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.

happy-calc-elementary-maths-puzzle-review - www.myhometruths.com

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…

Happy Calc Elementary Maths Puzzle pieces - www.myhometruths.com

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.

Rocket ship & aliens in Happy Calc - www.myhometruths.com

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.

Happy Calc Numbers - www.myhometruths.com

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 - www.myhometruths.com

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.

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10 Responses

  1. Deborah says:

    Oh Kirsty, this looks great. I’ll flag it with my friend who has a pre-schooler. He loves rockets!

    PS. I loved maths. I was a maths nerd!
    Deborah recently posted..Weekly check-in

  2. So not a maths nerd but I like the fact that I recall my timetables with no problem and can see the use of geometry now I am making mandalas. So, I like Maths that is useful to me. I did Maths for HSC because in the olden days we had to. My hub loves Maths. I like how open-ended this puzzle is. Your daughter liked the discoveries. Interesting to see how it would be with kids who need order and instructions as you say….”rules” rule! Thanks for linking up Kirsty.

    • Kirsty says:

      I need order and instructions myself – I personally struggled with not having either of these with this puzzle! But I know I’m in the minority and many kids would love the unlimited possibilities of this game.

  3. inthegoodbooksblog says:

    I recently read about this on another blog, and I think it is great!! All three of my daughters would benefit from having one of these in our home.

    • Kirsty says:

      I think it’s fabulous – I would have loved to have had this a year or so ago when Delilah was still in preschool – I bet she would have achieved number recognition a lot faster with this game.

  4. Maths is the bane of my existence. I had to do some spreadsheet work last week and it almost killed me. Maybe I should get myself a maths puzzle 😉

    • Kirsty says:

      Hahaha – I’ve been thinking the same thing! I tend to avoid it at all costs, which is why I detest budgeting too…. #neverhavemoney

  5. Alicia says:

    This would have been awesome for my aspie when he was younger, he has a mathmatics learning difficulty. My girls would love it too, great way to learn and do puzzles at the same time 🙂

    • Kirsty says:

      This would have been really handy for my aspie girl as well – she has maths difficulties now which may have been helped if she’d developed a more solid foundation earlier on.

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