This unique math toy by Marcia Cooke, a math teacher from New Orleans,
functions as a puzzle and a tool for visualizing powers of two. The
10-inch square area is cut into colorful wood pieces … one-half, 1/4th,
1/8th, 1/16th, up to one one 128th. These fractions describe the portion
of the whole represented by each region. The Powers of Two Puzzle
puzzle offers opportunities to explore several important mathematical
ideas, including fraction equivalents, fraction multiplication with a
common factor of ½, proportional reasoning, area, powers of two, and
more. A child does not need to articulate these ideas to benefit from
interaction with this puzzle, as current research suggests that
exploration of concrete representations can accelerate and deepen
understanding of abstract ideas. WARNING: SMALL PARTS. May pose a
choking hazard for children under 3 years. Made in Vietnam for children
flexible silicone connectors and wooden sticks allow you to create
geometric structures (dodecahedrons, etc.) that bounce, wiggle and move.
Contains 10 – 3” sticks, 15 – 5” sticks, 12 – 8” sticks, 6 double
connectors, 8 triad connectors, 10 quad connectors, 5 quint connectors, 6
suction cup connectors, and 4 GeoSpheres. Joinks is easy enough for a
toddler and complex enough for a chemist. Use the suction cups to secure
your structure as you build. Made in China. For ages 3+.
classic design toy from your childhood is back … and improved. Explore
circular geometry with the Spriograph from Kahootz (officially licensed
by Hasbro) uses putty to hold the gears in place and avoids the need for
straight pins (no more holes in your artwork!). The new Spirograph sets
come in two versions; Deluxe Set and the compact Tin box set. Both sets
are reasonably priced and provide hours of creative fun. Budding
engineers will be captivated by the action of the plastic gears and the
infinite geometric patterns will intrigue the mathematically inclined of
PURCHASE THE SPIROGRAPH
Posted in Pattern-making
This unique paper kaleidoscope toy generates billions of different
designs and patterns by rotating and flipping the 9 die-cut cards. Each
card has a different color on each side and the 60 degree symmetry of
the die-cuts produces subtle but often surprising changes to designs.
Based on the classic Froebel Kindergarten activities that inspired the
Bauhaus, the Kaleidograph offers “the power of design in the palm of
your hand SM.”
There are two styles of Kaleidograph currently available, the
crystalline (and aptly named) Crystal and the curved, flower-like Flora
set. Both come in a sleeve packaging that doubles as a frame. These
deceptively simple sets make great travel toys or coffee table
conversation pieces. But mostly they are a great way to explore
patterns, geometry and symmetry.
PURCHASE KALEIDOGRAPH TOYS
Friedrich Froebel created Kindergarten, the first system for educating
young children, he also created the first series of educational toys.
Froebel used play as the main activity for his school and Spielgabe
(play gifts) were the lessons. Gifts 2-6 (“the Building Gifts”) are
block sets in various shapes and quantities that are presented as a
whole in cube form.
Often called Froebel Blocks, they were made famous by Frank Lloyd
Wright, and influenced Buckminster Fuller, Albert Einstein and the
Bauhaus artists. The blocks allow children to explore pattern, form,
symmetry, arthimetic, while developing spatial literacy. Perhaps the
world’s most cost-effective educational toys, the Gifts are used by
children ages 3 to adult, in home schools, classrooms, or on any table.
PURCHASE THE FROEBEL GIFTS
Wood Fraction Blocks puzzle toy
A simple puzzle and a set of wood building blocks, Fraction Blocks
encourage creativity when children build with the shapes and promote
problem solving when they return the shapes to the correct location on
This educational, fun and durable set is an opportunity for adults to
teach proper names for 2-D shapes (circle, square, hexagon, rectangle)
as well as the names of the 3-D solids (cylinder, rectangular prism,
hexagonal prism, trapezoidal prism, half-cylinder). Children will
explore fractions and observe a variety of ways these forms can be
PURCHASE FRACTION BLOCKS
14 wood geometric solids
Perhaps the best way to experience the properties of various
geometric forms is to hold them in your hands. Regular geometric solids
made from wood are a great educational materials for the classroom and
homeschool learning environment. These sets often contain some of the
Platonic solids (cube, tetrahedron, dodecahedron), as well as common
solid forms (sphere, cylinder, and triangular prisms) which are used in
basic calculations of volume or surface area.
These solids are invaluable tools for observation, comparison,
discussion, connecting experiences with abstract mathematics, but also
make for fun block play.
PURCHASE WOOD GEOMETRIC SOLIDS
Skwish tensegrity toy
Skwish is a postmodern take on the classic rattle and winner of
numerous awards for its ingeniously simple design. Wooden rods are
attached with an elastic string, providing hours of entertainment while
developing logical reasoning, fine motor skill, eye-hand coordination,
and teaching cause-and-effect.
This tensegrity structure was invented by Kenneth Snelson and
developed into a toy by Tom Flemons. The term tensegrity was coined by
visionary inventor Buckminster Fuller to describe a structure that
combines compression and tension to create structural integrity.
PURCHASE SKWISH CLASSIC
Archimedes Square puzzle
Possibly the world’s oldest puzzle, developed over 2200 years ago by
Greek mathematician Archimedes, this puzzle was not widely known until
fairly recently. Consisting of 14 polygons (3-,4-, and 5-sided aka
lattice polygons) of varying sizes and shapes that combine to produce a
square, this mathematical challenge has over 500 solutions at last
The original concept of this puzzle lies in the problem of dissecting
the area of a square into forms with whole number ratios. But is just
as much fun as a not-so-simple puzzle, or perhaps used to create or
match 2-D forms as with a Chinese tangram.
PURCHASE THIS PUZZLE
Zometool Hyperdo kit
The Zometool construction toy teaches geometry through model
building, allowing anyone to create structures (platonic solids,
spheres, other shapes) using plastic struts and connecting nodes
(zome). This award-winning toys is used in classrooms and homeschools,
but also at NASA and in universities worldwide for modelling chemistry,
physics, and mathematical research.
The basic sets include the 3,4,5 symmetry struts, but the zome nodes
can also accommodate alternate struts, the “green lines” that allow the
construction of the regular tetrahedron and octahedron.
SHOP FOR ZOMETOOL