Learning maths the fun way: HappyCalc Review
Post in collaboration with HappyCalc
Have I ever confessed my lack of mathematical ability?
I can do simple maths but the more complex equations always bested me. It didn’t help that I found maths an intensely boring subject to boot.
It was such a weakness for me at school that I made sure I did extra units for the HSC so my maths mark did not contribute to my university entrance ranking (yes I was THAT desperate!)
So it’s fair to say numbers have never made all that much sense to me and it appears my kids see the world in a very similar way.
Both Gilbert and Matilda love reading, writing and soaking up facts, immersing themselves in stories and imagining different realities.
Maths is not something they enjoy or relish – just like their mum.
However, Delilah may yet buck the trend.
So far, she really enjoys her maths activity homework and prefers it to writing activities.
Which is possibly why she really enjoyed reviewing the HappyCalc Elementary Maths puzzle.
Concentrating on the numbers 1 to 10, HappyCalc is targeted to preschoolers, introducing them to simple maths concepts through an interactive space theme.
As you’ll see in the video below, Delilah got so much more out of this puzzle than just a fun maths experience:
The puzzle has no set rules and no set pattern to follow. In this way, it promotes free play by encouraging kids to follow where their imaginations take them. Number components fit with space components so you can make whatever you like.
Delilah enjoyed designing rockets & spaceships and then connecting them to a slide made out of the number pieces for her aliens and astronauts to ride on.
With over 130 pieces to play with, there really is no limit to what can be created…
Rocket ships, satellites, numbered paths, astronauts and aliens can all be formed from the components of this puzzle. It’s a really open game and it’s fun to see what your kids can come up with from all the pieces on offer.
One thing I particularly liked was the fact the numbered puzzle pieces come in different sizes – the smallest number piece being one, right through to the largest piece being ten. It’s a great visual way to teach kids number chronology as they can see that seven is a bigger number than six, for example.
Surprisingly, Delilah spent most of her time engaging in imaginary play. As seen in the video above, after putting together a few rocket shapes, she used the astronaut & alien pieces to play a sliding game down the numbers from ten to one. This showed me she understood the numbers counted down from ten to one, which is reinforced by the size of the puzzle pieces themselves.
The puzzle pieces are sturdy and thick and are not hard to put together, making this a great activity for 4 to 6 years olds to play, with minimum supervision.
I think this would be an ideal visual puzzle to share with children on the autism spectrum as it explicitly shows the incremental increases in value from one to ten. It’s also an ideal way to introduce them to pretend play with the space theme, alien and astronaut characters and the many rocket, satellite and space ship pieces.
The only problem I could foresee in sharing this with ASD kids would be in the fact there are no rules to this – it is a puzzle designed for open and free play, which could be a challenge for kids craving rules and regulation.
Despite this, I really think there is a lot of potential in this puzzle and would definitely recommend it for all preschoolers.
Happy Calc Elementary Maths Puzzle retails for $39.00 and you can order your own copy from their website.
Disclaimer: I did not receive monetary compensation for this post, however, I did receive a complimentary copy of the Happy Calc Elementary Maths Puzzle for the purposes of this review. All opinions and views shared are 100% my own.