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Tiny Polka Dot Review by Melissa BontadelliMath for Love
Tiny Polka Dot is a set of games created to help children develop number proficiency and a love for math. It is a box set of sixty-six different cards broken down into six categories or suits. Eight rules cards give instructions for sixteen different games that can be played with the cards. The rules cards give instructions, recommended ages, which cards to use, and how to increase the difficulty of the game. The game is currently available on Amazon for $14.65.
We used this game as a supplement to our math curriculum. In our homeschool, we play games of some sort at least every other day. We were able to instantly put the Tiny Polka Dot game to use during that time. It was suitable for each age student. The difficulty was decreased and increased as needed and depending on the game. The different arrangements of the dots on the cards mixed in with numerals and different colors created a brain exercise. The cards were sturdy, and the appearance was appealing. This game would work with homeschooling families or non-homeschooling families. It has incredibly flexible in the ways it can be used.
When we first received Tiny Polka Dot, I felt disappointed. I thought there would be more to it but, the more we dug into the game and all the options on how to use it, I realized it was very robust. I have one student who enjoys math and does very well at it. I have another student who does not enjoy math but does very well at it. They both enjoyed playing this game. I could see it being immensely helpful for students just starting their math journey, but it also works well for older students if you follow some of their more complex games.
The game does require parent involvement. This could be seen by some families as a con because, if you want to maximize the math learning, you will need to structure it, especially for younger children. I do let my students play with the cards in unstructured time but without a game to direct the play, they tend to abandon it quickly. The game seems most suitable for elementary age students.
I would recommend the Tiny Polka Dot game. My students enjoy it and it will be something we continue to use throughout the elementary years.
Product review by Melissa Bontadelli, The Old Schoolhouse® Magazine, LLC, June 2020