Parents' Choice Foundation: Reviewing Children's Media Since 1978



Fall 2015 Games
Ages: 7 & Up
Manufacturer: SimplyFun
Price: $34.00

The game board offers a grid of numbers, (1-8 on one side; 1-12 on the other), and a set of clear colored disc markers for each player. The goal for each player is to place more discs on numbers than any other player. Each player starts on their side of the square board, and can place their discs over the numbers they claim in one of two ways: they can put two markers over the same number (say, a 3 and a 3), or they can put their markers in a connected line by making an equation. For example, the player could put a marker on an 8, and then on the 5 and the 3 (as long as those numbers are touching). It's a wonderful way to think of the ways to group numbers for everyone. The directions offer clear, visual instructions, and variations to change gameplay.

Our seven year old was easily able to play and strategize with the 11 year old, and it challenged my strategy as well! The gameplay asks players to constantly review ways to group numbers to find the most efficient way to play as many tokens as possible. For example, a player could play three tokens by putting her tokens on an 8, then a 6 and a 2 (to complete the equation 8=6+2)... but if the numbers are touching, she can play MORE tokens by playing the 7, 1, 1, 2, and 3 (7=1+1+2+3). That player has to consider what others might play, and try to prevent an action that could cause her to lose.

Expanders is a great math practice game that plays like a strategy game.

Barbara Chamberlin   ©2015 Parents' Choice
Barbara Chamberlin researches and develops educational software and media at New Mexico State University's Learning Games Lab. She and her husband have two boys.

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