Learn Well Store: Good educational games

After having many kids and going through all sorts of toys, I am now more discerning about the toys I allow them to play with. With the first few kids, I didn’t know very much. Toys were toys, right? Just something to keep them occupied. But as any parent (especially those with many kids) will find out, very quickly the house becomes over-run with toys. So I started to limit the amount of toys we bought and kept. Simultaneously, I started learning that there were good toys and lousy toys. Basically, the more the toy can do, the less benefit it has for your child. I’m sure you would have observed with some chagrin how junior would rather play with the box the toy came in than the actual mechanised toy. So out went all those silly battery operated toys which my parents loved to buy for them, along with those cheap brightly coloured china-made toys where the lead content was suspect. In it’s place, I started acquiring good, durable, open-ended play things such as blocks, puzzles and pretend play toys.

So when I discovered Learn Well Store which sells wooden educational toys, I was very interested. This online store is the retail platform of Learn Well International, the leading provider of educational materials for the early childhood industry in Singapore for more than 20 years. They are now bringing their quality products not only to schools but to individuals like us! They have a wide variety of toys and the thing I like best is that most of their toys are open-ended. This allows for many ways of playing which promotes different skill sets, and can be used by the child for several years. Needless to say, I was stoked when they agreed to sponsor us some of their toys and it was difficult to choose as I wanted them all. Finally I settled on Bears & Patterns and 4 Colours Per Square.

Bears & Patterns is appealing to little children and Kate immediately picked up the cute little pieces and started lining them up. The bears come in 4 colours and 3 sizes (small, medium, large). This set is so versatile that the kids can benefit from it for a long time as they move on to more complex ways of playing. It can be played independently or up to 6 kids together.

“Hmm.. doesn’t look quite right”

1) Sorting & Grouping

This is the most basic level of thinking skills which 2-3 year olds can acquire by placing the bears in groups according to Size and Colour.

2) Replication & Patterning

Using the pattern cards provided, children can copy the pattern on the cards. Not only will they learn the higher order thinking skills of forming patterns but as they progress to more difficult skill cards (they are numbered), they can learn to predict what comes next in the sequence.

3) Pair game

Each player has his own pattern grid facing them so that their opponent is unable to see it. Through a series of questions and taking turns (e.g. “Do you have a small green bear?”), they have to guess the pattern that the other has. This improves memory, verbal, visual as well as social skills.

4) Group game

Players each have a pattern grid facing them such that no one else can see it. An opaque bag is used to contain the bears. Players take turns drawing out a bear and describing it to the other players. If another player identifies that the bear is needed to complete their own pattern grid, they must be the first to claim it. The winner is the first person who manages to complete his pattern grid.

The game promotes the use of Oral and Tactile skills so the possibilities are endless with this versatile toy.

4 Colours Per Square $160

The other game we received is 4 Colours Per Square. This game looks deceptively fun, but it actually provides them the opportunity to sort, plan, count, measure, compare, match, put together and take apart, aspects which make up the essential foundation of number sense and quantity preservation. It also encourages them to think out of the box to get the pieces to fit into the square. A myriad of games can be played with this one set.

1) Independent play

The most basic way of playing is for the child to fill up the square with the different coloured parts. A variation would be to ask the child to fill one square with the coloured parts and then asked to fill another square in a different way. This promotes higher order thinking skills such as spatial awareness and creative thinking.

2) Unit measurement

This Math concept is taught in lower primary and you can expose your child to this concept by asking them to fill up the square using unit measurements (e.g. Fill them up using only 1 square unit pieces, thus how many units do you need to fill in the whole square. Next, fill them up using only 2 square unit pieces). To make it more challenging for older kids, ask them to fill in the squares using 4 different colours and 4 different sizes and discuss the different ways this task can be done.

Kate is oblivious to the rules of the game

3) Group game

Using the spinner, the children take turns to spin the arrow and fill in their square as they pick up the coloured pieces which has been randomly chosen by the spinner. The challenging and fun part starts when their square is almost filled up but they are not getting the right pieces thanks to the luck of the draw!

This versatile game is only bound by your own creativity. You can even introduce fractions through this set, or use it as a memory game by placing the pieces faced down and guessing the colours. 

{GIVEAWAY} Choice of ONE game

Sane tip: I really like multi-faceted toys as they grow with the child while maintaining age appropriateness. It saves space too, instead of buying multiple sets of toys. Another plus is that these games are also good for the elderly to maintain their mental agility, so the whole family can play and bond together!

Save tip: {GIVEAWAY} Here’s a chance for ONE lucky reader to win either Bears & Patterns OR 4 Colours Per Square (valued at $160), generously sponsored by Learn Well Store.

All you have to do is:

  •  Enter the GIVEAWAY below
  •  Like Mummy Wee’s Facebook page
  • Like Learn Well Store Facebook page
  • Like and Share this post on Facebook with the caption “Educational toys are great!” and tag Mummy Wee
  •  Leave a comment on Mummy Wee’s Facebook post stating which set you would like to win.

a Rafflecopter giveaway

  • 1 winner will be chosen at random
  • Open to Singapore residents only
  • Ends 30 September 2014
  • Winner will be announced on Mummy Wee’s Facebook page on 3 October 2014
  • Winner will be contacted by Learn Well Store for delivery

Disclaimer: Learn Well Store sponsored us the 2 sets and the giveaway. All opinions are my own.

~ www.mummyweeblog.com – a blog on parenting 6 kids in Singapore ~

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