Decimal~Fraction~Percentage~Money ~ Happy Families

A game that may be of help to beginners

This is a variation of Happy Families ~ a game invented in 1851. Variations are known as ~ Quartets ~ Go Fish ~ and under various other names on the continent ~ Quartett ~ Ablegspiel. Here it is designed to revise the equivalence of numerical values between Decimals ~ Fractions ~ Money ~ and Percentages.

A pack of cards is required with groups of four 'same but different' cards [114103]. The number of groups can be chosen to increase the length and complexity of the game ~ it is normally about ten. Readers are free to download sets of cards ~ for printing and cutting-out at home ~ from another of our sites [114074].

Each group of four is a family with one family feature ~ usually the name ~ and four other features ~ which are shared by every other family. Traditionally it was Mr Bone the Butcher ~ Mrs Bone the Butcher's wife ~ Master Bone the butcher's son ~ Miss Bone the Butcher's daughter ~ and similarly for Mr & Mrs Pots the Painter and their children ~ Mr Bun the Baker & so on...

For this game we are using sets of cards with decimals ~ fractions ~ money ~ and percentages of equal numerical value ~ such as ~

0.1 ~ 1/10 ~ £0.10 ~ 10%
0.3 ~ 3/10 ~ £0.30 ~ 30%

Representing two families of ~
zero-point-one ~ one-tenth ~ ten-pence ~ ten-percent
zero-point-three ~ three-tenths ~ thirty-pence ~ thirty-percent

From time to time it is worth mentioning to the younger players that thirty pence is thirty per cent of one pound. The game was originally planned for those students at the very earliest stages of experiencing these equivalents. The cards we are using are working to one decimal place. That gives a range of nine ~ ten ~ or eleven ~ cards ~ depending on whether 0 and 1 are included.

The cards are shuffled and shared around amongst three or ~ preferably ~ four players ~ or more. The game will not work with two players. The aim is for players to collect complete families of four. They can do this by asking any another player for one specific card.

The player who does the asking must have one member ~ at least ~ of that family in hand. By asking for something it is revealed to all that the 'asker' owns one member of the family in question. Players with a good memory will file this knowledge away. The player who is asked must answer honestly. If the answer is 'No', he ~ or she ~ takes the next turn to ask a question. If the answer is 'Yes' the card is handed over ~ and the turn remains with the original questioner ~ who is free to ask again ~ anything of anyone. Meanwhile all players make a note that the originator now holds two members of that family ~ and the exact identity of one of them is known by all.

If a player is fortunate enough to hold two of the family mentioned above, he ~ or she ~ will be able to make ~ with certainty ~ a complete family with the help of the first player.

If a player holds one of the family then she ~ or he ~ will have a fair chance of obtaining other members ~ secure in the knowledge that one of the players holds none ~ and another player holds at least two. It takes a few games to tune the brain into good strategic thinking.

Questioning proceeds in this manner until all the families are owned. Chance plays a large part at the start of the game ~ but memory ~ and some luck with the cards originally dealt ~ soon ensures a thoughtful game. The game often ends quite quickly ~ as soon as the quiet and thoughtful player in the corner has a chance to ask succcessfully ~ and ask again ~ and again.

The mathematical purpose of this game is to provide familiarity between the decimals and fractions and all that stuff. Any mathematically literate adult will instantly know every variation ~ but for some youngsters the value equivalence between zero~point~seven and seven-tenths~of~a~pound and seventy-pence does not come easily. Here is a way to provide practice ~ and familiarity with vocabulary ~ in a happy, family, way.

Designs for cards for this game ~ and others ~ are available for download [114074].

Other activites related to these cards are available ~

A version of Snap to help with interchangeability between fractions ~ decimals ~ percentages [114069].

An exercise ~ possiby a game ~ concentrating on greater and lesser values rather than equalities [115031].

A game-playing task based on pelmanism ~ with a suggestion for making it slightly easier [114066].

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Last updated 2021/02/13
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