Last weekend, at the advice of dear friend, we headed out to Barnes and Nobles to pick up some Kumon workbooks for Petra for part of her Tot School activities. Kumon books are designed to gradually build skill sets in children to allow them to learn to master the skill.
We picked up four workbooks: My Book of Easy Mazes, My Book of Coloring, Let’s Sticker & Paste, and Let’s Fold.
One of the things I’m really excited about is that these books start off simple. I think Petra would enjoy many of the activities that many pre-K books have in them, but I’ve never seen any designed as the Kumon books are to gradually build skills.
We haven’t started My Book of Easy Mazes yet, but I’m very excited about it. I think Petra will really enjoy these simple exercises.
My book of Coloring I absolutely love. It introduces the child to a small area of a page that needs to be colored. Many children feel overwhelmed and aren’t sure where to start coloring. This books helps them focus on one area and gradually expands to a larger or multiple areas. It also introduces them to choosing colors for the object to be colored. I think that after doing just the first two pages, this book is helping Petra with her coloring skills. Interestingly, I learned today that Jasper seems to be slightly more advanced than Petra at coloring objects. The workbook says its for ages 2-4, but I think Jasper is ready to start this one as well. Also, on the back of each coloring pages is a maze activity. This book is excellent for two year olds and maybe even those children a little younger.
At the store I decided we must buy Let’s Sticker and Paste because my daughter loves stickers. But I’ve decided this books is MUCH too easy for her. I think we will be starting Jasper on it soon instead. Her pasting skills are already far past the skill set in this book.
I’ve really had a difficult time deciding how I feel about the Let’s Fold workbook. Petra has a strong interest in folding, especially helping fold laundry. Her interest in this book pales in comparison to the excitement she has when I give her a dishcloth to fold. And generally, folding is not a skill she has learned yet. The first few pages, which are the easiest, were very difficult for her. She could only do it with 100% assistance. I think as the folding exercises get more difficult, she will find it more interesting. However, I’m not sure she will be able to do any of them. I can’t figure out if I should hold off for a little while for this book, or go for it and see if she picks it up.
I also picked up some clear contact paper last weekend so I could cover the pages from the coloring and maze workbooks and reuse with Jasper and any other children we have in the future. After covering a couple pages and trying it out, I’m not sure its worth the time, effort or money. The main reason is that it is much easier to color a page that isn’t covered in plastic. With the contact paper, the marker beaded up and it just didn’t give it the same look. I’m trying to decide now if I want to cover just the pages from the maze book, and I think I do. But I think the rest are best left alone.
My biggest complaint is that the My Book of Coloring and My Book of Easy Mazes do not have pages that you can tear out easily. Regardless of whether I cover any of the pages with contact paper, I can’t hand Petra an entire book and expect her to only work on one page. There is no doubt I would get the workbook back with multiple scribbles throughout the pages.