Wednesday, September 29, 2010

Inchimals: A Fun Introduction to Math

I have to be honest.  I was blogging.  I needed to distract my boys for just a tiny bit longer the other day.  I only had a little left to write of a blog post . . .

These days, I never know if this will be my last moment before I am holding a newborn.  So I am frantically trying to pre-post.


Something sitting on the table peeked their curiosity, you know . . . the Granola Boys.  And I complied.

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The Granola Boys ended up distracting me!  (I personally think they are just too cute!)

I was delighted by how they creatively played with this game from Timberdoodle, a great resource for homeschool supplies,  . . . without being informed of the instructions.

You see, the fun game that was residing on the table is called Inchimals.  Not only is it an open-ended game, but it can also be played following guidelines (AKA rules). 

The best part about this game is that the kids are learning WHILE having fun.  Score.  This game is what is called a math manipulative, meaning it is a product that is used to aide in teaching a mathematical concept.

So here is what I first allowed to happen.  All I did was give them the Inchimal sticks, which I will have you know are thankfully sturdy pieces of wood, which is necessary in our household. 

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They simply started measuring the cabinets,

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the refrigerator,

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matchbox cars . . . which eventually lead to using the Inchimals as a barrier wall for a racetrack,

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and they finally decided to line the Inchimals up according to height before they moved on . . .

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to the nifty dry erase book included in the Inchimal box.

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I must admit that the Granola Boys are particularly fond of the dry erase marker with the built in eraser.

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We also used our Inchimals to measure feet.

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We tried to come up with a variety of animals to use to achieve the same length.

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But no matter what, we always end up doing math problems, I mean playing with animals.  This is a typical addition problem.

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Followed by a subtraction problem . . .

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The crazy thing was that even the cleaning up of this game was fun. 

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Mr. Smackdown tried to make sure that each row was the same length!

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In short, the Inchimal game includes:

  • 12 Wooden Inchimals Blocks
  • Dry Erase Marker
  • 100 Puzzles in a Spiral-bound Erasable Book

It provides a(n)

  • great introduction into math by introducing words such as, How long? How high? How tall? How many inches? etc.
  • structure to explain how to obtain an answer for an addition or subtraction math problem.  Instead of starting out with numbers, add a penguin and a frog together.  To find the answer, your child can simply count the dots on the end of the wood stick.
  • practice writing numbers in the wipe-off math book that contains over 100 puzzles.

For more ideas on how to use the Inchimals, head on over to Timberdoodle.  This would make a GREAT birthday gift or Christmas gift for the preschooler in your life!

P.S. If you are interested in winning anything, head on over to the Timberdoodle Facebook page or the Timberdoodle Blog.  The company is celebrating 25 years of business in style!   They are having 25 different giveaways!

As a member of Timberdoodle's Blogger Review Team I received a free copy of Inchimals in exchange for a frank and unbiased review.

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