Absolute Zero is a card game in which players are dealt cards displaying positive and negative numbers and the goal is, literally, to get zero. Each player gets the same number of cards (3, 4 or 5, depends on age an ability), drawing and discarding until one person creates a value of zero.
The game’s 52 cards can also be used to play three other math-themed games: “Find the Difference,” “Addition War,” and “Multiplication War.” In “Find the Difference,” players each draw two cards and whoever has the biggest difference keeps the cards. In both war games, two cards are drawn and the first person to either add them or multiply them (depending on the version), wins.
These games are quick to learn and fun to play, so they make learning number lines, integers, and other basic mathematical concepts appealing. My children even enjoyed inventing their own math-themed games with the cards- extending the play and learning even further.
Sharon Heuscher ©2018 Parents’ Choice
Sharon holds B.A.s in English Literature and Ancient Studies as well as a B.S. in Psychology. She is currently a masters-level trainee in Clinical Psychology specializing in neurodegenerative diseases. For the past thirteen years, Sharon has focused primarily on raising, educating, and nurturing her five children who range in age from three to thirteen.