The Clumsy Thief game uses money cards to teach kids how to add in double digits as well as do mental math quickly. To find additional reviews of money games, see: The Best Money Games for Kids.
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One of my aspirations as a parent is to teach my kids about money – how it works and how it can help them achieve their life goals.
Of course, the backbone of understanding money is math. Addition, subtraction, multiplication, division, and even slightly more complex formulas are all useful knowledge when it comes to managing money.
In comes the Clumsy Thief game – a fun and fast-paced game that challenges kids to find combinations of money cards that add up to 100.
The other evening I had a chance to play Clumsy Thief with my two girls, ages 6 and 8, – one who LOVES math and the other who is lukewarm about math but enjoys using her math skills in games.
Clumsy Thief proved to be a winner for both kids.
The game begins by handing every player 7 cards. Once players have looked over their cards they try to make as many 2 card combinations of 100 as they can. Those combinations, or “money stacks” are then placed face-up in front of each player.
Once this step is done, the “stealing” part of the game begins. Money stacks can be stolen from another player if you have a card in your hand that adds up to $100 when added to the top card of the opponent’s stack. Money stacks can also be stolen with a thief card and stolen yet again with a jail card. Once a jail card is on top of a stack that stack can no longer be stolen.
Players have to move quickly to steal stacks before other players do. A round is complete when no more stealing can take place. All players then take a new card from the deck and start the stealing all over again.
The object of Clumsy Thief is to collect as many 2-card combinations of 100 as you can before all the cards run out.
For younger kids the pace of the game may be a bit slow if they’re still working on adding double digits in their head, but the pace can pick up (and be exciting!) if everyone is able to work quickly.
Even in a somewhat slow-paced game, my kids enjoyed trying to find card combinations and were excited to see if the next card they picked would lead to a match. They enjoyed playing the game so much the first evening that they requested to play it again the next day.
Sometimes math or money games can be complex with lots of rules and/or strategies. And while these complex games can be a fun challenge for older kids, they can be too much for younger kids to take on.
Clumsy Thief is perfect for younger, elementary-school-aged kids who are just trying to grasp double-digit addition, while the fast pace of the game can still being fun for older kids who already have this addition down.