MathMINDs Games: South of the Sahara
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Academics' Choice Award™ Winner

MathMINDs Games: South of the Sahara

Ages: 7 and up
Price: N.A.
Type: Game
By MIND Research Institute


MathMINDs Games are storybook board games that combine math, history and literacy in a highly connected experience. Through each story, families learn and play a math game as they explore real events from the game's country of origin.

MathMINDs Games: South of the Sahara includes the games Achi, Gulugufe and Fanorana. The South of the Sahara games are based on gameplay and events from Ghana, Mozambique, and Madagascar. Great for groups of 2 to 4 players, the storybook games are available in English and Spanish. Games are accessible to learners at all levels, optimal for ages 7 to 12, and tantalizingly challenging for all. Jump into the story to explore math through games!

Math is from everywhere, in everything, and for everyone.


Review Highlights:

This product goes beyond the usual "math" game. There are 3 different games included. Each one has a story book that gives a story set in South Africa based on historical and cultural information, describes a game played there, and then gives instructions on playing the game. With the setting and story, the practice is a lot more fun, instead of feeling like just an excuse to do more math!

The format of the game is high quality, with 3 separate story books, a game board for each game, and special game pieces for each game. The books themselves are really nice - full color, fun illustrations, interesting story.

Game play is short (10 - 30 minutes), so it's easy to fit in with a math lesson!

The games cover some basic and very important math concepts, including: add 3 single digit numbers, find missing addends, using positive and negative numbers, negation, and comparisons. Students also develop reading and listening skills (especially if you have the players read the story aloud to the group), learn history, and practice game strategy.

I like that the box keeps everything organized, from opening it to cleanup. If you tip the box on its side, everything stays in place. When you open the box, you get the introduction and the first pocket of games. For the first game, side 1 contains a simple African game that is similar to tic-tac-toe, called Achi. When you open the packet, it also contains a storybook, which gives you the history of the game and instructions on how to play. Flip the board, and you have another game to play. The bottom of the box contains the wooden game pieces that are stored in bags. We loved working on our math skills and strategy with these games. We have played the two stages of Achi several times this week. The second set is called Gulugufe and the third is called Fanorona. Each of them is a game from Africa and all of the storybooks contain a brief history about the games' origin. Each level gets harder as you work through them. My daughter, who is usually hesitant to play math games, has been asking to play Achi against me or her older brother each morning, so it's a solid win in my book. The game components are also top quality.

The quality of the wood pieces are excellent. The game boards are sturdy and the storybooks are nice. The art is great.

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