I associate summer vacation with game playing. There are all kinds of games, but naturally here at MC2 we concern ourselves with math games. A few favorites:

Prime Climb: Recently I became friends with Dan Finkel, the founder of MathforLove, an organization that develops curricula for primary grades based in games(!) Of course, it’s natural too that Dan creates math games, and recently I’ve been playing Prime Climb with my son. First off, check out Dan’s TED talk and then see a description of Prime Climb on the Mathforlove website. Prime Climb maximizes both fun and math.

Set: We have collections of the Set card game at all our math circle sites. Set is near and dear to my heart partly because the one-time world champion in Set, Hannah Gordon, is a former student of mine who wrote a book about Set with her parents (yes, her parents are mathematicians). A nicely portable game for vacation travel.

Game of Coda: Math circle parent Kristin Merrill just recommended the Game of Coda to me–a chance to develop your code making and code breaking skills.

Blokus: A great game of geometric anticipation through visualization. I’m particularly fond of games that appeal to me both mathematically and aesthetically, and therefore I’m very fond of Blokus.

A few weeks ago Dan Finkel tweeted about an article in the Business Insider called 13 Things You Can Do to Make Your Child a Genius at Math (the Game of Set made the list). While I can’t say I love the title of the article, as Dan said, “A Surprisingly Good List.” Check it out for more ways to relax the summer away with math!