I love to incorporate games into learning, and Math Sprint–The Mental Math Game by Byron's Games is a super fun way to add math facts practice to our school day. Math isn't a subject that any of my children would call fun, but they did really enjoy this game. The challenge and competition were great for my son, and anything that makes learning math facts fun gets a thumbs up from me!
This colorful game comes with the following:
- Instructions booklet with very simple and clear instructions.
- Game board with running track
- 258 game cards - 92 addition/subtraction cards, 106 multiplication/division cards, 30 wild cards, and 30 challenge cards
- 10 dry-erase cards
- 1 dry-erase marker with built-in eraser
- 8 colorful plastic game pieces shaped as runners
The gameplay for Math Sprint is super simple and setup is quick and easy.
After setting up the game board, each player chooses a plastic runner as their game piece. Each runner has its own identity, which the kids really enjoyed. I loved that it added another level of thinking and interest to what could otherwise have been just a boring plastic runner.
Before adding the game pieces to the board, you'll need to decide which race you'd like to run. There are three options available:
- 100m dash – for a shorter game or younger players
- 200m dash – for a little longer game or intermediate players
- 400m dash – for longest game time or advanced players
Place the game pieces on the board at the start line for the race you've chosen. All of the players can run the same race, or some can run one race length while others run a different one. This is great when you have a mix of ages or skill levels playing together. More advanced players can play the longer race, while less skilled players can run the shorter race. For each player's turn, the player will choose a card and read the math fact aloud. Other players attempt to answer correctly so that they can move their player two spaces forward. The first player to reach the finish line wins!
Along the way, there are fun little physical movement breaks such as arm circles, jumping jacks, and hopping on one foot.
Also mixed into the cards are the coach tips and challenge cards (if you choose to use them) that add a little spin to regular gameplay.
Some Coach Tip cards have simple instructions for moving forward or backward a certain number of spaces, while others have more in-depth information that should be read aloud. These are tips and extras that can help improve math skills.
The Challenge Cards are a mix of more advanced addition and subtraction problems as well as story and word problems.
What We Liked
I loved that the game is super easy to modify. The game instructions say to "shout out" the answer, but that didn't work well for us. My son, who is younger and slower at his math facts, was unable to get the answer out in time. I felt it was more important to practice the math facts without frustration than declare a winner, so we used the dry-erase cards included with the game to write down our answers. The kids would then show their answers all at the same time. This worked really well for us.
I also like that there are a few movement breaks. The game involves a fair amount of thinking and brainpower, so having those little brain breaks incorporated into the game was nice for my son.
The game allows for play with all 258 cards, or you can pick and choose the deck that you play with. During our first game, we just used the entire deck. That was difficult for my son. In subsequent games, I took out the challenge and multiplication/division cards. That one ended up being too easy for my older child. I finally landed on using one deck for one child and one deck for another. That worked out best of all, so that's how we've been playing. That may not be feasible for larger groups, but there is a lot of room for customizing the game to suit a variety of needs.
This game is a super easy, fun way to incorporate math facts practice into our day. WIN!