Proof! is a game in which players search for math facts among a 3×3 grid of cards. The dealer places nine cards on the table and each player looks for true equations, e.g. 10 = 3 +7 that can be made by using at least three cards. Upon seeing an equation, that player must shout the result, and then show the “proof” to the other players. If that player is correct, he/she keeps the cards. Play continues until the deck is depleted; the player with the most cards wins. Equations can be made with addition, subtraction, multiplication, division and square roots, and be used many ways and with parentheses – anything to prove the calculation. BUT, only cards on the grid can be used, and each number card can be used only once in the current equation.
Similar to Sudoku, Proof! hones math fact and pattern recognition skills. It can be played in a group of up to six or alone. Rules can be changed to include younger children just learning arithmetic or to challenge middle school students and their older siblings or parents.
Some children may protest that Proof! is like homework and they wouldn’t be entirely wrong. But Proof! can be a fun activity that helps children learn and build math fact skills rather than calling up calculator apps on every smart phone. Popcorn is not included, but certainly adds to the game!
John Green ©2020 Parents’ Choice
John Green is an economist in Washington DC and father of three. He has a PhD in economics from the University of Pennsylvania.