Sudoku has been a traditional game for many math enthusiasts to practise their sense of logic and strategy skills. The objective of the game is to fill a 9×9 grid with digits in such a way that each column, each row, and each of the nine 3×3 grids that make up the larger 9×9 grid contains all of the digits from 1 to 9. (See photo 1)
Yes, “photo 1” helped you understand better what I meant, didn’t it? I’ve found that it’s more effective to have a visual representation of how a game works as opposed to taking a few seconds to figure out what someone meant by “the larger 9×9 grid.”
Likewise with Sudoku, I’ve felt that children worked better with pictures and colours rather than just black and white numbers. That’s why I’m going to introduce to you today a new way of playing Sudoku. The name of the game is… Colorku! (See photo 2)
I know what you must be thinking: “Those look like toys, marbles that serve no purpose in teaching math.” That was also my first thought when I came across this game in my research of math games. But the more I think about it, the more it makes sense. Sudoku is more about problem-solving than numbers. You don’t actually calculate how much the nine numbers of each 3×3 grid add up to; rather, the main goal of the game is to figure out how to place the numbers in such a way that none of the numbers repeat in each row and column.
That’s exactly the same way you play Colorku, but with colours instead of numbers. The objective is to place each of the 81 coloured balls in such a way that none of the colours repeat in each row and column. (See photo 3)
And that’s how Colorku works. It also comes with 104 puzzle cards in four difficulty levels: Easy, Moderate, Challenging and Extreme. Each of the puzzle card will tell you a specific pattern you need to place the coloured balls in before you try to solve the puzzle, and that default pattern naturally becomes increasingly complex with greater difficulty levels.
Unfortunately, Colorku is not cheap. I’ve Googled to see if there are any Singapore online stores where you could purchase the game, and it’s being sold at a much higher price ($161) than what you would pay for should you purchase it from Amazon ($81.49, including the shipping fee, or $104.67 if you choose Priority Shipping).
But don’t fret, there is always a cheaper option! Just draw out a 9×9 grid on a piece of paper and colour in a random pattern of colours on the grid before letting your child figure it out! No money required! Of course, that does require you to have the proper skills in coming up with good Sudoku or Colorku puzzles, but it might be a useful compromise that you could take advantage of.
Now that I’ve introduced three math games for you and your child, it’s time to further encourage an interest in math for your child – by rewarding them. Yes, for every three math games your child participates in, it helps to use the old “carrot and stick” approach and give your child a treat for his effort. I know it might seem like it would encourage your child to ask for a treat every time he does his homework instead, but trust in the process – the carrot and stick technique works. It’s a healthy compromise to help children who might be disinterested in any subject at school. Once your children have grown older, trust that they will become mature enough to outgrow such a reward system, that they will appreciate the effort you’ve put in to ensure a proper future for them.
Until next time, keep it real, but keep it fun!
All images used belong to https://homeschoolingalong.com