Santa gave the 4 Way Countdown Wooden Game to my 7 year-old daughter because he was hoping it might be a fun way to work on memorizing math facts.
The board consists of a simple square wooden box. Each side has ten wooden numbered bars that flip up and down. The object of the game is to be the first to flip up all your numbers. Players take turns rolling two dice. They can add, subtract, multiply, or divide the two numbers appearing on the dice in order to equal a number on one of their bars. They then flip up that bar. To make things a little more interesting, if you roll and eleven, you can of course flip up the 1 (6-5=1) or, instead, make another player flip all their bars back down. Fun, but beware: if you roll a twelve, then you must flip down all your bars!
This makes for a surprisingly entertaining game. What I like best about the game is how it can grow with your child’s abilities. Younger children can play by simply adding and subtracting. Multiplication and division can be added later as math skills progress.
I must also mention that even I like playing this one. Since many games aimed at children are deadly boring for grownups, I am always excited to find one that is at least tolerable, at best fun.
So, did Santa pick wisely? Yes! This game makes basic math facts easier to memorize and is way more fun than flash cards. Thank you Santa!
4 Way Countdown is also fairly practical as a travel game. The box is about 10.5″ x 10.5″ and 1.5″ thick, doesn’t weigh much, and the only loose pieces are the two dice. Dice are rolled inside the box, so are unlikely to escape during play.
Great math practice for 2 to 4 players (or you could even play alone). It would also be a great addition to a homeschool classroom.
PS. My daughter just saw me writing this post and wants to play 4 Way Countdown now. I’ve got to go so we can get in a quick game before dinner!