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Why is math important?

Behind mathematics there is much more than numbers. Accustomed to associating math with calculation, we must really understand that math is much more than adding and subtracting. It’s logic, it’s geometry, it’s measurement, it’s classification, and most importantly, it’s problem solving. In short, math is thinking. Mathematics develops critical and lateral thinking, being the basis for adopting new ways of thinking and finding solutions in a creative way. In a changing world, like the one we live in, maths become essential to guarantee a quality life and acquire valuable professions, whatever the field is.

Why start math so early?

It is scientifically proven that the early childhood years form the basis for intelligence, personality, social behavior, and the ability to learn. There is no single intelligence, there are several factors that compose it. Mathematics is the multiple expression of intelligences, not only symbolic but graphic, muscular, musical and communicative. The sooner the child begins to apply the benefits of creative math – the stronger the learning base and the greater his overall intelligence.

What is manipulative mathematics?

Manipulative (or sensorial) mathematics is also called creative mathematics and is what is dedicated to disseminating concepts in an entertaining and motivating way. Knowledge is achieved through playful activities, aimed at obtaining the result. In other words, the child has a great time being entertained and involved in the game, while acquiring the important mathematical knowledge. In fact, the concept of recreational math is not new. Formerly the games in which logic and thought intervene: such as the Rubik’s cube, Tangram, Chess or Origami have been frequently used in all the countries of the world for centuries. However, with the passage of time and the advancement of new technologies, families have reduced this time dedicated to recreational mathematical games and neither have schools compensated it in any way. This has created a gap in the early formation of the smallest that the screens are not able to fill.

Why is it important to teach creative math and not just traditional math?

Creative math uses manipulative materials – games specially designed for each teaching objective. You play and learn with these products: children touch them, manipulate them, order and mess them up, create and experience them. Children learn by playing. It is how more and better they learn, creating positive memories. The sensation of joy and enjoyment allows children to experience deep and lasting learning. The passion and enthusiasm for solving problems that require an effort to concentrate on their own, provides them with security, increased self-esteem and autonomy necessary for their future successful life. If not, the opposite occurs. When learning mechanically or by memorizing, the learning produced is called surface learning, which disappears quickly and does not add any value. The process itself is usually boring and generates dislike and disappointment with everything that has to do with numbers and mathematics. This malaise may affect future career selection in a highly technological and digital world, where science plays a key role.

How do I know that the Giraffa teaching materials work?

Numerous studies support the beneficial result of the use of manipulative teaching material. Studies, based on direct observation of children educated in this methodology and their comparison with other children educated in more ‘traditional’ environments, reveal the best performance and emotional state of the first group. Some of the strong as well as study recommendations for curious parents are:

Pensamiento matemático y creatividad a través de la … – Dialnetdialnet.unirioja.es › descarga › articulo

Academic articles for mathematical manipulative materials

TedTalk: Creative Thinking in Maths https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=IQqb8HfN5hw

Countries such as South Korea, Japan, Singapore, Canada and Australia, recognized as leaders in education by PISA and other associations, apply these methodologies in their teaching both public (the government dedicating a generous budget for their implementation), and private. Finally, our own rigorous, consistently conducted observations indicate a premature interest in math, increased adult-child interaction, and improved communication development thanks to story-based support teaching materials related to games.

Is there another brand that offers the same?

No, so far, Giraffa is the only European brand that selects and offers creative mathematics material aligned with its own study plan, following with each of its games learning objectives set out in the early childhood education curriculum.

There are many toys on the market but they are presented in a disorderly way, without following any curricular plan, which makes it impossible to educate at home with criteria and with a 3-year plan. In addition, they do not provide any help for parents to know how to use the material so parents should do their own research online, comparing sources and methodologies. Giraffa is the only brand that has already done this work for you so that you simply dedicate yourselves to playing, enjoying and being sure that they learn.

Why use manipulative materials and not a tablet application?

Technology is important: knowing it and knowing how to use it will be one of humanity’s greatest challenges in the coming years. However, for early ages (up to 6 years), the use of electronic devices in abundance is contraindicated for the following multiple reasons:
1- The child in front of a table is a child who does not speak. An isolated child does not have the opportunity to interact and develop language, such an important training at this stage in his life.

2- The applications usually offer entertaining content but that do not imply that the child works. They are usually pre-made content, with many colors and characters and although it seems contradictory, in reality this fact slows their creativity and their ability to create. With screens, we don’t give you a chance to jump-start his imagination.

3- Children have to make ‘positive efforts’ throughout the day. Playing alone, stimulating their imagination with quality materials, interacting with others for fun – this gives them a first indication of the culture of effort, so necessary for the future. With screens everything is too easy.

4- The screens create dependency. Experts agree that electronic devices cause addiction and dependence, very dangerous for children who still do not know how to control their feelings.

5- A minor has to move physically. Movement, sports, the natural environment with light, air and relationship with nature is a key factor in development.

Is Giraffa designed for home or for schools?

Although we were born to fill the gap in the home education category, Giraffa is an ideal educational material both for home and for schools. Our recommendation is to always use the complete kit, following the order of the games according to the development stages. However, each game can also be purchased individually either to test or to replace that plastic toy that you have been given as a gift. Giraffa are products made of 100% natural wood and sustainable with the environment.

Is Giraffa a Montessori material?

No. Although we are certified in Montessori math, our games are wide and varied. Our philosophy is based on the concept of education as a monitored process in which each child is capable of learning naturally and developing the maximum potential of it, but always under a study plan that allows our didactic material to adapt to the curricula already existing.Giraffa is a perfect complement to the style of education you choose, perfectly adaptable to both the most traditional and alternative. On an aesthetic level, we have unique elements, tested on children that add a more positive and fun touch, bringing the products closer to what children want and desire. They love it, mother’s word!

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