Tuesday, May 1, 2012

Crypto Mind Benders (a review!)

So, our family recently got to try a new educational book by The Critical Thinking Co., one of our all-time favorite publishers of workbooks! We were super excited and waited impatiently for the postman to deliver the goods. The first book we received was Crypto Mind Benders, which is a bunch of puzzles to help a child develop and use mathematical reasoning and critical thinking skills. We especially like these types of books because the children do not realize they are learning anything or even doing any sort of school - they are puzzles!

We received the Classic Jokes version of the Crypto Mind Benders books, but there is also a Famous Quotations book. The books are suited for children from third grade and up, so my third-grade son and my sixth-grade daughter both got to use this book. Mostly, they worked together on it, but the sixth-grader definitely needed to do some on her own a few times - just to have the honor of completing a joke/puzzle all by her self!

The jokes are cute and funny, the puzzle pages are well-organized, and the solutions are in the back. They thought of everything! My favorite part, though, was the instructions and example included in the front of the book - you do not have to have great reasoning skills yourself to let your child use this (and you can actually learn something, too!) because there is a little tutorial right there at the beginning of the workbook to teach you how to solve the puzzles. Fantastic!!

Overall, these are my favorite way to sneak thinking into my kids' day. We are always excited about a new Critical Thinking Co. book, and Crypto Mind Benders was still a happy surprise with the puzzles my kids couldn't wait to solve and the jokes they couldn't wait to tell to their friends. {smile}

You can find this and other great resources at The Critical Thinking Company's website: www.CriticalThinking.com

* Note: the above-mentioned book was provided to me at no cost for the purposes of an honest review; a positive review was not expected, just deserved, and no other compensation has been received.