Updated: Jan 3
Election Night is gameschooling gold! First off, the kids want to play, because who hasn't wanted to be president at some point in their life? While running for president, you are learning geography, mental math, and how the electoral college works. The game board has two sides: Addition and Multiplication. The box states that the addition side takes 35 minutes and the multiplication side takes 50 minutes. I would have to disagree. In my personal experience, the addition side takes around an hour, and the multiplication side takes an hour and a half or so. Don't be intimidated; it is time well spent. The game can easily be set aside for later, if you cannot finish all in one sitting. Just put it somewhere where it won't get smudged. Though the game does come with dry erase markers, I would highly recommend purchasing wet erase markers for this game (in red and blue) so that you don't accidentally erase your scores while playing.
Election Night can be played by two players or two teams. On your turn, you roll four dice and then group them in sets of two. You can pair them however you like. Add (or multiply) the numbers in each set and then find the corresponding numbers on the board. If you roll 5, 6, 7, and 8, you could choose to pair them 5&6 and 7&8. Your sums would be 11 and 15. For each sum, you can pick one unclaimed state. Find the state on the board and mark one spot. If you win majority in the state, come back and claim it (color the star next to it's name) and gain the corresponding electoral votes. Some states only take one roll to win. Others take 2, 3, or 5 rolls of that same number to win. The first person or team to gain 270 electoral votes wins the presidency!
By playing this game, you become more and more proficient in United States geography. You learn the abbreviations and locations of each state as well as how many electoral votes each state gets. This leads to discussion about how densely (or scarcely) populated some states are. Additionally, you learn and memorize the more difficult addition and multiplication facts. This is because Election Night uses specially designed PlaySmart Dice. You can read all about these dice here. I would highly recommend adding this game to your collection. You can purchase it straight from the Semper Games website or through Rainbow Resource Center. Will you be the next President?