Dragon Times is a fun interactive card game designed for kids six and over that helps kids learn multiplication. With the advent of common core math, my older son has struggled to understand the variety of ways to solve a math problem. Dragon Times has helped him to memorize his multiplication factors in a fun easy way that makes him engaged. Inside the box are 60 spell cards, 42 dragon cards, two times spinner grids, a spinner and instructions. My son is a visual learner and seeing the differences on the dragon cards helped him to differentiate even versus odd, and look to identify unique features on each of the cards.
Gameplay is fun – although it takes a bit of practice to make sure kids are really looking at the cards to understand the features on each one. In level 1, the dealer passes out six spell cards to each player (2 or more can play). Next, the dealer places eight cards down with the dragons facing upward. The first player then looks at their cards and tries to find a pair of numbers that when multiplied gives as a product of one the Dragon numbers that are down – there is a Times Table (aka spell book) that can help them. When we were first playing this, a parent paired with our son to help him look at the cards and identify the characteristics. If the player makes a lucky pair, they show the other players and get to pick up the Dragon card. Gameplay continues until one player finishes their spell cards or until all the Dragons are saved. The winner of this stage is the person who has the most Dragon cards.
After your child has mastered Level 1, there is a second level where they can tame dragons and guide them to safety. This uses the spinner and previously saved Dragons from the first stage. Each player spins the spinner. At each spin, players look at the Dragons and numbers to see if one has a particular feature that the spinner landed on. This could be a factor, even/odd, square number. If it matches, they keep the Dragon near the spinner and it is considered tamed. When a player does not have a lucky Dragon, they wait for the next spin. There is also an Evil Swap Spell card where players exchange Dragons in their hand clockwise around. The Evil Swap spell was confusing for my son, because he didn’t understand why he needed to pass his cards on. For the first few games we didn’t use it until he got a better hang of how the game worked and started looking at the different characteristics of the cards. The winner of this phase is when only one or none of the players have any Dragon Cards. The winner is the one that has the most tamed dragons near the spinner.
Sample of the Dragon Cards
Dragon Cards – these cards represent multiples of numbers 1 to 10 – every number is a dragon. Each dragon has features to help children know the factors of the number, if the number is even or odd or if it’s a square number. Numbers 1-10 are Baby Dragons, odd numbers are Snake Dragons, even numbers stand on four legs. Multiples of 3 (or numbers divisible by 3) have one horn, multiples of 4 have wings, multiples of 5 have big ears, multiples of 6 have a double tail, multiples of 7 have pointy tails, multiples of 8 have a mane, multiples of 9 have three horns, multiples of 10 have two heads, and Square numbers breathe or throw fire.
Sample of the Spell Cards
Spell Cards – these are the numbers from one to 10. There is also a “Wizard’s Choice” Spell card which can replace any spell card. The “Wizard’s Choice” card can also be used as a “wild” card to help the player capture a dragon in Stage 1.
I enjoyed playing this game with my son. I noticed that it helped him take on more perspective about which cards had which features were on each card and his math skills improved quite a bit!
In terms of enhancements, I wish there were a printable on the Dragon Times table as I just found one online and printed it out – the reference one for my son was a bit too small when he wanted to play quickly. There is an included spellbook which is likely perfect for most kids, but my son wanted a larger visual to help him quickly run his finger down the times table.
Overall, this is a fun game that teaches while you learn and engages kids to learn a fundamental math skill. I enjoyed it because I didn’t have to draw diagrams, make circles or have to show my son how to solve the problem in multiple ways. It was simply pure enjoyment as we learned math times tables and real time learning.
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