Tuesday, May 27, 2008


My good buddy at Keiki Gifts gave my younger thing Zooreka for her 4th birthday recently. At first I thought, "uh, parts" but then I thought, "ok, not that many". So we sat down to learn to play. It is supposed to be for ages 8 and up, but after a good deal of cheating on the 4 year old's part (she just loved to throw those die), she settled down and now plays with her 7 yr old sister and myself quite well. It is a very good game! Fairly simple and after weeks of play, I discovered that exchanging food, animal, and shelter cards at the Trading Post can teach some algebra. One animal card = 3 food cards, one shelter card = 2 animal cards, therefore, if you have 6 food cards, you can trade them in for 2 animal cards. And, if you want to buy a zoo exhibit (naked rats, tortoise, orangutan, etc.), you can with just food and animal cards even though you don't have exactly 1 shelter, 2 animal, and 4 foods.

And then, there's GAMBLING!!! Okay, educationally speaking, it's really basic probability. The resource dice does not have random pictures on it as I originally thought. Since shelter is the most valuable, equal to 2 animals or 6 foods, it appears only once on the dice. Food, having the smallest value (like a penny), appears 4 times on the dice. Part of collecting resource cards is placing your token, or bet, on one of the resource pictures you hope the dice to roll to. So, although you are likely to roll a food (banana), are you gonna bet on the smallest value or the largest, shelter (tree), or the mid-value animal (paw print). It's pretty neat. And great to discover that aspect on your own, as opposed to explaining to players at the very beginning. They will probably get that all on their own. But my esteem of this game shot way up when I figured that out. Neat and a definite value. I can play Zooreka every day with those aspects!

Thank you, Keiki Gifts!

1 comment:

Hawaii WAHMs said...

I'm glad you and your "things" enjoy the game. It is one of our favorites but I've never thought of it in algebra terms. However, I do know what you mean by "parts" ~ we have 'em all over the house. Parts of this...parts of that...parts, parts, parts!