Please note that we were asked to review PLYT and were sent the game free of charge in exchange for this post
I’ve written before, and share often on my Instagram stories, that we are fans of board games in our little family. Board games take me back to my own childhood of playing games with my parents, and being keen to beat them!. I find that a game is a really great way to get the five of us together for a short time, to reconnect in a busy week and just enjoy a bit of time together.
It’s even better when the games have an educational slant to them too. I wrote at the start of the academic year that I was going to take maths right back to basics with Daniel as he was struggling and getting frustrated with things. We have changed the plans for maths with Daniel – instead of following one curriculum we are working through a range of workbooks and, once I am confident that he has mastered the basics and that he is secure in his knowledge, we may revisit the curriculum we were using or we may look for something else.
Emma loves maths and is much more confident in her abilities, and doesn’t get frustrated if she makes errors. She enjoys the process of learning maths and developing that skill. I was therefore excited when the team at PLYT asked us if we would like to take a look at their board game. It felt like it be the perfect thing to help both the children gain confidence in their mathematical ability, as well as consolidate their knowledge,
I’ll admit the concept intrigued me – it’s billed as being a flexible game with no right or wrong way to play. It is a game that enables the players to play at their own level whilst ensuring all are challenged.
We got the game out a week or two ago and I had a quick read of the instructions and we decided that the children would play by adding their dice together and I would play by multiplying mine by nine. The game can seem a little slow to get going the first time you play, but as the children were growing in confidence we introduced more dice to the game which then rewards them with moving an extra four spaces – when they realised this they were keen to use more and more dice – which in turn means more and more addition.
In essence, you have a black ‘master’ die and five red dice. The player decides on what their sum will be, so do they add the numbers on the dice together, do they multiply the dice, do they throw the master and multiply the number by 8? You can also choose the number of dice you want to use. At it’s most basic you have the master and another dice, or you can choose to start with three. So for Damian he multiples the three dice – a challenge at times!
PLYT is a really interesting game and actually quite a simple idea that works incredibly effectively. We are able to play it together, all five of us, and each of us is challenged. For Daniel, we are pushing him to start multiplying the dice or choosing one of his tables to work on. With Emma, we are still concentrating on consolidating her addition and number bonds. For Harry, it’s all about number recognition and counting out the spaces to move his counter.
There are also PLYT spaces, which when you land on them you take a card which can then instruct you to move up or down, forwards or backwards and adds a fun chance element to the game too.
I’ve played this a number of times with the children now and Daniel is getting much much quicker at his sums and Emma is gaining confidence in calculating the answers without our help. Harry is just happy to be involved and after a few rounds he is able to recall the numbers in order and can count the spaces to move his counter (as long as he isn’t distracted!)
PLYT is a really fun family game and after a month of playing it, we are really noticing an improvement in the children’s maths – and it definitely provides a mental maths workout for me when they have me multiplying all the dice together!