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3 Toys that Promote Math Thinking

04.07.11 3 Toys that Promote Math Thinking

miller goodman shape maker

Parents know that reading aloud and teaching the alphabet to children is vital to their language development. Also, we know sharing interesting and different vocabulary on a regular basis with children promotes their acquisition of new words. 

New research tells us that numeracy skills develop in the same way.  With repeated exposure to numbers and their relationships—verbally, in games, in books and on paper, children develop an important foundation of numeracy understanding. 

Here are 3 toys found here at MightyNest that can promote mathematical thinking and learning.  You can use these toys to model counting, sorting and grouping, and shapes and patterns.  Talk about numbers, what you notice, patterns you see, and the defining characteristics of shapes, and you will be modeling early mathematical thinking. 

1.  Here’s a great game for the 6 and up crowd (or younger with lots of guidance and support).  Mancala is a game that promotes counting and problem solving skills.  And it is by one of my favorite companies from here in Vermont, Maple Landmark!  The game is made of solid maple wood, sourced from local lumber that is sustainably harvested and has child-safe decorations. The game has no applied chemicals at all, no finish and no inks.

2.  These wooden shape maker blocks offer endless explorations of shape, symmetry, and design.  The blocks feature a wide variety of geometric shapes—triangles, quadrilaterals, half circles, and other polygons.  Kids can create endless designs, the ones suggested or their own, and learn how to place the shapes together to create something, so they begin to learn about spatial design and visual problem solving.  The blocks are made sustainably from rubber wood, and feature non-toxic water based paints.

3.  Lastly, how lovely to have an alternative to the plastic Connect Four game!  This sweet natural wood and non-toxic, water based dyed Color Connect game features pegs and removable wooden blocks.  In this game, the pieces are set out and shared between 2 players. 3 or 4 pieces have to be placed in one row horizontally, vertically or diagonally. Each player gets a point for a row. The winner is the one with the most points.  The Color Connect Game teachers important graphing concepts such as vertical, horizontal, row, and column, as well as planning ahead strategy thinking skills. 

Look how much fun math can be!

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