Kontu® STEM Blocks – K25 Super Mega Awesome
Parents of young playful learners may not feel equipped to teach their preschoolers about math, spatial relations, balance, or subitizing. Happily, Patrick Greenwood, the creator of the Kontu® STEM Blocks, is.
The beautifully crafted wooden magnetic pieces are as lovely to hold as they are to learn from. They are called “blocks,” but the segments are rounded, not square. Somehow, that makes them even more appealing. And here, holding is learning.
Let’s count the bits. In which tray does this one go? What happens if you move the tray with one piece next to the tray with two pieces?
The set of double-sided activity cards are some of the best we’ve seen. The large cards are parent prompts; side A introduces a concept (counting, spatial relations, weight and balance, … ) and side B presents the Activity with a discussion and challenge to support the concept. And no, you do not need a PhD to understand them. The clear visual design supports the well written text. There’s even a holder to prop up the cards.
Eleven smaller cards show a number on one side and a representation of that number as Kontu pieces on the other. Whimsically, a zero is included. Five small cards show a gathering of smiley faces on one side and the same gathering of stars on the other. And two double sided cards are symbols: plus/minus and equal/doesn’t equal.
Had enough numbers for the day? Move on to building things up and knocking them down. There’s always something new to learn.
Claire Green ©2020 Parents’ Choice
Claire is president of Parents’ Choice Foundation and serves as a judge on several national toy and music award committees. She champions toys, books, and media that offer children new perspectives and playful adventures in learning.