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Our Family

Thursday, July 23, 2015

Schoolhouse Crew Review: SimplyFun

SimplyFun has a variety of fun, educational games for children of all ages.  They believe that play is an important part of children's social, academic, and emotional learning process. In 2012, their games won over 50 awards.  We recently had an opportunity to use and review Expanders.
Simply Fun Review

Expanders is recommended for ages 7 and up.  It can be played by 1-4 players and takes around 20 minutes to play.  The object of the game is to be the first person to use up all your tokens by expanding numbers using reverse addition.  Expanders uses critical thinking, spacial reasoning, and addition skills.

The game includes:

128 tokens (32 each in pink, blue, orange, and purple)
6 numbered double sided circuit boards (numbers 1-8 on one side and numbers 1-12 on the other side)
2 filler boards to use if less than 4 people are playing
1 mainframe
1 token storage bag
Instruction Book

Each side of the mainframe is a different color that corresponds with the colors of the tokens.  Players sit around the mainframe and get the token color that coordinates with where they are sitting.  In a 4 player game you use all the circuit boards.  In a 3 player game you use 5 and one filler and a 2 player game you use 4 with 2 fillers. The side that has numbers 1-8 are for an easier game and the side with 1-12 is for a more challenging game. The last player to download and app is supposed to go first and then play moves clockwise.

There are 3 different actions you can do on your turn.  Action 1 is to place a single token on the first row on your side of the board or connected vertically, horizontally, or diagonally to any of your other tokens.  Action 2 is place two of your tokens on 2 matching numbers in the first row on your board or connected vertically, horizontally, or diagonally to any of your tokens on the board.  The 3 rd action is to expand a number by placing a token on a number in the first row on your board or connected to  any of your other numbers and place tokens on numbers that add up to that number that are connected to each other so they form a single group.  So if you placed your token on an 8 and have a 4,3,1 that are connected you place your tokens on those.  There are special starting rules that on the first turn you can only do action 1 on the 2nd turn you can only do action 1 or 2 on the 3rd turn you can do action 1, 2 or 3 but can only use 3 tokens for action 3 but after action 3 you can do any of the actions and use as many tokens as you can.

I have been playing Expanders with my 6,8,9,11 and 13 year olds.  Since the game only plays 4 we take turns.  Reading the instructions was a bit confusing, but once we got the game set up and we read it aloud step by step while playing it began to make more sense.  The children caught on very quickly and even my 6 year old was able to play with no trouble.  I didn't even know she knew how to add!  We have had a lot of fun working on our math and strategy skills while playing Expanders.

Members of the Crew reviewed Expanders and Shape Whiz.  To see what my Crew Mates had to say, visit the Crew Blog.

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