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Dynamite Toy Review: Uno

Dynamite Toy Reviews is a series on the blog where Owen and Malia review various learning toys and tools.  Since many parents are interested in items that advance their children’s development, we’ve decided to lend a hand by providing our own unique insight.  As with everything we do here at Shafer…Power!, we’ll try to have some fun with the process.  (If you’re wondering what this has to do with entrepreneurism, you’ll just have to stick with us…wink wink.)

When our little boy, Owen, was around three years old I decided it was time for him to learn how to count.  So, like every great parent I hung up a chart on the wall and started drilling him on his numbers.  When he would start to cry, I would stop the quizzing and make him do push-ups.

Ok, so maybe he never cried and maybe there were never any push-ups.  But I did hang a chart on the wall and I did use a laser pointer.  Every time my wife (Kathleen) would catch me in the process, she would shake her head and say, “are you really quizzing a three-year old?”

Several months after trying Numbers Boot Camp, I overheard my brother-in-law telling a story about how his young boy (around Owen’s age) loved to play Uno and had gotten quite good at it.  I immediately thought to myself, “how could that be so?  How could such a young boy not only know his numbers, but actually be thriving in his learning?”

And then I remembered my wife’s famous words, ” if the kids are having fun doing an activity, they’re much more likely to stay interested and involved.”

So we took the number chart off the wall.  And we started playing Uno.  Sure enough, the numbers seemed to come easier to Owen and everyone was having fun in the process.  But don’t take my word for it, let’s hear directly from him and Malia.

What tools have you used in teaching your children to count?  Have you ever laughed (in hindsight) at your approach?  When’s the last time you played Uno?

Next: July’s AdVenture: Custom Pastries

Previous: The Bottom Line (June, 2012)

8 Comments Post a comment
  1. char #

    This article makes me laugh because my husband is the same way – except he uses flash cards. I agree if you can make learning fun the kids will stick with it. Perhaps it’s a combination (fun and traditional learning) that works the best. Cute review.

    July 8, 2012
    • I agree Char. Somewhere in the middle is probably the best answer. Although I’m learning that every child child has his or her own learning method or style.

      July 10, 2012
  2. Mike #

    Mr. Shafer, you had me there for a second as I thought you really made your son do push-ups. Nice review by the kids.

    July 9, 2012
    • Thanks Mike, they’re too young to be doing push-ups…yet! 🙂 Stay tuned…

      July 10, 2012
  3. csf #

    We had our little girl count chocolate chips and M&Ms with the reward being that she could then eat them. I’ve never seen anyone work so hard. 🙂

    July 10, 2012
  4. That’s an interesting idea. One of the teachers at Owen’s school actually suggested it as well (having kids county candy as part of their learning). I guess it could work if done in moderation. Right?

    July 10, 2012
  5. The pushup idea is great! 😉 I, too, have a 3 year old and he has always taken an interest in his numbers and letters. I have to give all the credit to my awesome wife for rewarding him and questioning him to the point where he counts 1, 2, 3, 4, 5 … uh, what comes after 5? And he keeps asking until he get it. He’s up to 13 now! He can get to 20, but for some reason always misses 15. Same with alphabet. He never learned the ABC song, instead he learned using blocks and toys to recognize all the letters. Now that he has heard the ABC song on some of his electro-gadget toys, he always misses the letter N. It got me thinking…why do we have to know the ABC’s in a certain order? Numbers matter in an order, but letters really don’t…I guess unless you want to put something in alphabetical order…hmmm…answered myself there didn’t I?

    Nice blog Shafers. Enjoy reading and support your cause and raising future entrepreneurs!

    July 11, 2012
  6. Chris, thank you for your note! It really goes to show you that kids learn things in different ways. It seems like your son should turn out just fine…so long as he doesn’t end up in a career that requires him to use the number 15 or the letter N on a frequent basis. 🙂 Keep us posted…

    July 12, 2012

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