Name: Shelly from OFamily Learning Together
Age of child: 8 and 6 years old
Product testing: Mathlink® Cubes Activity Set
“Shelly is a Chartered Accountant who is now a home-educating mum to two kids. She blogs about the learning activities that they do at home and shares resources that they have used and enjoyed on the OFamily Learning Together blog.”
What were your first thoughts when the resource arrived?
I initially thought it was snap cubes with some activity cards added. But my son immediately noticed the different shapes on each side of the cubes.
How did you use it?
We started off using the activity cards but the kids quickly branched out into using the cubes for their own activities. My son used the cubes to create his own sums and after completing the 3D shape cards both my kids played around with the cubes creating their own shapes and tried to find ways of combining smaller shapes into bigger shapes.
What are the educational benefits?
It’s a brilliant maths manipulative! When the kids are starting to learn about addition and subtraction it really helps if they can use manipulatives that they can pick up and move around. If they can physically add three objects together, the sum 2+1 makes a lot more sense. Also, my kids tend to work for longer periods of time if they are using objects and not just writing an answer on a worksheet. So for us it means longer, more productive maths sessions.
What did you like/dislike about it?
We love that the cubes have the shapes on them. Also the activity cards are really helpful as it gives you some great ideas on how you can use the cubes. My son did comment that he finds the Mathlink cubes a bit harder to separate and add together than his snap cubes but I actually liked this as it was a good finger strengthening exercise for him.
What is the long term appeal?
The cubes can be used in addition, subtraction, multiplication and division. They can be used to explain simple sums and more complex sums so there is definitely a long term appeal for me.
These cubes definitely help ensure that kids understand what they are working on and it makes the maths more hands-on and fun!
Is it unique?
They’re similar to the snap cubes but have the added benefit of the shapes on the sides.
Cubes, Right: Snap Cubes)
Would you recommend it to a friend?
Yes. I have already recommended it to a number of friends.
The final score: