Clumsy Thief Game Review
As a certified mathphobe it’s very difficult to make a math game that I can not only muddle through, but enjoy. Clumsy thief is a game designed for speed math, and it is hilarious.
The idea behind Clumsy Thief is to make stacks of money that equal $100 and to end up with the most money at the end of the game. You can make stacks from your hand or by stealing someone else’s, and that’s where it gets fun. I’m getting a little ahead of myself though, let’s start from the beginning:
The game starts with each player being dealt 7 cards and the rest being placed face down on the table.
There are three types of cards you can get: money cards, thief cards, & jail cards. Money cards show a dollar amount on the card, thief cards have a cute picture of a bungling thief, and the jail cards have a picture of a jailhouse window.
How to play Clumsy Thief
Before the game begins each player makes money stacks from their cards. A money stack is a set of 2 cards that equal $100. The stacks are placed facing up on the table in front of you. When all stacks are out the dealer says Go!” and it’s a free for all! Once the dealer says the magic word players rush to steal the money stacks by adding a card to the top of the stack that will again equal $100.
Example: Player one matches $40 and $60 and places the stack with the $60 on top. Player two can steal the stack by placing a $40 card on top of the $60 card.
You can also steal a stack by placing a thief on top of it, but watch out because another thief can be played to steal the stack from you! To make a stack unstealable (is that a word?) you need to place a jail card on top of a thief.
When no more steals can be made each player draws a card and begins the process again. The game ends when a player runs out of cards or there are no cards left to draw. Add up your stacks and the player with the most money wins! Due to the nature of the game it can be played with two players but it’s much more fun with four or more.
What is my child learning when they play Clumsy Thief?
-Speed math fact recall
-Addition to 100
Adapting Clumsy Thief
To play Clumsy Thief one must have an understanding of three digit addition but you can easily adapt this by making a cheat sheet with possible combinations to make 100. This also helps children with memorization, which is key to winning this game.
There is a whole lot to love about Clumsy Thief. First, it was created by a mom! Second, it’s really great for helping your kids practice their mental math skills and it encourages quick thinking. Third, your kids will get a big kick out of stealing from you, it’s so much fun!
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Meg Grooms (she/her) is a decades-long secular homeschooler, mother of many, writer, Florida ex-pat, and all-around swell gal. Meg & her partner have raised their kids all over the USA, finally settling on Southern California. For now, anyhow.
Meg blogs about secular homeschooling and gameschooling at Homeschool Gameschool. Meg is available for speaking engagements, workshops, and gameschooling classes, please see the About Us/Contact Meg page for more information.