As another week of home schooling ends and another stretches in front of us, I have been trying my best to move away from worksheets and make our learning a little more hands on. Both my children are in KS1 and I find that they learn better when they can touch and engage with what they are working on.
So, when Learning Resources offered to send us through some Mathlink cubes to build into our home school journey, I knew that I would be able to put them to good use. This is what we have been doing with them.
WHAT ARE MATHLINK CUBES?
You must remember these from when you were a kid! Stackable cubes which come in a wide range of colours to increase the fun, these little cubes are easy for little hands to push together and take apart again.
Measuring 2cm squared, these cubes may be little but when connected together they pack quite the learning punch.
First up, we have been using them to work on our colours and shapes. It gets a little more complicated outside of squares and rectangles, but that makes it all the more fun. Plus, it’s interesting to see how much easier kids seem to find making non regular shapes compared to adults!
Next up we have been using them to make numbers. Extra points given in our house if you also use this for a little bit of pattern matching!
What I really like about this one is that is really works for the imagination too. Set them a task – in this case it was make an animal shape – and just sit back to see what they create. The formal structure of the cube shape really forces them to be creative.
At almost 4, Henry really enjoys this one. A simple task of setting up a colour pattern for them and asking them to copy it. You can make the sequence as long or as short as you like based on the age of your child. If they are a little older, make the shapes more complicated for them to copy.
This is Mathlinks in its most basic form, but also its most beneficial for Darcie who is in reception. She is starting to work on basic maths and these cubes really help. What is 5-2? These cubes help them with adding numbers together or taking them away to then count the number of cubes they are left with to get the answer to the sum.
MATCH A CARD
Great for number recognition, get your child to pick 5 cards and lay them down. They then need to put that number of Mathlink cubes onto the card. A simple game but a good one. If your little ones are a bit older you can get them to write up the number too.
Finally, we have been using our Mathlink cubes to start working on our 3D shapes. Squares vs. cubes and rectangles vs. cuboids. We have to start somewhere, and this has been working really well to give us a good foundation to build on to then go and find these shapes in everyday life.
I love the simplicity of Mathlink cubes. Their rigid shape forces them to work with them in strict parameters while the click and lock connection helps children to work on their on their hand eye coordination and dexterity.
The last thing my two have been asking whenever we use Mathlink cubes in our learning is, can we play with them now? They seem to love nothing more than building the shapes they create into their imaginative play.
The team from Learning Resources have also put togethers this amazing set of FREE online resources for us all. There are a massive set of resources available with free printable activity workbooks in the areas of maths, literacy, STEM, coding, the world, early years and of course educational games.
The team are aware that as parents and children are spending so much time at home, they wanted to help. Aimed at children aged 2-11, these packs are designed to keep kids engaged. They are proud to boast that the activities will help turn this time at home into a fun-filled learning experience for us all. What’s more, they’re FREE!
It’s worth checking them out and downloading anything you think your children will enjoy. Now, on to the GIVEAWAY!
The team from Learning Resources are giving away a set of 100 Mathlink cubes as a competition prize to one lucky Tippytupps reader. Just enter via Rafflecopter using the link below and follow the usual social media accounts.
This giveaway is open to UK residents only and is powered by Rafflecopter. It will close on Sunday 17th May 2020 at midnight. The winner will be chosen at random using the tool. Please note this competition is hosted by the Tippytupps blog but the prize is being provided by the Learning Resources team who will be responsible for posting your prize out to you. For full terms and conditions for the giveaway, please visit the Tippytupps terms and conditions page.
DISCLOSURE: we were sent the Mathlink cubes in return for this honest review. As always though, all thoughts and opinions are my own.