My sister-in-law showed me the Rush Hour Traffic Jam Game by Think Fun this weekend. She "assigned" one of the harder cards in the deck to me (sometimes it sucks to be known as the math mom) and assured me that I could do it.
You set up the 6x6 game board with the plastic vehicles just like the game card shows. Here's where the math starts.
The skills children develop doing this support graphing on the Cartesian coordinate plane later on.
Even if your child isn't ready for the actual game play, this step supports them in math!
Allow the ice cream truck to "escape" the maze.
In order to do this, you are allowed to slide any of the cars forward or back. They can't crash into other cars to push them out of the way. And you can't lift any of them off the game board.
A more challenging goal is to also do this in the minimum amount of moves possible.
Everyone has their own plan. My nephew likes to scooch the cars around until he stumbles upon an answer. I decided to pick up the cars and move them to the most unique solution to see what the end result should look like.
The beauty of the game is the way it simulates mathematical research and discovery.
- Everyone has their own style.
- Everyone has their own solution.
- If you follow the rules and "win" then you've done it right, regardless of how someone else did it.
- There are many levels of success - and the player determines which level he or she is shooting for.
- Given the board and the colorful cars, you can create your own game.
You'll be amazed at what you see.
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