Skip to product information
1 of 8

Fossil Sweep

Fossil Sweep

2-5 players • 20 min • 8 & up

Focus: Decision Making

Regular price $22.00
Regular price Sale price $22.00
Sale Sold out

July Special: Purchase select games and get Fossil Sweep for just $9. Scroll down for options.

Step into the fascinating world of fossils. Fossils come in various forms, from hardened animal bones to intricate plant imprints. But fossils don’t exist forever. Many things including weather and time can often destroy them. As you play the fossil cards in your hand, see how many fossils you can discover before they become lost!

Players use strategy and decision making to match the fossil layers on the cards in their hand to the card layers on the dig site. The goal is to get rid of as many cards in your hand before someone plays a “Sweep” card ending the round. Cards have different point values and the player with the fewest points at the end of the game wins.

Skills: Decision Making, Strategy

Game Includes

  • 90 Fossil Cards
  • 15 Dig Dare Cards
  • 5 Sweep Cards
  • 1 Fun Fact Insert
  • 1 Rules Booklet

View full details

Collapsible content

How to Play

Players take turns matching the fossil layers on the cards in their hand to the card layers on the dig site. The goal is to get rid of as many cards in your hand before someone plays a “Sweep” card or runs out of cards, ending the round. Cards have different point values and the player with the fewest points at the end of the game wins.

Educational Standards

Not available for this product.

Skills

Explore

What Does Child Do To Use Skill In The Game?
Players will explore the dig site for possible matches for their cards, and look at how many cards other players have.

How Parents Can Assist Learning
"No special adult support is required.

Parents can encourage children to play close attention to how many cards other players have in order to help decide when to play a Sweep card. They can also encourage players to try to make a double or triple match on an end card, so other players have to draw one of their cards, reducing the number of cards in their hand."


Learning Implications and Educator Support
Fossil Sweep primarily involves looking for opportunities to match your card with one on either end of the dig site, while deciding when a good time would be to play a Dig Dare or Sweep card.

Educators can encourage children to play close attention to how many cards other players have in order to help decide when to play a Sweep card. They can also encourage players to try to make a double or triple match on an end card, so other players have to draw one of their cards, reducing the number of cards in their hand

Determine

What Does Child Do To Use Skill In The Game?
After exploring the dig site, and possibly looking at other players' hands, a child will decide which card to play from their hand or to pick up a card from the draw pile.

How Parents Can Assist Learning
No special adult support is required

If a parent notices a child is having difficulty deciding what card to play, encourage them to think about whether playing a card will simply get rid of a card, will likely cause another player(s) to add a card or would the best choice be to use a Sweep card if they have it..


Learning Implications and Educator Support
In order to decide what move to make, children need to think though different matching and scoring options.

If an educator notices a child is having difficulty deciding what card to play, encourage them to think about whether playing a card will simply get rid of a card, will likely cause another player(s) to add a card or would the best choice be to use a Sweep card if they have it.

Educators may want to have children discuss their options aloud in order to assess their thinking and enable all players to learn strategic thinking together.


Compare

What Does Child Do To Use Skill In The Game?
Players will compare cards on both sides of the dig site with cards in their hands, which leads to comparing scoring options. This happens concurrently with exploring the dig site.

How Parents Can Assist Learning
No special adult support is required.

If a parent notices a child is having difficulty deciding what card to play, encourage them to think about whether playing a card will simply get rid of a card, will likely cause another player(s) to add a card or would the best choice be to use a Sweep card if they have it. Also, encourage looking for double or triple layer matches, not just the end match.


Learning Implications and Educator Support
In order to decide what move to make, children need to think though different matching and scoring options.

If an educator notices a child is having difficulty deciding what card to play, encourage them to think about whether playing a card will simply get rid of a card, will likely cause another player(s) to add a card or would the best choice be to use a Sweep card if they have it.

Educators may want to have children discuss their options aloud in order to assess their thinking and enable all players to learn strategic thinking together.


Plan

What Does Child Do To Use Skill In The Game?
When playing with only 2-3 players, children can try to plan for their next move by playing a card that matches a card in their hand.

How Parents Can Assist Learning
No special adult support is required.

When there are only a few children playing, parents may want to remind younger children that they can try to set up a successful match on subsequent turns.


Learning Implications and Educator Support
No special adult support is required.

When there are only a few children playing, educators may want to remind younger children that they can try to set up a successful match on subsequent turns.

If a child plays with 1 or 2 others and then plays with 3 or 4 others, educators may ask the child to compare how effective planning worked in the different scenarios.


Solve

What Does Child Do To Use Skill In The Game?
There is a little solving in the game as players decide when to play Sweep or Dig Dare cards, as well as looking for options to place a matching card on more than one layer.

How Parents Can Assist Learning
As the game proceeds, the dig site keeps changing which impacts the options for a child to play a card on their turn.

If a parent notices a child is having difficulty deciding what card to play, encourage them to think about whether playing a card will simply get rid of a card, will likely cause another player(s) to add a card or would the best choice be to use a Sweep card if they have it.

Players can reduce the number of cards in their hand by making multiple layer matches, which requires careful study of card patterns.


Learning Implications and Educator Support
As the game proceeds, the dig site keeps changing which impacts the options for a child to play a card on their turn.

If an educator notices a child is having difficulty deciding what card to play, encourage them to think about whether playing a card will simply get rid of a card, will likely cause another player(s) to add a card or would the best choice be to use a Sweep card if they have it.

Educators may want to have children discuss their options aloud in order to assess their thinking and enable all players to learn strategic thinking together.



*Data compiled from CCSSI ELA Standards, WA Science Standards, and Washington Social Studies Standards

Special Needs

Cognitive

Suggestions for How to Modify Play Experience
Fossil Sweep requires focusing on both ends of the dig site as well as the multiple layers on the cards to make a decision what to card to play. This may be too complex for some children with cognitive challenges. To simplify, eliminate the option of overlapping two or three layers, so the players only need to match the end layer.

If the player has difficulty matching the images on the cards, they can be encouraged to match the colors on the layers.

Communication

Suggestions for How to Modify Play Experience
Communication is not needed to play Fossil Sweep, but it should be encouraged. Players can name the fossils they are matching. This will support learning about the fossils from the information sheet provided.

Play with a partner can encourage discussion and joint problem-solving.

Sensorimotor

Suggestions for How to Modify Play Experience
Aligning the cards requires fine motor skills. If the child has difficulty manipulating the cards, use card holder.

If aligning the cards on top of each other is challenging, have the child tell another player where to lay their card by pointing to where the card is to be placed and naming the overlapping fossils or colors.

Social Emotional/Behavioral

Suggestions for How to Modify Play Experience
Fossil Sweep requires focusing on more than one element of the cards at a time. This may be frustrating for children with emotional regulation issues. For these children, play in partners so visual search of the cards and decision-making can be made jointly.

Playing with a partner can also help children who are socially reticent to participate in the game. This will encourage discussion of which card to play.

Vision

Suggestions for How to Modify Play Experience
The pictures on the cards are visually complex and the colors are not highly contrasted, so Fossil Sweep is not recommended for children with low vision.

Hearing

Suggestions for How to Modify Play Experience
No modifications should be needed for children with hearing impairments. Demonstration of directions can support learning the rules to the game.

*Data compiled from CCSSI ELA Standards, WA Science Standards, and Washington Social Studies Standards

Autism

Fossil Sweep is a matching game that requires players to search their cards for dinosaur fossil layers that will match the fossil layers in the dig site. Players attempt to use all the cards in their hand, make a match more difficult for other players, or make a strategic sweep of the dig site that will result in other players earning unwanted points.

Autism Strengths & Interests

Short Summary of Strengths & Interests

  • Decision-making
  • Strategic Thinking
  • Matching

Is good at matching visual items

Is This Game Appropriate? Yes

Description
Fossil Sweep is a matching game.

Has a good memory for sensory details, including visual, touch, taste and smell

This game is not appropriate

Has a good memory for words, phrases and dialouge

This game is not appropriate

Has a good memory for pictures, numbers and patterns

This game is not appropriate

Likes to put things in order or a sequence

This game is not appropriate

Learns through visualizing or "replaying" actions in their mind

This game is not appropriate

Likes activities with rules, such as math and phonics

This game is not appropriate

Is very concrete and literal

Is This Game Appropriate? Yes

Description
The matching in Fossil Sweep is visual and concrete.

Learns in small "chunks" (for example, phone numbers are 3 chunks of number xxx-xxx-xxxx that are combined together)

This game is not appropriate

Is good at nonverbal reasoning and logic

Is This Game Appropriate? Yes

Description
Reasoning is involved in determining which cards would be best to play to reduce one's own cards and increase other players' cards.

Likes spatial problem solving

Is This Game Appropriate? Yes

Description
Although spatial understanding is needed to arrange the cards, the game is more about matching.

Can read well with good vocabulary, though may not fully comprehend content

This game is not appropriate

Likes to use and has good fine motor skill

Is This Game Appropriate? Yes

Description
Fine motor skills are needed for holding cards, comparing the player's cards in their hand, and placing the cards on the dig site.

Likes established routines or set ways of doing things

Is This Game Appropriate? Yes

Description
The routine of play is the same for each round of play. The Sweep cards may provide a fast shift in play, which may be disconcerting to some children with autism.

Likes manipulating, constructing or building things

Is This Game Appropriate? Yes

Description
Although not construction, as such, the players do build a dig site.

Likes to use and has good musical abilities

This game is not appropriate

Likes to use and has good drawing skills

This game is not appropriate


Autism Special Considerations

Appears to ignore other's communication and/or has difficulty giving eye contact to a communication partner

Is This Game Appropriate for Child with Characteristic? Yes

Can Child with Characteristic Play Game w/o Modification? Yes

Strategies for Developing Compensatory Skills:
Fossil Sweep does not require players to look at each other. They can focus on the dig site and their cards.

Has difficulty understanding complex verbal directions

Is This Game Appropriate for Child with Characteristic? Yes

Can Child with Characteristic Play Game w/o Modification? Yes

Strategies for Developing Compensatory Skills:
The directions can be demonstrated for children who need visual supports. Players may need assistance with tabulating the score at the end of the game.

Uses vocabulary inaccurately or demonstrates echolalia (repeating another's speech)

Is This Game Appropriate for Child with Characteristic? Yes

Can Child with Characteristic Play Game w/o Modification? Yes

Strategies for Developing Compensatory Skills:
Unless the child's echolalia is extensive and distracting for other players, it should not inhibit the game.

Gets stuck repeating a verbal topic or physical actions and/or has difficulty attending to others' actions or topic.

Is This Game Appropriate for Child with Characteristic? No

Can Child with Characteristic Play Game w/o Modification? No

Strategies for Developing Compensatory Skills:
If the child has excessive need to move or use their hands in extraneous movements or fidgeting, this may distract from attention to the game and other players' moves. It is important to watch others' play, so future plays can be determined.

Has difficulty producing speech/communication

Is This Game Appropriate for Child with Characteristic? Yes

Can Child with Characteristic Play Game w/o Modification? Yes

Strategies for Developing Compensatory Skills:
Communication is not needed to successfully play Fossil Sweep.

Has difficulty sequencing multi-step actions and/or doing complex abstract tasks

Is This Game Appropriate for Child with Characteristic? Yes

Can Child with Characteristic Play Game w/o Modification? No

Strategies for Developing Compensatory Skills:
Many children with autism have skill at seeing and matching patterns. If the child can see patterns, Fossil Sweep may be a good match. Understanding the use of the Dig Dare and Sweep cards may be difficult, however. Use of a piece of black tape on the center layer of the Dig Dare cards may serve as a visual reminder that that column can't be matched. The Sweep cards may be eliminated if these are too complicated for the child to understand how they figure into strategy. The child may need assistance to add the values of cards at the end of the game.

Demonstrates difficulty initiating and maintaining social interactions

Is This Game Appropriate for Child with Characteristic? Yes

Can Child with Characteristic Play Game w/o Modification? Yes

Strategies for Developing Compensatory Skills:
If the child can take turns in a game, other social interactions are not needed. Other players can encourage interaction by commenting on each play.

Acts out or demonstrates avoidance behaviors when frustrated, overwhelmed, or needs more sensory input.

Is This Game Appropriate for Child with Characteristic? No

Can Child with Characteristic Play Game w/o Modification? No

Strategies for Developing Compensatory Skills:
Fossil Sweep requires attention to each players turn. Acting out behaviors will hinder the child's attention and distract other players from play as well.

Has short attention span for non-preferred activities

Is This Game Appropriate for Child with Characteristic? Yes

Can Child with Characteristic Play Game w/o Modification? Yes

Strategies for Developing Compensatory Skills:
If the child like matching activities and finding patterns, Fossil Sweep may be a preferred game.

Needs sameness or consistent routines and/or has difficulty with transitions from one activity to another

Is This Game Appropriate for Child with Characteristic? Yes

Can Child with Characteristic Play Game w/o Modification? No

Strategies for Developing Compensatory Skills:
The game routine is the same for each turn, with the exception of the Dig Dare cards and the Sweep cards. The Sweep cards remove all played cards, so this may be frustrating for the child who has worked to build the dig site. These cards may be removed, if needed. Alternatively, the player who will play the Sweep card can prepare everyone by announcing, "Time to start a new dig!" Let the child with autism be in control of collecting the cards and putting them is the discard pile. Contributing to the transition may lessen the distress.

Has difficulty understanding others' feelings, intentions, and the reasons for others' actions.

Is This Game Appropriate for Child with Characteristic? Yes

Can Child with Characteristic Play Game w/o Modification? Yes

Strategies for Developing Compensatory Skills:
Understanding others' feelings is not needed to play the game. Understanding what other players may do in a turn may help develop strategy, but is not necessary to play the game.

*Data compiled from CCSSI ELA Standards, WA Science Standards, and Washington Social Studies Standards

Extended Play

Not available for this product.

Collapsible content

How to Play Video & Transcript

Welcome to SimplyFun’s How to Play Fossil Sweep! A game were players play cards by matching fossils. You can play Fossil Sweep with 2-5 players, ages 8 and up!

Fossil Sweep is great for developing Strategy skills as players practice implementing a plan to reach a specific outcome, thinking through the possible choices that others might make.

Fossil Sweep also helps develop Decision Making skills as each player uses critical thinking to decide the best timing and placement of their cards so they can get the best score.

Shuffle all the cards together and place the deck face down in the center of the play area, creating the draw pile.

Afterwards, deal cards face down to each player. The number of cards each player is dealt changes depending on how many players are in the game.

Players may look at their cards but should not show them to others.

Next, turn over the top card from the draw pile, and place it face up where everyone can reach. This is the start of the dig site. If this card is a Sweep card, replace it by putting the card at the bottom of the draw pile and draw another card.

The first player to name a dinosaur out loud goes first, then play continues clockwise.

Players take turns matching the fossil layers on their cards to the card layers on the dig site. The goal is to get rid of as many cards in your hand as you can before someone plays a Sweep card or runs out of cards, ending the round. Cards have different point values, and the player with the fewest points at the end of the game wins!

This game is played in rounds. Each round consists of playing cards from your hand onto the dig site until one player has played all their cards or until a Sweep card is played. Any cards still in your hand at the end of a round are put into your lost pile, which counts against you at the end of the game. On your turn, play a card from your hand by overlapping layers onto the dig site. Play your cards with the goal of removing as many cards from your hand as possible, getting other players to take additional cards from your hand, before the round is over.

There are three types of cards: - Fossil Cards - Dig Dare cards - Sweep cards

Fossil Cards Fossil cards have three layers of fossils. Each fossil layer has a specific color.

Play a fossil card from your hand by matching one of the layers on your card to a layer on an outside edge of the dig site. Place your card on the dig site by overlapping the matching layers of fossils.

If you can match two layers of fossils on your card to two layers on the outside edge of the dig site, then the player to your left must randomly select one of the remaining cards in your hand. That player then adds that card to their hand.

If you can match all three layers on your card with the three layers on the outside edge of the dig site, then first the player on your left and then the player on your right must each draw a card from your hand and add it to theirs. (In a two-player game, the other player must draw two cards from your hand.) Some fossil cards have a wild layer with every fossil color. This layer may overlap ANY type of fossil. These wild layer cards can help you give more of your cards to the other players by making double and triple matches more easily.

If on a player’s turn they are unable to play a card from their hand, they must draw one card from the draw pile and then play it, if possible. If they cannot play the newly drawn card they just added to their hand, then their turn is over and it is the next players turn.

Fossil matches can only be played on the outside layers at either end of the dig site, not on layers in the middle.

Dig Dare Cards Dig Dare cards look like fossil cards but have uncolored rocks and excavation tools on the center layer of the card.

Play a Dig Dare card from your hand by matching one of the outside layers of fossils on the card to an outside edge on the dig site. Place the card on the table by overlapping the matching layer of fossils.

Note—The center layer of the Dig Dare card has no color and cannot match with any layer, including other uncolored Dig Dare layers and wild layers.

After playing a Dig Dare, the player to your left is challenged to play a card from their hand that matches the outside edge of the Dig Dare card that was just played. That player may not play a card on the other side of the dig site. They must respond to the dare by playing on the Dig Dare card directly.

If the player can play a matching fossil on the outside of the Dig Dare card, the site is saved. Their turn is now over, and it is the next player’s turn.

If the player has no matches to the fossil on the end Dig Dare card and cannot respond to the Dig Dare, the site starts to collapse. They must pick up three cards from the site, starting with the Dig Dare. Those collected cards go into the player’s hand, and their turn is over.

Note—Another Dig Dare card may be played on to the current Dig Dare card so long as the fossil layers on the outside edges match. Doing this counts as matching the Dig Dare and creates a new challenge for the next player.

Sweep Card

When a player plays a Sweep card on their turn, the entire dig site is swept away. All cards on the dig site are discarded along with the played Sweep card. All cards in all players’ hands become lost fossils and are placed face down into a lost pile to the side of each player. After playing the Sweep card, the player’s turn is over, and the current round ends. A new hand is dealt to all players and a new dig site is started by drawing the top card of the deck and placing it face up for all players to see. The new round starts with the next player’s turn.

Note—A Sweep card cannot be played to escape a Dig Dare card.

End of a Round

There are multiple ways for a round to end: - After a player plays a Sweep card. - When a player plays the last card in their hand. - Or when the draw pile is out of cards to draw.

Whenever a round ends, all players put any cards still in their hands into their lost piles. Then deal new cards to each player and place a new start card from the top of the deck onto the dig site. Play continues with the person to the left of whoever last played a card in the previous round.

The game ends when there are not enough cards to start a new round or when the draw pile is empty. Scoring At the end of the game, players tally up their points. Different cards are worth different points: - Fossil cards are each worth 1 point. - Dig Dare cards are worth 3 points. - Sweep cards are worth 5 points. The player with the fewest points in their lost pile at the end of the game wins!

See how many fossils you can play before it’s all swept away when you play SimplyFun’s Fossil Sweep.