Playing With Numbers
- What: Rummikub Game
- When: 4 years and up
- Why: Fun, educational, multiple ways to play
- Where: Amazon or secondhand
Have you played Rummikub? Did you know it comes in a kids’ version?
The original classic game comes with large number tiles. Starting with 14 tiles each, up to four players take turns trying to make groups of tiles. The object of the game is to be the first player to get rid of all your tiles. Lay down tiles once you collect three or more of the same number or a sequence of ascending numbers in the same color. After the first turn, you can also use the tiles on the board to extend existing groups and get rid of additional tiles. If you can’t place any tiles, you draw from the general pile of face down tiles.
Once the first player runs out of tiles on their rack, the round ends. Each player with tiles remaining gets a negative score equal to the sum of their remaining tiles, so it pays to get rid of bigger numbers when another player gets close to running out of tiles. The person with no remaining tiles receives a positive score equal to the sum of all the other three players. For a two person game, play two rounds. For a three person game, play three rounds and so on.
If you want all the excitement of Rummikub with kid-friendly cards and multiple levels of play, look for a Kids’ Edition of Rummikub. This version features ten tiles in each suit rather than the standard 13, giving kids a greater chance of getting matches. It can be played at three different levels. In the introductory level, kids make pairs that match or sequence. The middle level adds the joker cards, which act as any number. And the advanced level replicates the classic game, with three or more of each kind (matching numbers or sequence) required to score. This version also comes with kid-friendly cards featuring Disney or Nickelodeon characters, to name a few. The cards also include the suit shape at the bottom to help kids match or make sequences of numbers.
Whether you get the classic version or the kids’ type, the entire family can enjoy playing this game. The exact length depends on the number of rounds played, so it can easily be tailored to the amount of time you have. For younger kids, it helps them practice numbers and shapes, while older kids start to learn the finer points of strategy. Best of all, regardless of which version you play, any player has a chance to win up until the last tile gets played.
If you want a fun, fast-paced game for your next Family Game Night, check out Rummikub.