Set

This is a wonderful game with many variations and lots of underlying mathematical ideas.  It can be played cooperatively or competitively – or both, by working together in teams to compete with other teams.  Children often master the rules more quickly than do adults, which adds to their fun.

Here’s a brief outline of the way I introduce the game to people from about 8 years old to 80.  If you would prefer a much more detailed approach, with many examples, go to page 30 of the Nov 2016 issue of The Variable.

For children under 8, try introducing the basic rule of Set by using only the solid colours. It’s surprising how quickly they will pick it up. Then you can add the rest of the cards to include all the shadings.

Here is a list of Set variations that have been successful with all ages.

You can find the game of Set at finer toy stores for about $16. Or make your own, using simpler shapes such as circle, triangle, rectangle.  Here is a version on legal-sized paper.

See the official Set website for an electronic version with new puzzles every day, as well as some discussions of different ways to use the cards and some of the underlying mathematics.