With our decision about The Boy's pre-school provision firmly in place, it's now at the forefront of my mind that I need to make sure his language and mathematical development is up to spec for when he starts Reception class in a year's time. Keeping him in private nursery for just a few sessions a week will ensure he is having the social development along with helping him to learn the routine of sitting down and listening, but I can't guarantee that he will receive the same input as he would in a state nursery (where I know the assessments that take place).
The Boy is good at his shapes, he knows the basics of square, rectangle, circle and triangle and has done for quite some time. Thanks to a few iPad apps he's also able to identify diamonds, semi-circles, crescents, hexagon, pentagon and surprisingly an octagon. It might seem excessive but he can recognise them easily and why not teach him the right names for a shape?
And so it was with that in mind that I was happy to receive the Triqo system for him to try out.
Triqo is a collection of fifty plastic shapes which click together. They come in either a triangle or square form which when combined can create a range of other shapes, and the ten different colours are bright and cheerful. Made of a strong and flexible plastic with a tab on each of the sides; these tabs fold and have two poppers on them which click together with one of the other shapes to build up into a three-dimensional shape.
The Boy found it easy enough to click two pieces together (although quite some pressure is needed initially) but did struggle when trying to join them in anything other than a straight line. That ball of triangular pieces in the photo is my handiwork, not his.
However, we played with them for forty-five minutes this morning and he has come back to them several times throughout the day. When Mr. TBaM came in from work he rushed out to show him his cube and 'boicud'. His father looked at him blankly and he tried again, "Cuboid daddy!" So after just one session playing together he's learnt that a cube has square sides and a cuboid is made up of squares and rectangles.
Triqo are made in the Netherlands, and these Scandinavian and Germanic countries get it completely right when it comes to pre-school education. With most children not starting school until the age of six or seven years, they're focus is on learning through play. So of course aside from the educational and mathematical development opportunities, they're great fun for the imagination: houses, pyramids, space rockets, boats!
The Triqo starter pack is available for the very reasonable price of £14.99 from all good toy stores or visit Ark DIY Products.
I was sent this product for the purpose of this review. My opinion is honest and unbiased.