Early education is not something which should be taken lightly… after all, how your child is going be when he or she grows up will largely depend on this critical period which serves to form the base for all future decision-making.
While the approach to early education has largely remained unchanged for the past few decades, it seems that some progress has been made as of late as various researchers have concluded that children learn much better when they are doing so through games. As a matter of fact, chances are that most of your school memories consist of fun moments rather than boring lectures.
Of course, it goes without saying that coming up with an educational toy is much more than a simple challenge. Apart from having to create a balance between playing and education, the maker also needs to make sure that the toy itself serves to teach useful concepts which are going to help the child later in life.
Needless to say, a large number of companies have tried to come up with such a toy and have miserably failed, with some of them even going out of business.
However, there is a company by the name of MindWare which has already been making waves in this industry for quite some time now as they have released a large number of highly-acclaimed educational toys, including the Pattern Play building blocks.
An Overview of What Pattern Play Is
Just like many of MindWare’s toys, Pattern Play is a building block set which consists of 40 high-quality pieces. In addition to the blocks themselves there are also 40 pattern design cards in order to provide children with some kind of a challenge.
In addition to that, a 10.5” square tray and a muslin storage bag are also included. The blocks themselves are coated in very vibrant colors including red, blue, orange, yellow, green, light green, purple, baby blue, dark purple and pink. It is recommended for children of ages 3 and up.
As you can probably imagine, the purpose of the MindWare Pattern Play is to have children use the building blocks in order to create various patterns according to their own ideas and imagination, or create shapes which match those on the design cards.
The concept behind the whole thing is pretty simple, but what exactly does it help to develop in a child, and does it actually work?
How the Pattern Play Helps Children to Develop
As is claimed by MindWare themselves, the blocks are designed to in order to introduce the children to basic and essential mathematic concepts such as sorting, matching, fractions, congruence and symmetry.
The idea is that for children, figuring out which piece goes where and in what direction is not only going to be educational, but it will also be a perceived as a fun and challenging game. The cards which are used to challenge children even further are sorted according to their difficulty range and they can prove to be useful for children of different ages.
In addition to teaching the children some basic mathematic concepts, the MindWare Pattern Play also contributes to expanding their capacity to think creatively as the children are also encouraged to stray from the challenging design cards in order to work on some creations of their own.
Regardless of whether the children will be trying to complete challenging designs or making their own, they are going to be learning something, not to mention that they will be having fun at the same time.
Does the Pattern Play Work?
Well, first of all it needs to be taken into consideration that this toy was meant for three year-colds, which means that they still need to be taught the most basic academic concepts there are. By following the instructions on a challenge card the child’s brain becomes stimulated as they are actively trying to find the necessary blocks by differentiating them from the other ones, an excellent method to teach visual discrimination, sorting, matching, and congruence.
If the children are a bit older, then these same blocks can be used to introduce them to what fractions are and how they work, effectively giving them an academic head-start. Also, it should be noted that the intricacy of the patterns create by the children can also be used as a very accurate indicator of their level of development, which is a very practical way of keeping track of their progress.
As far as the public opinion on the matter goes, one simply needs to take a look at the MindWare Pattern Play’s Amazon ratings. Out of the 26 reviews, 19 give 5 stars, 2 give 4 stars, 4 give 3 stars, and only 1 gave 2 stars.
The general opinion is that it is a great tool which one can use to teach various mathematical, geometric and spatial concepts to children while keeping it fun.
There were only a couple of complaints, with the main one being that the frame doesn’t allow the pieces to fit in too well, not to mention that some people felt that 40 design cards wasn’t really enough. Apart from that though, the people who tried it seem quite happy of the results.
We have looked around a bit and found that the best deal on the MindWare Pattern Play is available at Amazon as they are selling it at a 22% discount for only $23.42. If you would like to purchase it simply follow the link below
|Click here to visit the MindWare Pattern Play Amazon webpage|
Follow the link below if you prefer to buy directly from MindWare:
|Click here to visit MindWare Pattern Play webpage|