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Smart Toss: Math Sport

Tossing beanbags into a target is fun for almost any reason you can think of. It's what you might call "just plain fun." For kids. For grownups. You can play by yourself. You can play in teams. You can get competitive about it if you want. You can play it just for fun. You can increase the challenge (stand further away from the target). You can make it easy enough for a three-year-old.

From the pure fun perspective, Learning Resources Smart Toss has everything you'd want in a bean bag tossing game. And more. It has your bean bags. It has your target board. The bean bags are made out of canvas, for durability and feel. They are just the right size for a child's hand. They are also numbered, from 1 to 10. Hmmm. Numbered bean bags. Already you have something a little different, a little more interesting to play with. The target board is light enough to carry around easily. It's vinyl, so it's easy to keep clean. It's reinforced, so it can withstand childish enthusiasm. There are bean bag storage pockets, and, depending on how you set it up, there are 4 different game boards to choose from.

Hmm. Numbered bean bags, 4 different boards. Perfect for reinforcing different kinds of elementary math skills, not only without spoiling the fun, but also making the games more, well, interesting.

Consider the basketball-like game. You use only three of the bean bags - the 3, 4 and 5. There are 6 targets (pockets). Two of the targets are worth the number on the bean bag. Two are worth twice as much. And the remaining two are worth three times the number on the bean bag. So, see, you have to multiply, and add, in order to determine your actual score.

Then there's a kind of bowling game. You choose two bags whose numbers add to 10. You toss them one at a time into any of the 4 pockets. One pocket counts as a strike (which in this game is worth 20 points). Another as a spare (10 points). And the other two are worth the number on the bean bag.

So now you're adding, and maybe even strategizing (do I take the number 6 and 4 bean bags so I can relatively good score no matter what pocket I land in, or do I take the 9 and 1 so, just in case my 1 doesn't make a strike or a spare, my 9 might at least make it to one of the other pockets.

Each of the 4 games offers not only a playworthy opportunity to exercise some basic math skills, but also another inspiration for making up your own game. Which means, in addition to the quality of the device - its portability, durability, storability and colorfulness - and the essential playability of the beanbag tossing game, and the incentives the 4 games provide for children to exercise their basic math skills; Smart Toss: Math Sport offers children the inspiration to invent their own games - games which can be even more challenging to more skills, which will undoubtedly prove to lead to even more fun, of the frequently major kind.




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