Marbotic’s “Smart Numbers” is pure genius. The French company’s new set of handsome wood numerals — inspired by the Montessori method and educational tools — can be used by kids with three of its free iPad apps that satiates kids’ craving for playing with technology and traditional wood toys. The set of 0 through 9, in a magnetic storage box, are painted in bright colors, have a silver knob for small hands to grasp, and rubber feet on the back.
The three coordinating apps, “More or Less,” “10 Fingers,” and “Up to 100,” feature adorable animated creatures, a narrator with a British accent, and lovely quiet music.
In “10 Fingers,” kids can touch the screen with their hands, and little stars bloom under their fingertips as they discover addition with the narrator. The apps are permeated with a quality that can only be described as very French, and they perform without a glitch. Children see, listen, and literally grasp math in their fingers, learning through play. Some of the games encourage children to use their imaginations and play with the numbers just to see what will happen. Everyone “wood” have liked to be introduced to math this way.
Smart Numbers by Marbotic, $34.95, www.barne
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