EducationalToys and Games

Learning Resources Numberblocks MathLink Cubes Activity Set Review


Reviewed by Kathryn Harrison

I have 2 daughters aged nine and four.  For as long as I can remember we’ve watched Number blocks on Cbeebies. I’m sure anyone with young children will be familiar with the show, but if you’re not it’s an animated show where each number can talk and has its own personality. The show introduces numbers, addition and subtraction in a fun way.

With my youngest daughter starting school this September I jumped at the chance to review this activity set. We were very excited when it arrived. In the box there are 100 individual maths cubes and a selection of faceplates and stickers to create the recognisable characters. There’s a page at the back of the activity guide which shows you what each character looks like. If you have a particularly impatient child like me I suggest you put the stickers on before you show them the set. Whilst not difficult to put on it definitely was time consuming and there was a lot of asking “is it ready yet?”

Once the stickers were all attached we were ready to play. First of all my daughter wanted to line all the characters up in number order. In the box there are also character cards so then we matched the cards to the blocks. These cards are brilliant.  On one side there is a picture of the character and the number.  There’s also a number line showing that numbers position. On the back the cards all have different images relating to that number.  They all have a simple addition such as 3 + 1 = 4. Some of the cards there are pictures representing that number, for example on the number 2 card there are pictures of a pair of socks, a pair of gloves, a pair of shoes, whereas on the number 1 card there’s a picture of a single ball, a single cake and a single flower. On each card there are pictures showing the different ways the blocks can be combined to make that number, we had a lot of fun using the blocks to make the different numbers.

As if that wasn’t enough fun, in the box there are also 15 double sided activity cards! These, along with the activity guide, have different activities you can do with your child. There are two different levels with the first level covering numbers 1-5 and the second covering numbers 6-10. These activities can be played as they are but each one also ties in with a Numberblocks episode. The activity guide tells you the title of the episode that matches a particular activity making it really easy to find on BBC I player.

Whilst my four year old and I were playing with these blocks, my nine year old came over to see what we were doing. Whilst this set isn’t targeted at her age and I wouldn’t buy it just for her, she really enjoyed playing with us and I can definitely see how the blocks could be used to help with her maths skills. For my youngest I can see us using this set for years to come. I know this set will be invaluable throughout her reception year and into key stage one and beyond! The quality of the bricks is brilliant so no worries about them getting damaged, even the box feels sturdy. I have a feeling that by the time my girls grow out of this set the blocks will still be in good enough condition to pass on to their younger cousins.

It’s not always easy to engage children in maths but things like this make it easy to interest a child and help them learn without them even realising! I’m so pleased with this set and think the quality and value is amazing.

Rating: 5/5

RRP: £25

This product can be purchased from Learning Resources here.

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