If you have not seen Inchimals than you are in for a treat. I had my eye on Inchimals but hated to take the leap and purchase the set. Why? I have enough math manipulatives to fill a truck. However, I suspected these were a bit different so you can imagine how thrilled I was when I had the opportunity to review this item.
What are Inchimals?
Inchimals are 12 wooden blocks, each with a different animal and number painted on the block. The blocks are made into one inch increments. The ladybug is one inch and so on until you arrive at the 12 inch giraffe. Included in the set are a dry erase marker and a spiral bound dry erasable book with puzzles.
What does Inchimals Teach:
- Basic measurement skills.
- Addition and subtraction skills.
- Equivalent value skills.
- Sequencing skills.
- Math Vocabulary
How does Inchimals Work?
The puzzle book begins with simple addition. The child is asked to determine the sum of one mouse and one bear. The child then finds the animal which is equal in length to the mouse and bear put together. The child will see that one mouse and one bear is equal to one ostrich. Then the child is instructed to write the number associated with each animal. Basically the child just determined the sum of 3 and 7. As the book continues with puzzles on subtraction, 3 digit addition, equivalent sums, addition and subtraction, and finding multiple sums of a given number.
What I liked:
This Charlotte Mason minded homeschool mom liked was how the blocks gave you the answer. Meaning, the child is not writing down the wrong answer but the correct answer is always being reinforced. The equations are also consistently reinforced in the correct manner. This provides a young child with the proper habits of learning math. Basically, your child is not memorizing mistakes that will take you and your child extra work to breakdown. Yet that the same time your child is not being spoon fed the answers but using critical thinking skills to determine answers.
Since the book is dry erase this gives the child the ability to go over the puzzles multiple times and to be passed down to a younger sibling. Homeschooling supplies that you can pass down are great for the budget.
I also liked that both my 5 year old and 2 year old could play and learn together with no tears or fussing. Each had a wonderful using Inchimals. My five year old learned the basics of addition and measurement quickly while my 2 year old learned about sequencing and short and tall. She even enjoyed stacking them as you would with other blocks.
Inchimals can fit into any curriculum or learning style. Not only would I recommend this to a friend I would buy it as a gift. It is a rare thing to combine creative learning in a way that is fun yet not spoon feeding or entertaining your child. I do not like educational supplies or toys which do the thinking for the child or entertain them into learning. I believe both develops bad habits and issues. Inchimals are cute, fun, and educationally sound. This item provokes imagination and learning and does not insert it in the child’s head.
Disclosure: I am a member of the Timberdoodle Review Team and as such this product was provided to me in exchange for a review. My review reflects my personal experience with this product and was not approved by Timberdoodle.