Help your children master the multiplication facts and skip counting with the Speed! card game. Speed! is actually a set of eight card games with separate decks for the “2s” through the “9s.” Very much like standard playing cards, Speed! card decks are printed in a different color for each deck.
Two people may play at a time, facing each other across a table. The selected deck is dealt evenly to the players who each hold their stack of cards face down in their hand. They each set out four cards in front of them with space between the two lines of four cards. Each player then takes the top card from his or her deck in hand and puts it on the table between the two rows. These two are the cards to be played upon. Players take cards from the four in front of them and play them one at a time on the center cards when they have a card that is the next before or after in the “skip count” order for that deck. For example, playing with the “2s” deck, only a “6” or “10” may be played on an “8.” Players continue playing on the center cards as long as they can, continually replacing their four cards in front of them. If two identical numbers show up on the center cards, players compete to shout “Speed!”—the loser has to pick up all the center cards and add them to his or her deck. The first to get rid of all their cards wins. This is a fast-playing game—a great way to begin or wind up your math lesson with some fun. You can see a demonstration of how the game is played on video on the publisher’s website.
This game helps students to become fluent “skip counters,” a skill that translates into easier mastery of the multiplication facts. Children can begin to play as soon as they can count fairly well up to "20"—probably about age 5 or 6.
Another way to use the cards decks is to actually work on memorizing the multiplication facts by laying the decks out in numerical (skip-counting) order.
The cards are attractive, and they come packaged in colorful individual boxes within a sturdy larger box. Beyond the learning value, Speed! should provide some great family fun. Don’t be surprised if your children beat you.