There are times when I look at my daughters and am amazed that they have come so far from being the toothless, chubby babies that had to work on mastering the process of sitting up without tipping over.
When will I stop being so bewildered that they can jump and sing and imagine and converse and just be such big kids?
As much as I love to see them play with toys that are designed to bring joy and encourage creativity, I also really like to mix educational value in there as well. Don't all parents want to see the kids grow up to reach their full potential? For us, our recent favorite way to have fun while also reaping the benefits that a high quality math toy can bring is by pulling out the Fraction Action Board and Fraction Cups from Guidecraft.
Although we already know and love Guidecraft for the fact that their innovative, high quality products are open-ended and inspiring, this month it was great to focus a little more on the educational side.
When the Fraction Action Board and Fraction Cups arrived, right away the girls and I were intrigued by the colorful pieces and the fun shapes.
Made from Eco-friendly rubberwood and stained with low VOC aniline dyes, the Fraction Action Board is designed for ages 2 and up and measures 9.5" x 9.5" x 1.25". There are 18 brightly stained wood pieces that fit into nine spots on the board in shapes ranging from a simple circle or square to a more complex hexagon.
Whether used spontaneously or by following along with the provided activity booklet, the Fraction Action Board is great for sorting, sequencing, fraction skills, shape recognition, hand-eye coordination and much more.
As both Big Sister E and Little Sister B are big fans of puzzles, they have really enjoyed taking all of the large pieces off of the Board and discussing how they fit back together properly. By having each shape fit in as a whole, a half, and in thirds, it is just right to be progressively more difficult... but not so much that they can't figure it out.
Even though both girls (ages 2 and 4) are far from the traditional age of learning fractions, I love seeing their minds at work with the Fraction Action Board as well as the Fraction Cups. They both like to talk about what pieces fit together and just how much fun it is to get all the parts of the whole put together!
The Fraction Cups are a set of four eco-friendly rubberwood cups that are also stained with low VOC aniline dyes. Along with the Fraction Action Board, these 10 colorful pieces explore the concepts of whole, half, third and quarter, while also further developing fine motor skills and hand-eye coordination.
The provided activity booklet gives great ideas, but these easy-to-hold items lend themselves well to all sorts of creative stacking, building, and cognitive thinking. Any time that Big Sister E mixes up the thirds and the quarters, she likes to talk out loud as she contemplates why the circle isn't whole and what might be the problem. It makes for a great interactive learning experience every time!
Guidecraft's Fraction Action Board and Fraction Cups have remained just as engaging and educational as the first day that we opened the boxes and the simplicity of them is truly what makes them unique and fun. I have no doubt that if I sat Big Sister E down and tried to give her a straightforward talk about fractions that she would be bored and uninterested... but with these toys, she finds it fun and exciting!
Retailing for $25 each, the Fraction Action Board and the Fraction Cups are available directly from Guidecraft on their website, through the shopping link of the NEW Guidecraft Facebook page, or on Amazon for a little less (the Fraction Action Board is found here and the Fraction Cups are found here).
Plus, being that this is an awesome Guidecraft Moms review, that means there is a giveaway for these great toys as well! This month it is being held by Mama Jenn, but only until June 25th, so head over right away and enter to win!
(I was provided with a Fraction Action Board and Fraction Cups to help facilitate this review as part of my participation as a Guidecraft Mom. I was not compensated or enticed or to do this review in any way and this post is solely my honest opinion of this website, the products and how much we love them.)