When my daughter was three months old, I became curious as to when I could introduce math-related concepts. As a new father, I read many articles and blog posts that emphasized the importance of reading books to your child starting at an early age. But when and how do I introduce math? I asked myself. My curiosity launched me into a fascinating journey of research which led to astounding discoveries about the importance of engaging our children in numeracy and early math BEFORE they start kindergarten.
Soon after I began my search for early math resources, I found a wealth of fascinating academic research on early math and the young child. What I did not find was a product to help me engage my own child in discovering the magic of early math at this age. Sure, I found a number of products that were school-oriented or that had a limited focus on counting. And I saw more incarnations of the stacking things, rings on a rod, unit blocks, etcetera than I cared to count. But none of them were as comprehensive and engaging as I hoped they would be. So I set out to create a tool or material for my family that could fill the gap I noticed in the marketplace.
After three years of nights and weekends, I have arrived at a modular manipulative system that can be used by learners across a range of ages and skill levels. In our tests, children as old as eight have been enthralled building with Kontu. The system can be used to help children develop knowledge of number composition/decomposition, cardinality and of course counting but also place-value, the four operations, and fractions. Children can also engage with other skills building such as geometry and spatial reasoning. And now, through continued testing with educators and families, the true nature of what we have created has become clear. The applications are broader than math alone.
Kontu STEM Blocks engage children, with the help of families and educators, in acquiring STEM knowledge and skills through experimentation and playful investigation.
We believe that every child should have access to excellent quality early education opportunities. The Kontu mission of STEM for all children means we will dedicate a portion of our profits to supporting organizations that provide quality, equitable, early childhood education.
Founder & Inventor at Kontu