Monday, June 21, 2010

Balance Benders

My son loves puzzles and workbooks. We have math workbooks and reading workbooks. We have word searches and mazes. We have workbooks of every variety. He will sit for hours and work through the puzzles and the workbooks. When he was younger, he wanted to do my Sudoku puzzles. We sought long and hard and eventually found a Sudoku puzzle book for kids. He loves it. He is still working towards understanding the predictive nature of solving the puzzles and frequently comes to me for assistance, but I'm happy that he is not deterred by the challenge and continues to work through the puzzles.

When I first learned of Balance Benders from The Critical Thinking Company, I thought this was something he would really enjoy. It pulls on his love of math and his love of problem solving. Balance Benders are "Logic and Algebraic Reasoning Puzzles". It takes a collection of shapes on either side of a balance beam that is either in balance or off to one side. Then, it asks the child to circle the three answers that will always be true. The answers that they are selecting from are a series of greater than, less than and equality statements using the shapes on the scale.

As he started into the Beginning Book (Grades 2 - 6), the first few balances were easy for him to resolve. As we moved back into the book, it presented some new concepts which we talked through. It was great to see him start to learn the concepts and see that light go on in his eyes and hear it in the more involved questions that he asked.

As a mom, I love that he sees these types of puzzle books as fun. I think it is important that a child can learn things through fun. As a puzzle enthusiast, I think it is great to see the love of puzzles starting to blossom in my child.

These workbooks cost only $9.99 per level. You can also check out some other great learning puzzles from the Critical Thinking Company. Click here to print out some free activities for your children (and see a sample of the types of activities in different books available from the Critical Thinking Company):

You can follow the Critical Thinking Company on Twitter or Like them on Facebook.

Want to win some free product from Critical Thinking? You can enter their new Critical Thinking Moments Video Contest for a chance to win a year's supply of educational product (a $500 value). You can learn more about the contest here. You can also nominate the person that inspired your love of thinking and problem solving as part of their Critical Thinking Heroes Award Program. If the person that you nominates wins, they will receive a commemorative award and a $500 gift card to the Critical Thinking Co. You can learn more and get the form to nominate your candidate here.

No compensation was received for this post. This is a Mama Buzz review. The Balance Benders book was provided by the Critical Thinking Company, so that I could experience it with my child and share my thoughts.