Hape® Monster Math Scale: how to make math fun

« Tell me, and I forget; show me, and I remember; involve me, and I learn, » says a famous quote attributed to Benjamin Franklin. This is true for everyone, but especially for children. During childhood, we lay the foundations for the future attitude we will have towards school, learning, and the small and big challenges of every day. Homework and reading should not become punitive activities or duties to be done quickly to then be « free » to play.

Adding some entertainment and excitement to the subjects that our children will have to learn at school means giving them a little advantage for the future. The Hape® Monster Math Scale was designed for a fun and engaging approach to the basic principles of mathematics. The Hape® educational line welcomes this new educative toy for children aged 3 and up that playfully reinterprets the Montessori scale and the decanting game applied to solid materials.

Montessori Method: a few fundamentals

Hape® educational toys take up and reinterpret some key concepts underlying the Montessori Method. For example, the great Italian pedagogue argued that, under the right conditions, all children show a spontaneous interest in learning, discovery, and knowledge. Behind the success of this philosophy, which many educators still adopt today, are its rigor and versatility: despite being clearly defined and codified, the Montessori Method easily adapts to the variables involved, such as the age and characteristics of the children, the surrounding environment, and the situation.

Doctor Montessori was a great supporter of the autonomy of the child. The adults should stand by their side, patiently explaining and showing how to do things without replacing them, though. To encourage the development of children’s talents and inclinations, it is also recommendable to respect the individual pace and suggest activities compatible with different ages. Instead of encouraging our kids to overcome any limitations, it is, therefore, better to help them achieve progressive autonomy in the tasks within their reach. This is why we should prefer educational toys suitable for the age and personality of the little ones.

From the Montessori Scale to Hape® Monster Math Scale: when learning is fun

The Hape® Monster Scale is an educational toy for children aged 3 and up, particularly responsive to the coordination of movements and the concept of order. The Monster Math Scale help them get closer to a basic area of arithmetic, assimilating the essential principles in a practical, intuitive, and above all fun way.

The toy is already irresistible and original starting from the aesthetic impact: the body of the scale in fact corresponds to a funny monster, while the weights are made up of many cheerful mini-monsters of different colors, sizes and weights.

•    The medium-sized monster-weights are distinguished by the color and the number on their belly which indicates their weight;

•    The smallest monsters, all red in color, correspond to the weight of a single unit.

Children can have fun putting the mini-monsters in the big paws of the scale, moving them, adding or removing them until they reach balance. Parents or educators do not need to correct the equivalences because the toy gives direct feedback. Through this simple and creative game, the little ones can become familiar with the ideas of weight, equivalence and balance.

Hape® Monster Math Scale: different levels of complexity

Like most of the HAPE® educational toys, the Monster Math Scale offers several modes of use according to the ages and abilities of the child.

•    In Level 1, children get to know the weights, learn to intuitively associate the colors with the concept of more or less heavy and become familiar with the numbers written on the bellies of the medium monsters;

•    In Level 2, they playfully discover the idea of equivalence, having fun mixing numbers and single units;

•    In Level 3, the more experienced ones can try their hand at the first simple additions, guessing the result that corresponds to the sum of the monsters present on one of the 2 paws.

This educational toy, simple but at the same time engaging and exciting, allows children to learn many things. Not only a tool to develop early mathematical skills, but also a safe, creative, and rewarding entertainment for little boys and girls aged three and over.

Hape® educational toys: the joy of learning and growing up together

Once, Maria Montessori said that the most conspicuous sign of success for a teacher is to have students that work as if he or she was no there.

Adults are often tempted to help children with their tasks, if not to replace them at all, even in play. This may be due to the natural instinct to protect the little ones from the frustration arising from error or failure. However, letting them free to try again and again, to make mistakes, and to focus their energy and intelligence in carrying out a task within their reach is fundamental for healthy and harmonious development. We should stop believing that children are always too young to do things on their own: our job is to stay with them, to support and protect them, but not to win their battles for them.

Thanks to the HAPE® Monster Math Scale, kids and toddlers (from 3 years up) get to know mathematics, becoming familiar with numbers, equivalencies and additions. While having fun with this bizarre family of monsters, children learn how a scale works and are free to experiment by themselves.

And you, what were your first approaches to mathematics? Tell us in the comments down below.