I’ve never been good with numbers.

If I had a choice, I would have taken the easiest maths subject at high school – Maths in Space or Garden Maths – as it was tagged back then. I didn’t care if people thought I was thick. I knew that I battled with the basics.

My parents had other ideas. Despite my protestations, they enrolled me in what was called Maths I. From day one I struggled. I was even privately tutored in Years 11 and 12, but it made little difference. I just couldn’t make sense of it all – words were definitely more my thing.

While I’ve carried my dislike / fear of numbers into adulthood, I’ve been careful not to pass it onto my daughters. I don’t want to see them go through the frustration and upset that I did at school.

With our at-home learning though, I do tend to favour literacy over numeracy because I naturally find it easier. When a company called Fun Comet contacted me about an interactive maths puzzle for kids, I jumped at the chance to take it for a test drive. I was keen to try something fun that would help expand the girls’ knowledge of numbers, in particular, addition and subtraction for my six-year-old.

When the puzzle arrived, I sat down with Miss Six and tipped out all 138 pieces. I knew instantly that this wasn’t your stock standard puzzle. We fiddled around with a few pieces, but I couldn’t get how we were meant to put it together.

I must have sounded like a right idiot when I emailed Fun Comet saying I wasn’t too sure how it worked. The thing is, there is no set way to put this puzzle together. There are hundreds of different combinations you can create.

The aim of the game, you see, is to add a series of numbers to equal a main number. If for example you have a six, then you can put a 4 + 1 +1 beside it to complete a shape.

I asked Dave to take a look at the puzzle and he figured it out instantly, of course. D’uh. He gave Miss Six (and me) a quick lesson and before you know it Miss Six was off and running.

She grasped the concept instantly and had a ball putting the number combinations together. She played with it for close to an hour leaving me gobsmacked. I emailed Fun Comet after half an hour telling them how fantastic I thought the puzzle was. I couldn’t believe it captured my six-year-old’s attention for that long.

Always a keen learner, she became proud of herself every time she created the right combinations to equal a number. She especially loved the space theme of the puzzle with its astronauts, aliens and spaceships. She was able to not only work on her addition and subtraction, but she used her imagination too. It encouraged her to open her mind and think out-of-the-box.

The puzzle is recommended for ages 4 +, however my Miss Almost Four showed very little interest in it. I would personally recommend it for ages 5 +.

Any game that entertains my child for more than hour and is educational to boot, is a winner in my eyes. I’m thrilled Fun Comet is kindly giving away one Happy Calc maths puzzle to a lucky Mummy Wife Me reader.

All you need to do is share in the comments one of the creative ways you help your kids to learn their numbers.

Happy Calc is a unique maths puzzle for kids to learn their numbers from 1 to 10 in a space themed design. The puzzle is highly engaging and helps kids to think critically about their maths sums as opposed to rote learning. It allows for freedom to think critically and add the numbers together.

Fun Comet is the home of engaging entertainment for kids in restaurants and at home.

Terms and Conditions

– This giveaway is only open to Australian residents (excluding ACT).

– This giveaway closes at 8pm AEST on Monday 12 September.

– Winners will be contacted via email on Tuesday 13 September.

– This is a game of skill. The most interesting answer as judged by a panel will be deemed a winner.

Mummy, Wife, Me received a Happy Calc maths puzzle in exchange for this post. As always, all opinions are my own.

Linking up today with Kylie Purtell for IBOT.

36 comments on Making maths fun – Happy Calc puzzle giveaway

1. Michelle V
September 6, 2016 at 5:46 am (1 year ago)

I LOVE the look of this Renee! My three daughters would really benefit from this as they all tend to struggle a little with maths (they must take after me as I’m terrible at it!)
I try a few things to teach them numbers…
When they were younger, we’d go for walks around the neighbourhood and I’d get them to call out the numbers on the letter boxes. They loved it!
Recently, to help with their times tables, I’ve borrowed a cd from the library that has sing-along times tables, and I play it whenever we are in the car. I also give my youngest daughter pegs to use as counters when we are working on activities.

• mummywifeme
September 6, 2016 at 9:24 pm (1 year ago)

Those are great ideas, Michelle. We do the letterbox thing too 🙂

2. Zanni Hacska
September 6, 2016 at 6:44 am (1 year ago)

It looks fun! Elka somehow inherited my husband’s knack with numbers. And I am glad! Because I am like you, and am much happier with words. x

• mummywifeme
September 6, 2016 at 9:25 pm (1 year ago)

That’s great. Dave is not too great either, but hopefully we can muddle through teaching the girls 🙂

3. Nicole @ The Builder's Wife
September 6, 2016 at 7:55 am (1 year ago)

What a great idea! Maths is not my strong point, fortunately my kids do well with it, but I could use some help. Anything that makes maths fun for kids has got to be a winner.

• mummywifeme
September 6, 2016 at 9:25 pm (1 year ago)

It sure has. It’s a clever little game.

4. Seana
September 6, 2016 at 8:56 am (1 year ago)

Looks fab for that young age group. I’m maths-challenged with a son doing Year 11 maths. It’s seriously Greek to me. But he seems to like it. Great to teach basic skills in new ways.

• mummywifeme
September 6, 2016 at 9:26 pm (1 year ago)

God, year 11 maths. I can’t even imagine how complicated it must be!!

5. Emily
September 6, 2016 at 10:38 am (1 year ago)

These are great! I was the opposite – I loved maths, and I was SO angry at my school when they did the year 12 timetables and I had to choose between Specialist Maths (Specky) and Japanese. Ha! (And we called the easiest maths Vegie Maths.)

My entry: we use playing cards to make tens frames for our daughter (6yo). And when we watch any sport on the television (usually football), we have her calculate the difference in the scores by using her tens as well. For our son (3yo), we count anything and everything. He has an adorable (for now) habit of missing the number 15 whenever we count to 50, so we search whatever room we’re in for where it’s hiding and slot it back in the right place!

Thanks for hosting the giveaway x

• mummywifeme
September 6, 2016 at 9:28 pm (1 year ago)

Oh that’s so cute! Wow you guys are so onto it!! I’m guessing you chose Specky over Japanese? I loved Japanese at school. One of my fave subjects.

6. Sammie @ The Annoyed Thyroid
September 6, 2016 at 12:35 pm (1 year ago)

This looks such a fun way for kids to learn their numbers – this would make a great gift too. I love me an educational present – it’s the gift that keeps on giving!

• mummywifeme
September 6, 2016 at 9:29 pm (1 year ago)

It sure is!!

7. Karin @ Calm to Conniption
September 6, 2016 at 1:30 pm (1 year ago)

Very cool. To help my son learn his numbers we counted life. Count all the things! Steps, tiles, birds, cars, pencils, chicken nuggets! We count them all.

• mummywifeme
September 6, 2016 at 9:29 pm (1 year ago)

Counting life! Love it 🙂

8. Kathy
September 6, 2016 at 1:56 pm (1 year ago)

I’m a word person too (I guess most of us bloggers are, and especially those of us who are journos/comms people by trade). Our Little Yang is going along OK with his maths, our Miss Yin has always struggled a bit but got average marks. She actually got her first A the other week for a practical maths test – YEH!.

• mummywifeme
September 6, 2016 at 9:30 pm (1 year ago)

Oh yay Miss Yin!! That is awesome. She must have been thrilled.

9. Natalie @ Our Parallel Connection
September 6, 2016 at 2:56 pm (1 year ago)

How cool is this. My kids are too old but I wish they had things like this when my kids were little. Maths is hard for so many kids and this just makes learning fun.

• mummywifeme
September 6, 2016 at 9:30 pm (1 year ago)

It’s a great idea, Nat 🙂

10. Hugzilla
September 6, 2016 at 3:37 pm (1 year ago)

Weirdly enough, I did better at Maths than English in high school. I did 3 unit maths and 2 unit English for the HSC. My eldest seems to have inherited that too I think. These look great by the way.

• mummywifeme
September 6, 2016 at 9:31 pm (1 year ago)

Wow! Is there anything you’re not good at, Hugzy?

11. Denyse Whelan Blogs
September 6, 2016 at 4:03 pm (1 year ago)

I did Maths for the HSC and passed. I don’t know how. There was no veggie maths then. I am glad though that my timetables are cemented in my brain and I am pretty quick with mental arithmetic. Give me the hard stuff…and sorry! I am not a puzzle person either. I am married to one who is and who thinks Maths is cool. I am so glad you are giving your girls many opportunities for exploring maths. I don’t mind learning about patterns and all that mathematically if I can see them! Visual is my first learning style. The learning here is both hands on and meaningful which is so important! Hope the giveaway goes well! Denyse #teamIBOT

• mummywifeme
September 6, 2016 at 9:32 pm (1 year ago)

Thanks very much, Denyse 🙂

12. claire evans
September 6, 2016 at 5:09 pm (1 year ago)

we use play dough and squish it on a card with the numbers pre drawn, lots of moulding and number recognition

• mummywifeme
September 6, 2016 at 9:33 pm (1 year ago)

We do that with letters, but funnily enough I didn’t think about doing that with numbers. Thanks for the tip.

13. Robyna | the Mummy & the Minx
September 6, 2016 at 7:07 pm (1 year ago)

What a great puzzle! We like to play number games on car drives with license plates. Sometimes it’s adding or subtracting the numbers or trying to find patterns amongst the cars we can see.

• mummywifeme
September 6, 2016 at 9:34 pm (1 year ago)

That is a great on-the-go idea, Robyna!

14. Jodi Gibson
September 6, 2016 at 7:24 pm (1 year ago)

What a great idea! Numbers aren’t my thing either, but all our girls are really good at math. Must get it from their Dad!

• mummywifeme
September 6, 2016 at 9:35 pm (1 year ago)

At least they don’t need any help from you. That’s what I worry about when they get older.

15. Elisha
September 6, 2016 at 8:31 pm (1 year ago)

Here in our house it’s interest led and can go from qns about time, the numbers on the clock, the footy scores and afl players footy jumpers. Currently it’s asking how many hours occur between events or certain times. My boy has maths on the brain and I hardly have to create interest at all. He loves numbers. Ps. He gets this from his dad as I like you have more of a way with words!

• mummywifeme
September 6, 2016 at 9:35 pm (1 year ago)

Wow! That’s really interesting. The girls really aren’t too interested in numbers. I really have to push them. That’s great your boy is so keen.

16. Toni @ Finding Myself Young
September 6, 2016 at 9:09 pm (1 year ago)

This puzzle looks great for school kids. I never really liked maths either. I’m already worried how I’m going to help bub with her maths homework because I’ve forgotten so much.

• mummywifeme
September 6, 2016 at 9:36 pm (1 year ago)

Oh I wouldn’t have a clue, Toni. I’ll be learning with the kids lol.

17. Erika @ Ever-changing Life of a Mum
September 7, 2016 at 9:49 am (1 year ago)

Maths is certainly not my specialty … hence the reason I’m a writer 🙂 My parents also made me complete some level of maths as part of my VCE, to my great displeasure. My girls already seen better at maths than me … although Miss 7 says it’s hard sometimes. This game looks great and might make it a bit more fun! When my girls were younger we used to play spot the truck or bus when driving to daycare. We’d count them along the way – such an easy game that kept them entertained and helped with their very early maths skills.

18. Tashen
September 7, 2016 at 1:19 pm (1 year ago)

That looks like a great puzzle I think my boys would love it. I’ve always liked maths and been pretty good at it so to challenge us our teacher used to offer a family size block of chocolate to the first person to solve a really tricky problem – might have to try that one day with my boys when they are older!

We do play dough numbers and I have a little bug game where you have to count out the bugs to match the numbers on their leaf homes. My middle son loves cars so he likes to point out number plates and talk about them which has helped him with his counting and number recognition. I’m all for learning through different mediums. We have little placemats with addition sums and pictures for my older son and counting to 20 for my middle son so we can chat about counting if they feel like it at meal time. I also try and help my younger son recognise bigger numbers when we go out for babycinos or lunch by getting him to look after and talk about our table number.