>> Thursday, September 8, 2011
I don't generally like flashcards, so when Charisse from ChildUp contacted me about reviewing these, my first instinct was to say no. However, I went to their website to learn more about their product before deciding and discovered that these are not really flashcards, but more like playing cards with pictures to count.
"The ChildUp Early Learning Game Cards are a series of interactive and educational tools for parents, caregivers, and early teachers who intend to develop, by playing in an interactive way, the learning, cognitive and social skills of their children – boys and girls from 1 to 5 years old – and to best prepare them for school and future academic excellence."
Charisse sent me two sets of cards: Teach Your Child to Count to 10 and Teach Your Child to Count to 20. Each set comes with parent cards that explain the Early Learning Method and provide some parenting advice. ChildUp advocates early learning, but does state that this "should not be a race, but instead a long, pleasant walk. Pushing children too hard or too fast is not the appropriate method to stimulate their curiosity...."
The use of the Child Cards is simple. There are two sides to each Child Card and each side complements the other. One side shows a number of animals and the other shows the numeral.
ChildUp emphasizes that these are NOT flashcards because the child is not memorizing the series of animals, but associating the parent counting the animals with the numeral on the back. They are a learning tool to be accompanied with counting everything all the time anywhere you happen to be. Most of us do this naturally with our little ones. "How many stairs are we climbing? Let's count them!"
The cards feature animals to count so you can do a lot of learning activities just with the animals. The Count to 10 cards feature Sea Animals, Farm Animals, and African Animals. The Count to 20 cards feature Australian Animals, Rain Forest Animals, and Insects. One card from each set (the 10 card or the 20 card) has one sentence about each creature. I love how versatile this makes the cards. I can also put out a set of these cards on our math shelves for quite a variety of themes.
I like how both sets of cards introduce adding and subtracting by having more than one kind of animal on them to count (see photo above of 6 chimps and 1 giraffe = 7).
J-jo takes these out of their boxes all the time. His favorite activity with them is putting them all back in the box. He takes them out numerous times throughout the day and asks me to count the animals with him.
The cards can also be purchased through Amazon (these are not affiliate links).
There is also an iPhone/iPod and iPad app available.
Bottom Line: These are great cards. There is much learning that can be had from them. I can keep a pack in my purse for "school on the go." I am glad we now own them, as I wouldn't have gone hunting for something like this on Amazon. Now that I have them, though, I can think of a few concrete extensions we can do with our collection of Toob animals in conjunction with these cards and look forward to trying these with the kids. Are they a MUST HAVE? Probably not. Are they a NICE TO HAVE? Yes.