Around our house I can easily tell how much a game is loved by the condition of the box. As you can see in the photo, our Sum Swamp game is being held together with duct tape! I can’t even begin to count how many times my husband and I played this gem of a game with our children when they were younger. I am actually convinced that my youngest child memorized many of his addition and subtraction facts while playing Sum Swamp. My youngest would ask to play Sum Swamp at least once a day!
Sum Swamp teaches addition and subtraction facts in the context of a fun game. The game also teaches about odd and even numbers. Sum Swamp is appropriate for preschoolers who can be trusted to not put small objects in their mouths up to about 2nd graders. Having said that, our almost 9 year old son still loves to play even though he has progressed way beyond the math required to play the game.
On each turn, a player rolls two dice numbered 1-6. A third die is also rolled which indicates whether the player should add or subtract the two numbers. So, for example, a player could roll a 6, 3, and the addition sign. The player would arrange the dice into a number sentence (6 + 3) and then solve the problem. Upon solving the problem correctly, the player would move 9 places. When our children still needed counters, we kept 12 clown counters with the game at all times.
The game is quick to play and takes about 10 minutes so it is just right for younger children with shorter attention spans.
The game board is tricky as well and offers some surprises throughout the game. One can get stuck in the Endless Loop or move ahead in the Crocodile Shortcut. As well, several different variations of the game can be played by ignoring some of the special spaces. Depending on the age of the children that are playing, the game can be made easier or harder.
As a homeschooling mom who likes to use games for learning, I have found that educational games are hit and miss. Some are so educational that they are little fun and some are quite fun but lack true educational content. Sum Swamp is the perfect blend of fun and learning for younger children.
If you lose a game part or need to have one replaced, Learning Resources will provide replacement parts. The company that makes Sum Swamp, Learning Resources, was very helpful in replacing our number dice when we had played the game so much we could no longer see the numbers.
If you need to practice beginning addition and subtraction facts with a younger child, consider giving Sum Swamp a try!
Samantha writes about homeschooling and family life at To Be Busy at Home.