Hi Everyone! I am pleased to announce that I am now a part of the Timberdoodle blog team! This exciting news means that Timberdoodle will occasionally be providing us some products in exchange for our review of them. And first up is Tiny Polka Dot!
This bright little box is filled with 66 cards and instructions for 16 different games! All of which are geared toward mathematical development. One of my favorite things about the game is that it includes a “Guide for Grownups” which had some really helpful tips. The last thing written in the guide is: “when your child plays and has fun, they are laying the foundation for a lifetime of mathematical success.” I think everyone who reads my blog entries can see that this product falls right into my play-based learning style. Anyway, continuing on with what’s in the box… I mentioned before that there are instructions for 16 different games. This is great, but I did find some of them to be little vague, especially some of the more difficult games, so you kind of have to (or maybe get to) make it fit to whatever seems to work for your little one. The cards themselves though are physically incredible. Baby Lady preferred to make a mess with the cards and in all of our time playing so far (which has been several different occasions) we have only had one bend, and it’s hardly even noticeable. This is a huge plus because finding games we can let her play with too is actually very difficult.
Now, getting down to some specifics. The whole set has games for a wide range of ages from 3+ – 7+, but I could see some of the games being captivating for much longer. The problem for us is that Bug seems a little too advanced for about half of the games and not quite ready for the other half, so they don’t hold his interest for as long as some of his other card and board games. I actually found myself really wishing we had this last year for Pre-K. The good news for you (and for Baby Lady) is that I just found out that it’s part of the Timberdoodle Pre-K Kit. Though I would recommend it for anyone, not just homeschoolers. I love that it is a fun way to really enforce the most important mathematical basics. Just in the second time we played I noticed and improvement in Bug’s subitizing (which means being able to recognize a number of objects without having to count them). I’m extremely excited to be able to use this in Baby Lady’s curriculum in the future. For Bug it certainly wasn’t one of those games he obsesses over (like Monopoly Jr., which we have played no less than 100 times), but this is probably a good thing because it keeps me from getting bored with it. I would say the reason he didn’t obsess over it was because the games lend themselves toward being one player games (especially Hungry Numbers, which he says is his favorite), and he tends to prefer multi-player games. But this is actually a plus for me because it keeps him occupied by himself for a few minutes, so I can fold a load of laundry or empty the dishwasher.
Alright, alright, at the end of the day you’re wondering: Is this game worth $14? My opinion: Absolutely. The longevity alone would make it worth it. Add to that the number of games and the ability to adapt those games to your child’s interests, and you’ve got a winner. If you’re interested in buying this game for your family you can get it here, and start earning yourself some Doodle Points for all the other awesome Timberdoodle stuff you’re going to want.
As an added bonus, when you purchase from Timberdoodle, your receipt has an activity sheet printed on the back of it. This time I got a page out of Extreme Dot-to-Dot: Explorers, it was so fun it made me want to buy the whole book for myself.
**Timberdoodle provided this product free of charge, in exchange for a review. Our thoughts are 100% our own.**