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Learning Through Play with Play Smart Interactive Workbooks from Gakken Workbooks

Learning Through Play with Play Smart Interactive Workbooks from Gakken Workbooks

I am a homeschooling mom. Ever since my daughter began her formal education at age 2.5, she has been a fan of workbooks. My toddler son, who will start his preschool lessons later this fall when he turns 3, also loves workbooks. He often asks for one of his toddler sticker workbooks when his big sister is working on her school time. Thus, when recently offered the chance to review the new Play Smart series of interactive workbooks from Gakken Workbooks in exchange for my honest opinion, I eagerly accepted the opportunity to add some new materials to my homeschooling curriculum.

Play Smart Interactive Workbooks from Gakken Workbooks

About Gakken Workbooks

Publisher of the top-selling workbooks for children in Asia, Gakken also currently runs 14,000 learning centers on the continent. Gakken is also well-respected in academic circles, publishing popular teaching materials for preschools, kindergartens, and primary schools. The parent- and kid-tested formula for fun-first learning is now available in the United States through the Play Smart series of interactive workbooks. Believing that learning should be fun, the Play Smart series offers fun-first activity books for children between the ages of 2 and 5 that help to hone important skills such as following increasingly challenging sequential directions, matching and sorting, strengthening observational skills, building fine motor coordination, boosting problem-solving skills, enhancing focus, and exercising creativity and curiosity.

Play Smart Interactive Workbooks for Ages 2+ and 3+ from Gakken Workbooks Play Smart Interactive Workbooks for Ages 4+ from Gakken Workbooks

Synopses

I received eight titles in the Play Smart interactive workbook series: Play Smart Early Learning 2+, Play Smart Brain Boosters 2+, Play Smart Skill Builders 2+, Play Smart Brain Boosters 3+, Play Smart Skill Builders 3+, Play Smart Brain Boosters 4+, Play Smart Skill Builders 4+, and Play Smart School Skills 4+.

Play Smart Early Learning 2+

Play Smart Early Learning 2+ focuses on early learning with picture puzzles, counting games, and art projects. The 70-page workbook includes more than 90 colorful stickers and a wipe-clean game board. The workbook currently costs $5.61 on Amazon with a list price of $6.99.

Cover of Play Smart Early Learning 2+ Inside Pages of Play Smart Early Learning 2+

Play Smart Brain Boosters 2+

Play Smart Brain Boosters 2+ focuses on brain boosting skills through cutting and pasting, tracing, and matching games. The 70-page workbook includes more than 100 colorful stickers and a wipe-clean game board. The workbook currently costs $5.61 on Amazon with a list price of $6.99.

Cover of Play Smart Brain Boosters 2+ Inside Pages of Play Smart Brain Boosters 2+

Play Smart Skill Builders 2+

Play Smart Skill Builders 2+ focuses on building skills with tracing, drawing, matching games, and mazes. The 70-page workbook includes more than 80 colorful stickers and a wipe-clean game board. The workbook currently costs $5.83 on Amazon with a list price of $6.99.

Cover of Play Smart Skill Builders 2+ Inside Pages of Play Smart Skill Builders 2+

Play Smart Brain Boosters 3+

Play Smart Brain Boosters 3+ focuses on brain boosting skills through picture puzzles, drawing projects, and number games. The 70-page workbook includes more than 100 colorful stickers and a wipe-clean game board. The workbook currently costs $5.61 on Amazon with a list price of $6.99.

Cover of Play Smart Brain Boosters 3+ Inside Pages of Play Smart Brain Boosters 3+

Play Smart Skill Builders 3+

Play Smart Skill Builders 3+ focuses on building skills with drawing, cutting, counting games, and mazes. The 70-page workbook includes more than 80 colorful stickers and a wipe-clean game board. The workbook currently costs $5.47 on Amazon with a list price of $6.99.

Cover of Play Smart Skill Builders 3+ Inside Pages of Play Smart Skill Builders 3+

Play Smart Brain Boosters 4+

Play Smart Brain Boosters 4+ focuses on brain boosting skills through picture puzzles, number games, mazes, and crafts. The 70-page workbook includes more than 130 colorful stickers and a wipe-clean game board. The workbook currently costs $5.61 on Amazon with a list price of $6.99.

Cover of Play Smart Brain Boosters 4+ Inside Pages of Play Smart Brain Boosters 4+

Play Smart Skill Builders 4+

Play Smart Skill Builders 4+ focuses on building skills with mazes, connect-the-dots, and drawing and coloring activities. The 70-page workbook includes more than 80 colorful stickers and a wipe-clean game board. The workbook currently costs $5.68 on Amazon with a list price of $6.99.

Cover of Play Smart Skill Builders 4+ Inside Pages of Play Smart Skill Builders 4+

Play Smart School Skills 4+

Play Smart School Skills 4+ focuses on school skills with picture puzzles, counting games, writing, and paper crafts. The 70-page workbook includes more than 80 colorful stickers and a wipe-clean game board. The workbook currently costs $5.61 on Amazon with a list price of $6.99.

Cover of Play Smart School Skills 4+ Inside Pages of Play Smart School Skills 4+

Evaluation

My 5.5-year-old daughter started first grade level work back in June, so she is too advanced for the new Play Smart series of interactive workbooks. However, my toddler son is super excited to begin preschool when he turns 3 in October. The new series from Gakken Workbooks makes a perfect addition to my existing preschool curriculum. When I first started looking through the books, my son insisted on hanging over my shoulder, asking “Mine now?” every few minutes. He is totally excited to begin the activities in the workbooks!

Although I have used many different workbooks aimed at toddlers and preschoolers, the activities in the Play Smart workbooks are different from the activities in my current curriculum library. The activities are age-appropriate and help build essential skills. Each page begins with a note for parents about the skills that a child will practice. For example, the parents note on the ‘Let’s Color the Vegetables’ activity in Play Smart Early Learning 2+ reads: “This activity fosters your child’s ability to pick matching colors. Make sure your child chooses the same color as the vegetable.” Upon completing each page, the child also receives a reward sticker to place on the top corner. My son loves stickers, so the simple reward is a huge hit for him!

What else do I like about the new Play Smart interactive workbooks? First, I love all the bright colors. Some workbooks that I have used in the past were printed in black and white, but kids really do respond to colorful pictures better. I also like the non-glossy pages, which allow my son to use a marker instead of a pencil or crayon. I also appreciate that the tools needed for each activity are listed in pictures at the top of each page in the parents note. I also like the answer key in the back because sometimes even parents need a little help figuring out the correct answer!

Final Verdict

If you are searching for some workbooks that make learning fun to share with your toddler or preschooler, definitely check out the new Play Smart series of interactive workbooks from Gakken Workbooks. Well-respected in academic circles, Gakken currently runs 14,000 learning centers and is the publisher of the top-selling workbooks for children in Asia. Smart Play brings the series to the United States. I like that each activity page begins with a note for parents about the skills that a child will practice. The activities are age-appropriate for children between the ages of 2 and 5 and help build essential skills. I am totally looking forward to using the new workbooks with my son when he begins homeschool preschool this fall!

Purchase Play Smart Early Learning 2+, Play Smart Brain Boosters 2+, Play Smart Skill Builders 2+, Play Smart Brain Boosters 3+, Play Smart Skill Builders 3+, Play Smart Brain Boosters 4+, Play Smart Skill Builders 4+, and Play Smart School Skills 4+ on Amazon via my affiliate links. Follow Play Smart on Facebook.

Image Credits

Learning Through Play with Play Smart Interactive Workbooks from Gakken Workbooks © 2017 Heather Johnson
Play Smart Interactive Workbooks from Gakken Workbooks © 2017 Heather Johnson
Play Smart Interactive Workbooks for Ages 2+ and 3+ from Gakken Workbooks © 2017 Heather Johnson
Play Smart Interactive Workbooks for Ages 4+ from Gakken Workbooks © 2017 Heather Johnson
Cover of Play Smart Early Learning 2+ © 2017 Heather Johnson
Inside Pages of Play Smart Early Learning 2+ © 2017 Heather Johnson
Cover of Play Smart Brain Boosters 2+ © 2017 Heather Johnson
Inside Pages of Play Smart Brain Boosters 2+ © 2017 Heather Johnson
Cover of Play Smart Skill Builders 2+ © 2017 Heather Johnson
Inside Pages of Play Smart Skill Builders 2+ © 2017 Heather Johnson
Cover of Play Smart Brain Boosters 3+ © 2017 Heather Johnson
Inside Pages of Play Smart Brain Boosters 3+ © 2017 Heather Johnson
Cover of Play Smart Skill Builders 3+ © 2017 Heather Johnson
Inside Pages of Play Smart Skill Builders 3+ © 2017 Heather Johnson
Cover of Play Smart Brain Boosters 4+ © 2017 Heather Johnson
Inside Pages of Play Smart Brain Boosters 4+ © 2017 Heather Johnson
Cover of Play Smart Skill Builders 4+ © 2017 Heather Johnson
Inside Pages of Play Smart Skill Builders 4+ © 2017 Heather Johnson
Cover of Play Smart School Skills 4+ © 2017 Heather Johnson
Inside Pages of Play Smart School Skills 4+ © 2017 Heather Johnson

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