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More Awesome Soft Building Things for Your Programs

by Early Math Counts

By now, everyone knows I love dominoes.  I have blogged about them here and here and they have come up in several other posts about classroom manipulatives.  Last week, one of our readers, Ivan (Thank you Ivan) was perusing the blog and landed on my post about the Really BIG Dominoes from the Chicago Children’s Museum. He connected me with the website where we can order the big, soft dominoes and loads of other really cool, big and soft materials designed for young children.

You can find them here.

Take a look at the page called “Tools for Discovery” and explore the wonderful materials they have that support early math learning.  I love the huge Tic-Tac-Toe board


and the cooperative arch building set.


Tic-Tac-Toe is a game that even very young children can begin playing.  They practice taking turns, recognizing the symbols X and O, and exploring spatial relations.  Unlike older children, Tic-Tac-Toe often ends with a winner, rather than a cat’s game, but that is OK.  In order to really master Tic-Tac-Toe children have to be able to see more than one aspect of the game at once, which is nearly impossible for young children to do. It is actually much more fun to play it with young children and observe how committed they are to completing a row of Xs or Os.

The arch building set requires a certain amount of cooperation between children, which in and of itself, is difficult.  This kind of arch is especially tricky because it demands an understanding of the “keystone concept.”  I bet you know a lot of adults who don’t understand this concept.  Anyway, I think this set will provide a lot of satisfying play in a classroom.  The  blocks are numbered which provides extra clues to how to assemble the arch.  You may find that the children can build it successfully horizontally before they figure out how to get it together vertically.

Take a minute to check out these cool products and so much more.  I am afraid to look at the prices so I am recommending these products even though I don’t know how much they cost.  I didn’t want the cost to get in the way of my delight with the products.

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