My son enjoyed it a lot playing the card game 24 with me. I found it a fun game to improve his basic math calculation skills at his age.
For those who don’t know the game: it’s a simple game using an ordinary deck of playing cards. Remove all the face cards. Aces have the value 1. Deal 4 cards randomly at a time. The goal is to get the number 24 by applying addition, subtraction, multiplication and division to the face values of the 4 cards. Multiple players can play at the same time. Whoever can achieve the goal first wins the hand. Note sometimes it’s possible you cannot achieve the goal with a specific hand. In that case, just ignore the hand and proceed to the next one. After a deck is exhausted, the one who wins the most hands is the champion.
For example, here is an hand of 4 cards: 2, 2, 3, 3
(2+2) * (3+3) = 24 is a good solution for the hand.
There is a more specialized game kit. Honestly I don’t think it’s necessary. After all, with a deck of playing cards, you can decide to teach your little ones 21 after they play 24 – well, that’s your call.
As far as math is concerned, my son got familiarized with basic addition, subtraction, multiplication and division fairly fast by playing the 24 game. I think it’s much better than letting him do math addition or multiplication problem set worksheets.
In the next couple of articles, I will explore a little more on how I taught my son some basic math concepts through the game 24.