Cookies are yummy.
How’s that for board game analysis? Abstract and confusing, likely, but I feel it an appropriate opener here. Cookies, like restaurant sugar packets, are a perfect way to introduce early math concepts to young children because, like any hip cat knows, math is pretty darn sweet. And cookies make everything better.
The gameplay of Learning Resources Smart Snacks Counting Cookies is designed for Pre-K kids, centering around number recognition and counting to 10. To play, you flick the spinner (A great spinner, by the way. You know how some of them get stuck and barely rotate? Not this one. It flies!) and should it land on, say, 2 cookies, you get to pick 2 cookies. Any 2 actually, until your cookie jar hard card is filled with numbers 1-10 or with a select handful of digits on the flipside of each player’s game card. Youngsters must identify the number(s) they need on their card and then spot that number again on the big board. Doing so repeatedly will undoubtedly help your preschooler nail down their 4s, 8s, and 10s.
Counting Cookies is very narrow in it’s scope and it’s targeted age-range (2 1/2 to 4) so I’ve been thinking of alternate ways to play, to stretch the game’s effectiveness past your child’s 4th birthday and possibly up to your kindergartener’s educational level. What I’ve come up with is odds & evens; meaning that the spinner dictates what type of numbered cookie you’re permitted to select (2 = evens, 3 = odds, 1 = your choice). And also, divisible-by (1 = your choice, 2 = evens, 3 = 3, 6, or 9) which’ll make 6 a gimme but those pesky 5s and 7s a bit harder to acquire. Both variations will introduce a new math concept. Not bad, right?
Learning Resources Smart Snacks Counting Cookies is a colorful and entertaining way to help develop number identification skills and 1-10 counting in toddlers, and maybe with some creativity even enhance the enjoyment of basic math for early school-age kids too.
*OWTK received a sample of Learning Resources Smart Snacks Counting Cookies for review consideration. The opinions above are honest and unbiased.