Engineering and physical science, Art, education, and humanities
The Color Cross Cube™: A Multiplication Toy for Children
An important tool for teaching any mathematical process is to provide a means to visualize a problem. This allows the learner to use existing skills to work through higher-level concepts. Using toys as educational tools is especially important for young learners as toy-based devices encourage frequent use and may be less intimidating than other teaching methods. Many existing toys are designed to reinforce multiplication skills and the memorization of times tables, rather than teach the principles behind multiplication itself.
The technology is a three dimensional, experiential learning tool that allows children to use counting to solve multiplication problems. This toy is based on the Cartesian product principle, which instructs learners to create a grid using parallel lines to solve a problem. Aside from teaching multiplication, this toy can reinforce counting skills and shape matching and can be used as a colorful, customizable nightlight. Due to the simple design, this toy would be appropriate for pre-school children, as well as those first learning multiplication. Alternative learners of any age could also benefit from its use. This toy is suitable for both school and home environments.
A prototype has been developed.