Fun With Math!!

My youngest son is in the first grade and just turned seven. He is a very smart little boy....when he chooses to be. As a mother of four one thing I have learned is that children learn best when having fun! I can even say that may hold true for myself also to some point. Sitting at a desk, listening to someone talk just somehow does not absorb as much as actually interacting with what you are learning. Zillio is a fun way to keep kids interested in math and a fun way for you to "refresh" your memory so that you can help with that homework. When my son started the first grade I could not believe the math he was learning! I thought to myself "how am I ever going to keep up with him" It's been years since I have been in school and they are learning so much at an earlier age now. With Zillio my kids and I can keep up together, it's a way not only for me to bond with them, but gives me a chance to keep up at their level.

When we first got out the mountain I think we were a bit intimidated, but tried anyway to play it straight from the box. After not being able to figure it out I grabbed the laptop and watched the intro videos that they have on their website which is extremely helpful!! Also in the box comes a thick binder full of games and the instructions how to play. There are so many different ways you can play no matter what your math level may be. My youngest daughter who is in Kindergarten loves to play with this!! I have to say - she is a bit behind at this point compared to where my son was at her age. She is doing well is school - but I think because she is the baby of the family, we just can't see her growing up!! She does so much learning on her own -she loves to play school. We started off simple for her, placing all the tokens in the middle of the mountain and mixing them up. We would each take a turn and place them on their mountain hill, matching them with their color. Then, once all tokens were accounted for we raced to see who could put the numbers in order first - she loved doing this over and over trying to beat her own time. The numbers just don't go up to ten either. In fact I just got my daughters progress report today and two numbers she needs work on is 12 & 22 - so this is a perfect, fun way for her to learn!

When it comes to my son - it's more so about me trying to keep up with him as I stated above. I cannot believe the math first graders are doing these days. I can just imagine by the time my son is in fifth grade I will be no longer able to help him because I do not know the work. Feeling helpless in not being able to help my son succeed is not a feeling I want to experience! I love that this isn't just for kids. That while bonding with my son I can also learn with him and be able to be there for him when he sits down to do his homework. When I was in school I use to be a whiz at algebra - but how many years ago was that? With the Mini Mountain, the second group of lessons focus on multiplicative reasoning, including multiplication, divisions, fractions, ratios and linear equations. LOVE IT!! The visual structure of the Mountain helps children learn how multiplication, division, number lines, and fractions are all interrelated. My son and I have been using the mini mountain for about the last week and it's helped us tremendously! My son is not a patient person who gets frustrated easily. Now, when he gets stuck we pull out the mini mountain and figure the problem out together. Now I'm starting to think he sometimes gets stuck on purpose just to get this out!! But, I don't mind - I love watching my children learn and especially when they are wanting to learn on their own free time!

“Numerous studies report that over 60% of our youngsters are not proficient in math,” reveals Emerson. “This will limit their career choices, earning potential, and self esteem. It even has a huge impact on whether or not they stay in school.” She adds, “a similarly large number of adults tell us they do not feel comfortable with their own math skills so investing in Zillio can really make a difference -- now and into their child’s future.”

Mini Mountain
This Mountain measures 18” in diameter and 8” high and is easily portable. The maximum height reached (peak elevation) is 36. It is excellent for introducing and exploring even the most advanced concepts but it is more limited in developing fluency. The number of players varies by activity, from one to four. Hands-on activities and length of play are suited to beginning levels and skills as well as more advanced ones. Ages 4 to 94. Retails for $99.95

2D Playground
This colorful 2D version of our Mega Zillio can be used as a game board, a poster, and a worksheet. Perfect for 2- 4 students to practice math facts and or play games to develop problem solving and reasoning skills. It measures 24" by 24" and is laminated. It has a picture of the Mountain with multiples on one side and without on the other. It comes with instructions, 3 dice, and 1 set of 12 foam cards with tokens. Retails for $31.95

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Want to win your choice of the Mini Mountain or 2D Playground? Head on over to our giveaway page for more info!!

**Disclosure: Our family was given the Mini Mountain & 2D Playground for review purposes for this feature. The Mini Mountain will be donated to my son's first grade classroom. A big thank you to Zillio for allowing me to find a way to "keep up" with my son!!!!