We were in need of a summer activity and I found Tin Man Press through the Well-Trained Mind Forum. Now, that is one dangerous place if you ask me……..it’s the hang out of every homeschool mom curriculum junkie and those moms are bad for your budget!
Tin Man Press provides enrichment and thinking-style activities for elementary students. I purchased one of the enrichment packs which are grouped by grade and contain four separate books in each pack. Each book focuses on a separate skill. The pack I purchased was the first set which is aimed at grades K-2 and contains the books: Listen Up!, Smart Art, Take Aways, and What’s That?
Listen Up! contains instructions to be read to the student. The student then completes the step-by-step instructions on the provided worksheet page. The aim of this book is to improve listening and direction-following skills.
Smart Art provides prompts asking the student to draw something specific or to complete a provided picture on the worksheet in order to promote creativity.
Take Aways involves scissors and lots of cutting. The provided page looks like a mosaic with a word written on each outlined shape. The top of the page provides categories and the student cuts away the pieces that fit those categories until only one piece is left. This activity is for improving deductive thinking.
The What’s That? pages contain a numerous symbolic drawings and the student must match each drawing to a description. This activity promotes analytical thinking skills.
So what did we think?
Although these activities are aimed at the K-2 age group, I would think these were most appropriate for the younger age range. The activities were not overly challenging to Curly and Tiger was able to complete many of the pages with very little help from me.
Curly enjoyed Listen Up! and I felt it did help her slow down and think through each step rather than rushing through to finish.
Smart Art was enjoyable for her as she was able to use her creativity. The prompts gave her a great starting point and her drawings became more detailed through the course of completing the book.
Take Aways was the most time consuming activity booklet as it took Curly quite some time to cut away each small piece until she discovered the last piece. This was a wonderful activity for motor skills and improved her ability to use scissors. We were also able to discuss a few new vocabulary words as I had to define some of the words used in the activities.
What’s That? was a favorite of Tiger’s. He was able to correctly identify many of the drawings and he and Curly enjoyed working this book by themselves.
Overall, the kids enjoyed the thinking activities and it was a perfect summer activity. It is definitely not typical logic activities and does require some out of the box thinking with a strong emphasis on creativity. However, I did not think it was challenging enough for Curly and I would use these books for the younger age range listed. Curly did ask to do a page or so every day and I plan to get another packet next summer.