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Learning doesn’t always have to come with tears!

With Djeco’s Eduludo, kids are taught basic concepts and skills through sessions of fun and play. Designed for toddlers and ranging from basic concepts such as colours, numbers, alphabets, and shapes, to more advanced skill sets involving observation, association, perspectives, active listening, and even logical thinking; this wonderful collection of games livens up traditional routes of learning, and transform your child’s first steps of education into a more delightful and interactive activity.

Which is we’d like to end this week with a recap on the importance of learning through play, with a focus on Djeco’s Eduludo series. Put an end to your struggles with engaging your child when it comes to learning. Play that is fun, flexible, voluntary, and intrinsically motivated is when our little ones learn best; so join us on this joy ride of turning even the most challenging early learning concepts into some serious playtime fun!



QUANTITIX: A GAME OF COUNTING & OBSERVATION

Concept: Numeracy
Develops: Counting; One-to-one correspondence; Arithmetics; Observation; Cross-referencing; Logical reasoning
Recommended Age: 4 years +

Now that your little one has mastered counting, it’s time to throw in some observational and cross-referencing skills to the mix! Quantitix is a highly engaging learning game that introduces little ones to the world of cross-referencing; developing critical logical reasoning skills that promotes higher-level thinking and inquiring in later academic stages.

The rules to this game are simple: Pick out one picture card; then observe and locate in it all the five different animals indicated on the main game board – how many of each can you spot? Using the main game board for play, cross-refer both details to help you place your round token in the right spot!



COLORFORMIX: SHAPE + COLOUR RECOGNITION

Concepts: Shapes & Colours
Develops: Counting; One-to-one Correspondence; Arithmetic; Observation; Cross-referencing; Logical reasoning
Recommended Age: 4 years +

Here another cross-referencing skill game with just as much kick. Just like Quantitix, players start by picking out one picture card, and then locating in it all the five different shapes stated on the main game board – what colours are they? Using the main game board for play, cross-refer both details to help you place your star in the right spot.

Not all shapes will appear in every card and sometimes, there maybe be more than one of the same shape in the same card, so carefulness and attention to detail is key for accuracy!


ADDITIONS: MASTERING ARITHMETIC THROUGH PLAY

Concept: Numeracy
Develops: Counting; Matching, One-to-one Correspondence; Addition & subtraction skills; Observation; Active listening
Recommended Age: 4 years +

Taking on one of the most challenging concepts in early learning, Additions lends a visual approach to traditional mathematical ideas, helping to facilitate understanding, creativity, and higher-level thinking in the field of mathematics – a wonderfully designed teaching aid that can take on anything from simple counting to more challenging addition and even subtraction sums!

Place the corresponding number of objects on the pond scene as indicated on the instruction card. Encourage adding and subtracting by posing dynamic questions such as, “2 more frogs leapt into the pond – now how many frogs are there in the pond?“; or “2 dragonflies flew away – how many dragonflies are there left in the pond now?

For more advanced mathematical learners, encourage active listening through a play of words. For instance, instead of asking how many dragonflies are left in the pond, you may ask how many animals are there left in total on the pond. This will then require players to first deduct the dragonflies, and then add the remaining dragonflies with the other kinds of animals still on the pond.


ANIMOMIX: DRIVING SPATIAL & SEQUENTIAL THINKING

Concepts: Perspective, Spatial awareness
Develops: Visual perceptual skills; Sequential thinking; Spatial intelligence, Logical reasoning
Recommended Age: 3 years +

A unique game conceptualized around visual perception, Animomix develops critical building blocks that help significantly with academic performance and attention span, such as sensory processing skills; visual discrimination; visual spatial relationships; form constancy; and visual closure, which is the ability to recognize when a part of a picture/form is not right.

While the objective of the game is simple (to properly replicate the picture shown on the card), players will soon learn that things are not as straightforward as they seem; as each picture is made out of many different layers… and even if you’ve chosen the correct layers to work with, stacking them in the wrong order will result in a different picture altogether.

An excellent visual teaching aid that helps focus on important visual information while filtering out unimportant background information; as well as develop a clearer understanding of spatial relationships between objects within one environment.


TOCTO LOTO: OBSERVATION THROUGH LISTENING

It’s time to listen and observe! If those budding ears and eyes are working together quick enough, they’ll be able to spot all the right animals in the picture in no time!

Designed around the concept of active listening, Tacto Loto provides an excellent framework for learning through visual and auditory observation; and helps develop critical communication skills that are imperative for independent learning – especially in the later years.

Start by describing the character on your tile in as much detail as possible – use as many descriptive words as you can because that is all the hint your little one is going to get in his quest to spot the right animal in the picture scene. Is it a dog, or perhaps a mouse? What is it wearing? Does it have glasses? What is it currently doing?

The more detailed you are, the more words your little one picks up – don’t forget to utilize vocabulary from early concepts such as colours, numbers, prepositions, or even action verbs. Better yet, reverse roles when you feel your little one is ready, and get them to be the ‘describer’ instead. Encourage them to put into practice words that they know, and guide them to identify and provide the right kind of information back to you that makes sense to the objective of the game.


SHAPES: THE UNIVERSAL TANGRAM MUST-HAVE 

Concepts: Numeracy, Spatial awareness
Develops: Mathematical thinking and arithmetic performance; Problem solving; Logical reasoning; Lateral thinking; Visual-spatial intelligence; Creative thinking; STEM learning
Recommended Age: 3 years +

When we play with tangrams, we consider shapes from a variety of angles and perspectives. How would the shapes look if we stuck them together? Rotated them? Slid them around into different positions? This translates to acute problem-solving and logical thinking skills, perceptual reasoning, visual-spatial intelligence, creative and mathematical thinking, amongst a whole host of other benefits that continue to aid cognitive development even in later years.

In this slightly advanced game of Shapes, kids have to recreate the pictures shown on the challenge cards, all of which have been structured to varying levels of difficulty. Beginners will appreciate replicating the outlined diagrams to the tee; while expert thinkers will love problem solving and applying strategic thinking as they seek to work out their own formula for the batch of cards that have no guided outlines whatsoever.

Through the process of solving the puzzle, children work on their logical and lateral thinking skills, and grow to be more intuitive in determining spatial relationships between the different tan pieces and how they can come together to fit perfectly in the diagram.

A tad too much? Don’t worry, this game doubles up as an excellent manipulative to start younger ones on geometry and fractions; develop an introductory understanding of how geometric shapes can be decomposed; hone spatial rotation skills and grasp the concept of congruence; and develop positive feelings about geometry before it is introduced to them as an academic subject. Not only does it allow a more hands-on and tactile approach to learning, it is also highly effective in enabling perceptual reasoning.

Because tangrams involve practically no instructions (except to solve a puzzle shape), it develops the mind’s visual memory and processing speed, allowing them to ‘reason’ through the various diagrams given based on their non-verbal thinking skills. While it is great to encourage kids to make structured hexagons and parallelograms, there is also fun and added learning comes when kids let their imagination go wild and create creatures or abstract patterns of their own. This greatly extends the play value of this set, and makes it an age-appropriate toy that will last across a few stages in a child’s developing years.


TOPOLOGIX: SHARPENING PREPOSITIONS

Concepts: Spatial awareness, Literacy
Develops: Observation; Language skills; Visual-spatial intelligence; Logical reasoning
Recommended Age: 4 years +

Topologix is the third cross-referencing game we’re featuring on this list – but still a must-highlight because it is an award winner of the Harper’s Bazaar Junior Toy Awards in 2016.

Specially designed to help our little ones hone their grasp on prepositions (because we know how challenging this can be as a concept), this nifty game requires players to figure out various elements in the scene, and then correctly place their location using the grid board and tokens provided. Where is the bear? It is IN FRONT of the tree. How about the mouse? It is ON TOP OF the mushroom.

At its most basic level, Topologix is great for observation and early vocabulary building; but its play value can stretch to cover more advanced early learning concepts like tricky prepositions, spatial relationships, and of course, the abstract art of cross-referencing; making it the perfect aid to start your early learner on the right path of lateral thinking.


STEP-BY-STEP DRAWING: DEVELOPING A CREATIVE FLAIR 

Concept: Creative expression 
Develops: Drawing and artistic abilities; Self-expression; Penmanship; Creativity and imagination
Recommended Age: 4 years +

With four different themes to choose from, Djeco Eduludo’s Step-by-Step Drawing series inspires budding artists to develop technical drawing skills and build a repertoire of subjects, one line at a time. Each set comes with 12 double-sided picture cards (that’s a total of 24 drawing subjects!) and includes easy step-by-step instructions that take your child from start to finish; all with a handy white board and erasable marker that makes it the perfect activity to visit over and again whether at home or on-the-go!


BINGO 1, 2, 3: PUTTING THE FUN BACK INTO COUNTING 

Concept: Numeracy
Develops: 
Counting, One-to-correspondence
Recommended Age: 4 years +

When counting is this fun, does it even count as learning anymore?

Modelled after the classic Bingo game, players take turns spinning the wheel in a bid to fill their card. When the arrow lands on an animal, the player observes his/her own bingo card, count the number of that particular animal shown on the card, and then look for the right number token to fill in (all this is done only by player who spun the wheel for that particular round).

Like Bingo, the winner is the first with the complete card – and while this might sound simple enough to achieve, true victory all comes down to luck in the final rounds, as you struggle to land that one and only specific animal symbol on the die you need now that all the other animals have been filled  up!

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