Tuesday, May 10, 2016

Mummy Must Have Review | Yellow Bean Learning

I'm a huge believer in learning through play so I'm constantly setting up play activities for bub to do each day at home which incorporate some form of learning. While we play I'll usually introduce new concepts through language and the items we're playing with. By making her activities fun and allowing her to lead them I find she learns new concepts quicker because it's on her terms.

We've been working on a lot of activities with letters and shapes for the past few weeks and recently she's started showing more interest in numbers. She's been able to count to 10 for a while and a few weeks ago she started pointing out numbers on signs and randomly counting to 10 throughout the day, so I thought we'd start working on more number activities. Of course that meant I started searching my favourite teacher accounts on Instagram to find cool number activities for kids.

Around the same time I stumbled across a brand new educational business, Yellow Bean Learning, via Instagram. They actually hadn't even launched yet when I found them {by clicking through from other related accounts as you do when you get stuck down the Instagram rabbit hole every night}. They were however posting pre-launch teasers which got me highly intrigued {plus they share some pretty cool quotes too}. From the previews they posted I could tell their products would be well suited for bub and I, so I contacted them to find out more.

Yellow Bean Learning logo

Yellow Bean Learning is an Australian educational brand run by a Sydney primary school teacher, who developed the business after frequently being asked by parents and friends for advice regarding educational programs and activities for little ones. Yellow Bean provides parents and teachers with interactive and engaging resources to support early numeracy learning needs of children at home and at school. Their resources and guides are designed for children in preschool and kindy ranging from 3-6 years old.

Yellow Bean believe in the importance of family and fun to drive the learning experience of children, through hands on activities where adults and children play and learn together. Each of the activities included in the guide are designed to be interactive with parents or care givers modelling and providing guidance throughout the games. All of the activities are created with four principles in mind - they need to be quick, simple, interactive and fun. Yellow Bean believe numeracy activities for young children should be quick and simple to complete {5-10 minutes per game} making them easy to set up and more likely to hold the child's attention. Additionally when children see adults having fun exploring new concepts, its more likely that they will enjoy the learning experience as well, which is why all the activities are designed to be interactive and {most of all} fun.

YELLOW BEAN EARLY NUMERACY GUIDE AND RESOURCE KIT


The Yellow Bean early numeracy guide is a digital e-book that includes 36 different early numeracy games. The games have been developed to teach numeral identification {the correlation between a written number and its verbal name}, visualisation, 1-1 counting, sequencing, number facts to 10 and friends of 10. Each of the games have instructions as well as modifications to make them easier or harder depending on your child's age and comprehension. The guide is sent through electronically as a PDF which can then be printed off or used as a reference on an ipad or computer. I've been using ours off the computer, referring to the game instructions before I set them up, but I'm also considering printing the instructions for some of her favourite games and laminating them to use alongside the games.

The early numeracy guide also comes with an extensive resource kit with all the materials needed to play each of the games in the guide {the numeracy guide is delivered digitally and the resource kit is posted shortly after purchase}. 

Yellow Bean Learning early numeracy resources kit inclusions.

The reource kit includes:

  • Dinosaur cards {numbered 1-20 and matching eggs}
  • Playing cards
  • 22 double sided red and yellow disc counters
  • 1 x 6 sided dot dice
  • 1 x 6 sided number dice
  • 1 x 10 sided number dice
  • 1 x 20 sided number dice
  • 20 polka dot cups
  • 100s chart
  • Reversible number lines to 10 and 30
  • Reversible 10 and 20 frames
  • Dinosaur calico carry bag

Bub was so excited when we first opened our Yellow Bean kit. The first box she wanted to open was the dice and counters and she immediately started telling me the numbers on the blue dice. I could tell from that point on that it wouldn't be hard to get her interested in playing the games.

Because she's so young, instead of setting up the games as a fully directed learning activity, I've been pulling out pieces from the resource kit and letting her explore them the way she wants {and if she starts showing interest in using it as a game I lead her in how to play}. She's only 2 {almost 3} so a few of the games are still above her comprehension level, but she can now count to 20 and recognise numbers to 20 so the visual recognition games have been a huge hit. Her favourite games to play all revolve around the dinosaur cards because she can easily recognise the numbers + she loves matching them up with the corresponding egg cards. She started playing a game of lost dinosaur eggs {matching the number cards with the egg cards} by herself when I first put the cards out in front of her, without any instructions. She's just started showing interest in playing memory games so we'll try that with the cards soon as well {although I might need to limit it to 1-5 cards to align it with her attention span}.

Yellow Bean Learning dinosaur number and egg cards

In addition to playing some of the games within the guides, bub has also come up with her own games on a few occasions by mixing other bits and pieces with the Yellow Bean resources to create entirely new games. The other day I put out a few of the resources and also added in some pegs and our wooden numbers to let her decide what she wanted to play with. She first started using the counters on the number line to match them to the number on a dinosaur card.

Yellow Bean learning counter guide and discs

She then realised her wooden numbers matched the numbers on the sequencing line so she started to line them up on top of the matching numbers. Even though she can count up to 20, she still has trouble actually placing numbers in the right order visually, so this activity was a great way to introduce sequencing. Plus she stayed interested in it and repeated it for quite a while because she came up with the activity herself {it was much more successful than my previous attempts to teach her sequencing prior to getting our kit}.


After that she realised that her wooden numbers also matched the numbers on the dinosaur cards so she made another new game matching the numbers with the cards. She did this over and over as well and was telling me all the numbers as she matched them up. We've also used the dinosaur egg cards to simply count the number of eggs so she gets better at counting groups of items and correlating them to numbers {again she initiated that game, then I helped her to count the bigger numbers}.


YELLOW BEAN EARLY NUMERACY EXPANSION GUIDE


Yellow Bean also have an 85 page digital expansion guide available separately which includes an additional 24 games. These games also include modifications with can simplify or extend each activity depending on your child's age and comprehension. The expansion guide covers the same numeracy concepts as the early numeracy guide, but it also introduces beginning addition and subtraction as well as some multiple strategy games.

The expansion guide games are designed to be used with the original resource kit plus there are additional printable resources included. I'd recommend either printing them on card stock or laminating them so they can be used over and over. I made the rookie mistake of printing some just on paper and they didn't last long with a toddler on the loose {lesson learnt, thankfully you can re-print them whenever you want}. Also some of the games in the expansion guide do require a set of dominoes, which don't come with the guide {we had our own set already though so that wasn't an issue for us}.

Yellow Bean Learning early numeracy expansion guide

MAKING EARLY NUMERACY FUN


The Yellow Bean guides and resources certainly make early numeracy concepts and learning fun and engaging for kids {and adults}. By learning through playing and interaction it makes the process a lot more engaging for bub and she certainly retains more information and grasps new concepts a lot quicker than if I just tried to straight out teach her something. Also as a stay at home mum of a young child, the guides have given me ample different ways to introduce her to early numeracy principles to better prepare her for school, and in fun ways that she wants to participate in. I don't think I would've been able to come up with as many creative ways to teach her without the guide {its also inspired me to think out of the box more and come up with even more opportunities to incorporate numbers into our play}. 

I think the guides are well suited for 3-6 year olds. Even though bub is just under 3, with her keen interest in numbers she's still enjoyed exploring the games and different resources in numerous ways already. To be honest we've really only scratched the surface of what the guides have to offer, which is great because I can continue to introduce different games to keep it new and interesting. I also love the fact that the guides will essentially grow with bub, because as she gets older and understands more I can modify all the games to suit. If you have a younger child {2-4} who is displaying an interest in counting and numbers I would definitely recommend getting the early numeracy guide and resource kit because anything that makes learning maths fun for kids is a good thing and I think fostering the idea that learning maths is fun from a young age will help them when learning the harder concepts at school later on.

With the early numeracy guide and resource kit priced at $49.95 that means you're only paying a fraction {see what I did there} over $1 for each of the resources and activities included in the kit. Considering the guide and resources can be used over and over for many years, I think that's pretty good value. How many ways can you really entertain your kids for $1 these days... {plus when you divide it by how many times you'll play each game its even cheaper}. There are also so many other ways to play with the resources than the games listed in the guide. By adding in other household items and getting creative you can easily change up the games or create entirely new ones {like bub did with our wooden numbers}, extending the value even further.


Yellow Bean Learning have kindly offered a special discount for Finding Myself Young readers. For a limited time you can get 15% off* the RRP of the early numeracy guide + resource kit and the expansion guide. To claim the discount simply enter the code findingmyselfyoung into the coupon box when purchasing from www.yellowbean.com.au.

Do your kids like or loathe maths?

Toni x

*Discount is valid on all purchases from www.yellowbean.com.au {when using the coupon code} until June 30th 2016.

Disclosure - I was provided with a PDF version of the resource kit + expansion pack and resources set for the purpose of review after contacting Yellow Bean Learning via Instagram. I did not receive payment for this review. All opinions expressed are based on our own experience using the resources and games.

Linking with Jess

16 comments:

  1. That kit looks like so much fun! Hadn't come across it yet - thanks for sharing. My little girl loves maths. In fact, she gets bored in class because she's very good at it. Little man loves it too. Seems to miss 17 every time we count to 20 or 100 though! #teamIBOT

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    1. We have a bit of an issue with 13 and 15 here because she either skips them or calls them threeteen and fiveteen {which I guess makes sense to her given all the other numbers just have teen added to the end}. She used to miss number 7 when she first started counting to 10 too haha, funny how they all seem to do it with certain numbers.

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  2. Oh wow! These look like great fun. I find that a lot of the learning I do at home with the kids is literacy based. It's great to have some fun numeracy related games.

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    1. I was the same. We used to spend ages doing literacy activities {we still do a lot} so its good to be doing numeracy ones too to balance it out.

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  3. This looks like lots of fun and I know my boys would love the dinosaur theme!

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    1. The dinosaurs are definitely a big hit here Lauren, I can imagine the boys would love them too.

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  4. I love maths games. I remember we had one as a kid and it was the best game. I should try and see if I can get it for the kids.

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    1. The games really do make learning maths so much more fun. I love playing them with her {and I never really loved maths as a kid}. Its so rewarding seeing her so proud of herself when she learns something new and knowing that I've helped her learn it.

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  5. What a great resource. Whilst my son is now a little too old for this kit I have discovered that learning with a hands on approach receives much better results rather than the old fashioned reading and writing. Greta find Toni.

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    1. It definitely seems to be working with bub. She responds so much better to interactive learning, especially learning through play.

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  6. I've been down that similar account rabbit hole a lot recently! It's so awesome who you can find that way. Looks like you've found a perfect one for your daughter's age & needs.

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    1. Oh my god how much fun is it getting stuck down the rabbit hole?! Usually ends up costing me money though because I find so many awesome things.

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  7. I admire your dedication to giving your daughter a well rounded, happy home life x

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    1. Thanks Janet. Its certainly a lot of effort, but definitely worth it watching her so excited to learn new things.

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  8. This looks like a fab resource Toni. And how clever is your little girl too?

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    1. Its an awesome kit for younger kids Kirsty. She is a bit of a clever cookie ;) {totally not bias of course!}

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