I’ve mentioned before that if you are a student in our homeschool then you may begin formal instruction in several subjects later than your peers. This doesn’t mean that our children aren’t learning these subjects, we just prefer that they learn more naturally through experience and interest rather than text books.
What is it?
Inchimals is a set of 12 blocks painted with charming animals, inch measurements and numbers. It’s a fun, hands-on way to introduce math terminology and concepts to your children (age 3+). From the 1 inch ladybug cube to the 12 inch giraffe block, Inchimals shout fun and beg to be played with.
Each block has it’s corresponding numeral painted on one end and the equivalent number of dots on the opposite end. The sides of each block are clearly delineated into inch segments for easy counting and measuring.
Young children will enjoy naming the animals and building with the blocks. They will quickly learn to sort the animals into ascending and/or descending order and experimenting with measuring and equivalents. They will discover that if they stack the penguin on top of the tiger they will be the same height as an elephant and that their drinking cup is as tall as the rabbit.
Bigger, smaller, taller, shorter, counting, adding, subtracting and equating are all introduced and explored while the child spends time playing with blocks.
For ease in introducing addition and subtraction skills, the Inchimals set comes with a spiral bound write-on/wipe-off book with 100 puzzles and a dry erase marker. The puzzle book is color coded (yellow=addition, green=subtraction, etc.) and the puzzles progress in difficulty allowing the child to expand upon the things they have already experienced.
How we used Inchimals.
Both our 2 and 4 year old boys loved stacking and building with the Inchimals as well as acting out stories with the painted animals. The snake slithered and the frog hopped across the table while the giraffe towered over, watching.
With a bit of help Colby (4) quickly learned that he could measure and tell me the length of various books and other items.
He naturally moved on to finding equivalents. He loved figuring out which pairs of animals were the same size when stacked together.
Sorting the Inchimals into order didn’t come as naturally and he enjoyed the challenge.
Savannah (5) was delighted to see the puzzle book and within a few minutes was working her way through the first sections. She has asked to have Inchimals in her school box every day this week and is happy to have her very own math assignment.
What we thought
The concept and design of Inchimals is outstanding. This is the type of toy that I seek to have available for our children. I appreciate that they are open-ended and beneficial for a broad age range. We especially appreciate toys that are educational as well as fun and Inchimals fall into this category.
The open-ended play and the imaginative possibilities of blocks with characters on them are ideal for creative play for multiple ages and contribute to the toy’s longevity and usefulness in our home. Inchimals are effectively designed to easily introduce children to math concepts. Having the inch segments on the sides in addition to the numerals and dots for children who don’t yet recognize their numerals broadens their scope and allows a wider age range to benefit.
The color coding in the puzzle book made it simple for me to tell Savannah what I wished for her to work on and allowed her to work independently.
Our set of Inchimals has been used and enjoyed by most of our children. The older ones have enjoyed using them to estimate and to visualize and figure perimeter. As usual they’ve even figured out ways to compete using Inchimals.
My one complaint about Inchimals is the durability. The paint was chipped and scraped on many of the blocks within minutes of taking them out of the box and by the time we finished using them nearly every block had at least some paint damage.
I will say that after a full week of solid use they are still lovely and very usable and we haven’t noticed much more damage to the paint than we did the first day, but it’s something that I would want to know if I were considering a purchase.
- Open-ended, creative play
- Delightful, charming and beautiful
- Excellent and versatile design for introducing and practicing math concepts
- Useful for a wide age range of children
- Puzzle book allows a bit more formal math practice
- My kids LOVE Inchimals and wish that I didn’t have two cons listed!
- Quality/durability (see above)
- Box/storage – You may think that this is being a bit picky, but the box that Inchimals comes in is rather large compared to the actual size of the blocks and book. With 12 people in our household, I always consider storage issues before purchasing something for our homeschool and I will probably throw out the Inchimals box and find something else to store them in. 🙂
You may purchase a set of Inchimals from Timberdoodle for $26.95.
Timberdoodle is giving away a set of Inchimals to one Raising Olives reader.
- Visit Timberdoodle.com and leave a comment on this post telling me one item that you saw on their site.
Extra entries: (Please leave an additional comment for each extra entry.)
- ‘Like’ Timberdoodle on Facebook – (Psst! For the next 5 weeks Timberdoodle is running daily giveaways on their Facebook page.)
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- Sign up for Timberdoodle’s email newletter or request a free catalog.
Giveaway is open to US residents only and will end at 11:59pm on Thursday, October 14.
This giveaway is now closed. Congratulations to Deirdre for winning the Inchimals set.
I received a free set of Inchimals to facilitate this review. I was not otherwise compensated and all opinions are honest and are my own.
Included in the Homeschool Curriculum Review Roundup.