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(Whilst we were gifted these blocks, the views expressed in this post remain my own.)
Rainbow blocks fall into the same category of toys as the rainbow stacker I've written about before - something that always looked like fun but stayed on our wishlist.
Since they arrived a few weeks ago, these wooden rainbow blocks have stayed on our lounge floor. It turns out that they are quite versatile and oh so engaging.
They are perfect for exploring light and colour and building but I thought how perfect they'd be for looking at shapes and introducing fractions which my five year old has been looking at in school.
We started by talking about whole and parts. In one of our favourite books, Oh No, George! by Chris Haughton, George the dog eats the WHOLE cake even though he's not suppose too. It's easy for kids to imagine just as they can imagine these blocks are cookies - a whole one to eat by yourself or one that can be shared with someone else and you both get half. The Doorbell Rang is another perfect picture book for exploring fractions.
It's a much easiest way to introduce fractions than talking about numerators and denominators. We tried it with some other shapes too.
Which one is whole shape? I asked my five year old.
Which one has two parts?
Are they the same size?
Can you make them yourself?
We tried it with some other shapes. 'One is a whole piece but this one has four parts!' says my youngest.
'These are a different shape but it has the same number of parts. This one has two parts - a red one and a green one' she says.
'So,' I say, 'if we were to write it down, we would write it as a fraction - 1/2 red 1/2 green. The number two on the bottom tells us how many parts there are while the top number tells us how many parts are green.' See how easily the learning has developed.
Then one of the others came to play.
She's easily old enough to be able to write the fractions she can see and it you had more than one set of rainbow blocks, you could build some more complex fractions to explore.
Of course the blocks were perfect for making things too. These appeared this morning -this is an owl...
While this one's a butterfly...
Looking for other ways to use your rainbow blocks or other blocks for play?