Like most homeschooling families who have been at this awhile, we have a collection of math manipualtives. We have teddy bear counters, cuisenaire rods, geo boards, clocks, a balance, tangrams and pattern blocks. I have always allowed the younger children to play with the manipulatives. They like to make patterns, sort, stack, build and tell stories with them. They are all over the house a lot of times. I intend to tackle my school cupboard this week and hopeful at least partially control that.
We have recently had a revival of interest by all of the children in the pattern blocks, which are plastic shapes that can be used to make designs. Brennen has taken the rombuses for his babies and has started carrying them around. They sometimes become cars and race around the furniture and room. The other day we were going to run some errands and as he was climbing in the car and I was trying to hurry him into his seat so that I could buckle him he began screaming, "I need to see Daniel! Where is Daniel? Is he all right? I need to check on him." I knew that it would be easier if I stopped rushing him and let him do what he felt was urgent. As we don't know anyone named Daniel I asked him who and where Daniel was. Brennen just ignored me and went to the ashtray on the door and opened it. He pulled out a rombus, began to stroke it and said, "Hi, Daniel, are you okay? Okay." Then he put it back in and climbed into his seat completely satisfied.
Oh the versatility of math manipulatives.