Though I was not familiar with Critical Thinking Press, I jumped the offer from Timberdoodle to review their materials, especially after taking a peek at what they had to offer! And, boy am I glad that I did!!!
As a math major, I feel that it is important to be able to think mathematically and deductively and I was VERY impressed with how Critical Thinking Press has integrated this into the books that we chose to review!
First off, I selected Building Thinking Skills Book 1 for my 7 year old daughter (2nd grade). This is a whopping 364 page black and white workbook chock full with 1072 activities!!!
The workbook is geared towards 2nd and 3rd graders (ages 7-8) and it seems to be a perfect fit for my daughter! We are not huge workbook fans, but I LOVE that she LOVES this workbook! In fact, it has become part of our daily workbox activities!
Side note: I am big on conserving and saving where I can. While the workbook is consumable, the text indicates that you could make copies of the pages for your individual family to use.
So, rather than having my daughter write directly into the text or making a bunch of copies, I took the whopping 364 page workbook to a book bindery and for $4 I had the binding removed and got it hole punched.
Now I keep it all in a 3-ring binder. I just take out a few pages, slide them in page protectors and she used a dry-erase marker to complete the activities. This way, she will not be the only one to get TONS of use from this awesome resource AND I don’t have to run off a bunch of copies!
The workbook covers a multitude of higher order thinking activities that help in developing analytical thinking skills, deductive reasoning, mental manipulation and so much more! Some of the topics include:
antonyms & synonyms
logical thinking…and SO MUCH MORE!
This workbook is an excellent way to help prepare a child for standardized testing! You can view some of the sample lessons from the book to get an idea of the material!
The Building Thinking Skills Book 1 is valued at $29.99. In my opinion, it is well worth it, especially since all of my kids will get lots of use from it!
Our second choice was Mind Benders Beginning Book 2. I originally chose this book for my 5 year old boys (kindergarten).
However, I think I should have heeded the suggested grade levels, which are 1st-2nd grade; ages 6-7. The boys are not far enough in their reading skills to do the activities independently. However, they can totally grasp the logic and problem solving. I read the clues and provide a little bit of guidance and the boys take turns filling in the grid using the clues to solve the problem!
So, using this workbook became more of a “group” activity for the boys and me. However, it was a PERFECT fit for my daughter (age 7, 2nd grade). She LOVED working on the puzzles! She is a girl after my own heart! I am a math major and I LOVE logic and problem solving! Give me a math book over a history book any day! 🙂
This one is also reproducible for your own home, but I opted to remove the staples, cut and hole-punch the pages. We also slide these into page protectors and use dry erase markers on them. Since these are such a favorite for my daughter, I often add them into her workbags as well!
Our third choice was Can You Find Me Preschool. I chose this for my 3 year olds, which corresponds to their recommended age of 3-4. The workbook is 112 pages and contains bright, colorful pictures which proved to be engaging for my boys.
While the other two workbooks seemed to be designed for working independently, this book is designed to be used interactively with the child(ren). I would read the riddle and the boys used the clues I provided to figure out the answer. To get a better idea of the riddles, you can view the sample pages!
It never fails to amaze me how the older kids flock around when there is something special for the little guys! Everyone wanted to help solve the riddles!
While trying to figure out how I could take a picture of all of us working through the book, it dawned on me that I could let my daughter “teach” the littles! So, she read the clues and the little boys (and often times the big boys too) solved the riddles. While the boys worked on building their thinking skills, KJ got in some extra reading…and a bit of extra practice in patience! 🙂
Can You Find Me Preschool covers a myriad of skills and topics all while solving colorful rhyming riddles. Some of the topics included are: similarities, differences, sequences, classifications, analogies, and logic. Some of the skills include reading readiness, science, math, and social studies. It is valued at $16.99 and is a fun, colorful way to get your little one(s) thinking!
Overall, I was VERY pleased with the Critical Thinking Press books! I would have to say that of the three books I chose, my favorites are the Building Thinking Skills Book 1 and the Mind Benders Book 2.
I love that the Building Thinking Skills Book 1 is a great way to help reinforce some of the topics we have learned all while preparing my daughter for standardized testing. The Mind Benders book is just plain fun…and that is not just me talking. My kids said it too!
Plus, my daughter loves using both of them and they truly are a great addition to her workbags!
Critical Thinking Press, we are hooked! Thank you Timberdoodle for introducing us to such an awesome new resource! If adding more thinking skills is in your homeschool plan, be sure to check out all of the curriculum, games, and puzzles Timberdoodle has to offer! As always, if you haven’t already, you MUST sign up to receive their FREE homeschool catalog! I always feel like a little kid making out a Christmas wish list whenever I look through it! 🙂
Disclosure: As a member of Timberdoodle’s Blogger Review Team, the Critical Thinking Press products were given to me free of charge. I do not have to return the products and I was not paid for this post. All opinions expressed in this post are my own.