in the 1-6 stage and I think having all those facts included in the game would be overwhelming for her.
When you get your box of HoliMaths X, it will look like this.
The cool thing is that each different family of facts is color coded. Blue for the 9’s facts, green for the 12’s and so on. The other thing I thought was really cool was the times table “cheat sheet” they provide–one for each player. Part of what’s frustrating about flash cards is that if you don’t know the answer, you could sit….and sit….and sit on a problem for what feels like forever, getting more and more frustrated by the second. Having a times table chart to fall back on gave my kids confidence–like a back-up helper if they couldn’t find the answer super quickly. I found that the more we played, the less they were looking at the chart, which was really encouraging!
How to play your family math game
For us, I’ve found that when new games take a ton of time to figure out, my kids lose interest pretty fast. They have a low level of patience–where would that get that from?? I was so relieved to see that this game was fast-paced and easily learned. As we got into the game, it felt a little like Go Fish to us–but with math facts. Which was surprisingly really fun–and almost addicting to play.
There’s actually ten ways to play this game. We stuck with the original, because I didn’t want to press my luck and spoil a good thing, but I know as we play it more, we’ll branch out into the other versions. Here’s the full list of ways to play. You can check out videos for each one on the website.
- Fast Expert
- Alert Expert
Depending on the amount of players you have, that’s how many times tables you use in the game. So, for two players, you would use two tables–say all the 3’s and all the 6’s or whatever you choose. I found that choosing one family that they knew really well with one family they needed to work on a bit worked really well, because at least 1/2 of the facts they were super fast at answering. Everyone is dealt problem cards and answer cards and make matches with what they could. They would then take turns drawing from the problem card and the answer card piles trying to make matches with their cards. It’s important that they say out loud when they get a match.
2 times 7 is 14!!
3 times 5 is 15!!!
The game can be more complex by using the symbols on the cards with the symbol’s point value and add up your points at the end of the game.
Carefully curated family game
I love when people see a problem and seek out ways to solve it. HoliMaths X was a created by a thoughtful and very innovative family that wanted to teach their children their math facts in a more fun way. They started in their living room with handmade paper cards and have grown into a multicultural company.
They’ve played this game for 1000’s of hours with hundreds of test groups and they care about your kids’ education.
The HoliPlay company values entertainment, teaching, flexibility, and teamwork.
And as an extra perk of reviewing their product, they’re offering a a giveaway of HoliMaths X for you! (And don’t worry, if you are dying to purchase the game today, go ahead and if you’re chosen as the winner, they’ll refund your money!)