Tiny Polka Dot

Disclaimer: I received Tiny Polka Dot for free as I am a part of Timberdoodle’s review team for the 2017-2018 school year. I’m excited about the opportunities this brings me to my blog and very excited to showcase some neat products for you. I hope that you’ll find these reviews enjoyable and helpful as well! As always, this blog will only ever be my 100 percent honest opinions. 

Tiny Polka Dot size reference pictureAs you may know, in our house, we play a lot of games. For as long as I can remember, I have loved board games and card games of all kinds. My family even has our own card game. So, it has been my great delight to be able to pass that love onto my children. We play together frequently.

But we don’t just play for fun – we also play because games are a great way to build so many skills. There are skills that they teach that can’t be measured. These are things like taking turns and learning how to be a gracious winner and loser. Then, there are other skills that can be quantified more easily, like math, which is the main skill focus on Tiny Polka Dot.

I assumed from the name Tiny Polka Dot that it would be small. However, it was a lot smaller than I expected. Which is great! I love small games because they travel so well. This game is a great size to toss in a bag. We frequently bring games places we might have some downtime. You can see from the picture that it’s easily held in one hand. Allen playing Tiny Polka Dot

Don’t let its small size fool you. With 66 cards in six suits, it also includes 8 rule cards which have instructions for 16 different games. Plus, that doesn’t even touch the number of games you could invent with the cards on your own. Dominic loves to invent games. After we had played a few of the games, he was already wanting to make his own.

For me as the mom, one of the things that I most appreciated about the game besides its small size was the durability of the cards. They will hold up well, though they will bend if you are being too rough with them. I also appreciated that the cards weren’t just numerals. Actually, the six suits have different visual representations of numbers. There is the traditional dice representation, but also a grid representation, a circle representation, and more. The dots are great for one on one correspondence, which I am working on with my youngest Allen, who is 2. But this game is incredibly versatile and can really grow with your kids as they grow up. With the same set of cards, we could play games that were easy enough for Allen, but also challenging enough for Dominic, who is 5. Tiny Polka Dot CollageMy kids definitely enjoyed this game. It helped Allen to slow down and really count the dots. Frequently when counting he just rattles off numbers rapidly. But this game is definitely helping to teach him to actually count. Dominic was having so much fun I don’t even think he was learning different ways that you can add up to 10 or 15. He found the blue dot cards which have the numbers in a grid of 10 especially helpful. These cards allowed him to easily see how many were left that he needed in order to be able to add up to ten. When I asked him about Tiny Polka Dot, he told me it was cool. He also said he liked how many different ways you could play it.

The only downside that I could see to this game is that I felt like a few of the instruction cards weren’t clear. However, with so many ways to use it, you are still having a fun time with your house rules. You don’t need to play it 100 percent the right way to have fun or to learn. Overall, I’d highly recommend Tiny Polka Dot, it’s a really great bunch of games in a tiny package and a reasonable price point! It would definitely be a great addition to any home or classroom.It’s also a new addition to the PreK kit from Timberdoodle, which we used last year and loved. I think this is a solid addition to that kit in the math department.  This is especially true since it will definitely grow with your kids. You will be able to use it in PreK and well beyond as well.

Have you ever played Tiny Polka Dot? What are your math struggles? What are your favorite math games? 

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