The Worm is Inside

Summary
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Min Players: 
2
Max Players: 
4
Time: 
20

Description

There's a race afoot.... a worm race!? In this award winning game, players are racing their worms through underground tunnels trying to have theirs be the first to emerge from the other end. Two times during the course of the race they will have the opportunity to boost their worm's progress by guessing which of the worms in the race is ahead based on some reflective estimation. In the end, it is this mix of luck and measurement based estimation that will determine the winner.
The game includes worm heads and special segments for each player, colored worm segments in different lengths from 1 cm to 6 cm long, a colored die and a game board. The game board is actually two boards stacked one on top of the other that hide the progress of the worms for most of the race. There are two openings in the top board that allow players to see in on who is winning at different points along the way. Game play is simple and very accessible for younger learners. To start, each player slides their worms head in between the two boards on one of the four race tracks. Players then roll the colored die and slide the matching segment behind their worm head, pushing it further up along the track. Each segment that gets added pushes the worm further along in the race. Because learners can see which length segments are being added for each player, they can estimate how far each of the worms are at any time.
This last part is important as the game's curricular hook is tied to how players use their special worm segments. Each player has a strawberry and daisy segment that correspond to the two openings in the game board; one opening features daisies and the other strawberries. During their turn, a player can place one of these pieces by the worm they think is going to reach these sections first. If they are correct, they get to add the piece to their own worms giving them a boost in the race.
Because of the special nature of the game board, it would be difficult to share this in a digital manner but the fast play time makes the game a great centers activity. Learners can also work in teams, discussing the approximate location of the worms together in small groups. To help make the measurement more concrete, players can keep a running calculation of each worms distance as segments are added. This doesn't take too much away from the game as the die controls which segments get added, allowing for the unpredictable swings that make the race feel alive. In the end, There's the Worm in It is a fast and fun game with a high return for primary and elementary level learners to begin to apply their ability to estimate measurement.