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Monday, March 31, 2014

review: brain quest -- learning tools


My mother, my son's gran, recently sent us a new fun thing. She likes to send fun things and we've loved the toys and books she is so brilliant at selecting for his age and personality. This Brain Quest set is a fabulous new addition to our household, one that I had to praise publicly! I'm sure there are many other fabulous tools out there for toddlers, but there is always the hassle of finding them. Also, I quite deliberately am not schooling our 2 1/2 yr old and do not want to put him off learning as a delightful part of life. There are many years ahead for official schooling at school age that I don't see any benefit to scheduled learning while he is still preschool.

This Brain Quest is brilliant, though. We keep it just for discussion together, not for him to read alone as he sometimes does with books, so it is stored on a high ledge in the kitchen, ready for easy grabbing for me but out of his reach. We pull it out at least once a day and slide the cards open to any random picture. Questions are on each card, prompting parents with questions to get their kids chatting about what they see. Each card is double-sided, and the pack comes with two decks and a little carry bag for slipping a deck in your purse before heading to the doctor's waiting room.

The goal is discussion, not quizzing, not hoop jumping. I tell him answers a lot of the time. He packs them away in his little noggin and learns to provide me with his own object/activity recognition, as well as his thoughts on the matter, in his own time when we come across the card again or a similar life situation. Sometimes, he surprises me by correctly naming something I didn't think he knew. Other times, he makes me better aware of the holes in his learning that I didn't realize were there.

I am in no way paid or given outside incentive for this review, please be reassured. But if you are in need of a handy tool for use at home or to slip in your going-places bag, to help with learning and to build preliminary foundations for later scholastic confidence, I do recommend Brain Quest.




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