A Search of Mathematics Education Toys and Problem Solving Toys led Me To A Revelation – Written by Nashella Zarek, primary school teacher with Masters’ in Reading/Language Arts
I am a teacher and also a parent. I am always on the lookout for ways to make learning fun and enjoyable for both my children and my students. I firmly believe that play is the key to teaching young children, especially after reading research from such child development experts as Maria Montessori, Jean Piaget, and Lev Vygotsky. These theorists all believed that children learn best through hands-on experiences, and that they make meaning of the world around them in this way.
Since I believe so firmly in these theories, I began to look closely at the children in my life to see whether or not they still held true. I decided to add more play based learning into my classroom and into my home. I decided that it most certainly could not hurt, and may help children to become more independent, thoughtful learners. I began with a search of Mathematics education toys Australia, and problem solving toys Australia, and was affronted with a myriad of products designed to lead children to discoveries about the world, subtly train them to become independent thinkers, and let them have fun!
After sorting through what seemed like thousands of websites, I decided to purchase a few different types of toys for both my home and classroom. Some of my purchases were types of puzzles and others were more like games. I also discovered what I consider to be one of the best mathematics education toys Australia has to offer: the Spielgaben. This is a toy which was modeled after the toys created by Friedrich Froebel, the creator of the modern day kindergarten. These toys are a series of geometric shapes, most of them wooden, which are introduced to children in a certain progression. By introducing them in this manner, children are examining geometric principles, as well as design principles, and then building upon their prior knowledge with the next set.
I started with these toys at home so that I could see how they worked with a small group (three versus twenty one!), and then went on later to introduce them to the children in my classroom. In both cases, I was amazed. My concern with using them at home was that my children are different ages and I wondered if they would appeal to all three of my kids, and much to my pleasure, they did. All three of my children used the materials in different ways, and sometimes even worked with them together, which is something that almost never happens!
The children in my room loved these wonderful problem solving toys Australia and it was not long before I heard them talking amongst each other about their discoveries. They were also anxious to share their findings with me! My kids seemed to be learning more than ever before about mathematical and problem solving tasks, and I could not have been more pleased! Thank goodness the urge struck me to search up Mathematics education toys Australia that rainy afternoon. My purchases were a hit and my kids are learning.