Plyt is a new maths game which works well for players of all different levels and can be adapted for different ages and stages. It can suit children who love maths, or help to encourage those who are normally not so keen on this subject, as it lets them practice in a slightly more fun way.
The box says that the game is suitable for ages 4+, so I tried out this game with my three boys aged 5, 7 (almost!) and 8 who are all keen on maths.
Inside the box, you get the Plyt board, which is quite a simple design consisting of a large track leading to the winning space, and there’s a space for the Plyt chance cards too.
You also get playing pieces, a timer, the Plyt chance cards, and a selection of dice. The black dice is the “master dice” and most important to the game, then you can use as many as the others as you feel comfortable with, depending on the level.
The aim of the game is mainly focused around multiplication. So each player will throw dice (as many as they feel comfortable with) and multiply those numbers together. If they answer correctly then they can move forward along the board by the number on the master dice.
If they land on a Plyt square then they can pick a Plyt chance card and follow the instructions on that card which might ask them to move forward, move backwards, move another player or other similar tasks to help mix up the game a bit.
The game is quite flexible, as you can start off with just multiplying two numbers – the master dice and one other, or you can add more dice and multiply all of them which is quite challenging! While playing, Z tried using loads and with that, you might find you need to check the answers with a calculator, but it is fun to give it a go! We mainly settled on using three dice, to keep it more challenging than using only two, but also keep it quite manageable.
While playing the game, you can agree that different players will use a different amount of dice depending on their skill level – which allows siblings of different ages to all join in together and all be challenged appropriately.
If you have a child who is not quite ready for multiplication, then there are other simpler versions of the game that you can play. So it can be used to practice all kinds of basic numeracy skills.
You can see details for some of the simpler versions here on the Plyt website, which include number recognition, simple addition, number bonds and addition.
There are also more challenging versions suggested on that page, along with lots of other varieties like elimination, mini knockout or fraction versions!
With my younger two boys, we did allow them to use addition in the game instead, or in the case of my middle boy – we adapted it so if he threw some of the easier times tables which he has been covering in school like 2x, 5x, or 10x then he would do the multiplication but if it was a more challenging one that he might struggle with then I asked him to do the addition instead. That way it got him thinking, but he was still able to achieve the correct answers.
The flexibility of the game is really good, so you can get it out and practice whenever there’s something you want to focus on with the kids maths, or if you just want a fun way to get in a bit of extra numeracy.
Plyt has also been used successfully in schools, and I can definitely see how playing regularly will help to sharpen up maths skills, and the speed of working out answers. We actually didn’t use the timer in our game so far, as sometimes my kids get flustered with that so I felt it’s better to let them work it out without feeling pressured. However, it’s good to have and you could add it as an extra fun element if you’re focusing on a small amount of dice, or on a topic like addition where you know they can do it quickly and confidently.
Plyt is a really handy game to have available to help develop maths skills, especially as it can be used in so many ways. My boys all enjoyed playing, and were immediately drawn to it as they enjoy anything number related so it will be a great way for us to continue their interest in maths in a fun and playful way.