Lots of hands-on games, activities and challenges allow readers to learn and practice some valuable math skills and concepts.
Six chapters, each with its own table of contents, explore numbers, fractions, patterns, math facts, shapes, and points and position. Each double-page spread offers readers a simple introduction to a concept, such as number codes, Carroll diagrams, probability or tessellations, as well as a game or activity to cement or extend the learning (these are classified as easy, medium or hard). For the most part, the numbered steps are easy to follow, though occasionally page layout may prove confusing. While the projects mostly use common household materials, some are much more complicated than they need to be; complex drawing and cutting may intimidate children, especially when faced with the perfect examples in the photos. There are other flaws amid the fun. Some of the language is awkward (“take turns to throwing die”); one game instructs kids to cut out diamond shapes, but the picture shows a cut diamond gem; and some things are assumed instead of explained—“five-a-side soccer,” for instance. Other titles publishing simultaneously include Hands-On! Science Experiments, Hands-On! Nature Projects and Hands-On! Art Projects.
Though there is a lot in one place, it’s not quite on par with Marilyn Burns’ Brown Paper series or David A. Adler’s popular books; still it may be useful to those who work with kids in a teaching capacity. (Math activity book. 6-12)