Saturday, December 4, 2010

One Fish, Two Fish.....'Flat Fish'?


Here at The Autism Angle we are hoping to sift through the millions of materials that are out there on the market.  Toys, educational materials, books, etc can be quite overwhelming and expensive!  Therefore, we want to share products new and old that we have used and give our opinion as well as hear yours!

I am new to the 'Flat Fish' but it was love at first play. With the help of a few little hands we tested them out and had some fun to boot.  There are several different versions that are quite similar but focus on different academic areas. 

We used the 'Learn the Alphabet' pictured here:


Overall features according to the Carson Dellosa Publishing Company:
This fun and entertaining kit allows open-ended play and creativity for young children. Colorful and sturdy, the hands-on learning foam fish help to develop letter and number recognition skills through activities involving matching, uppercase and lowercase letters, sequencing, spelling, textures, colors, sorting, lacing, and eye-hand coordination.
Each fish features an uppercase and a lowercase letter on one side with a textured surface on the reverse side. The skills and concepts taught with this kit support national reading and English standards.
The activity book and cards further extend the skills children learn in school with fun activities on letter and number recognition, word puzzles, dot-to-dot, imaginative play and classifications.
The Autism Angle opinion

PROS:
  • Works on many different skill areas:  Matching letters, matching colors, making patterns and fine motor skills (stringing the fish).
  • DURABLE!  Always a plus!  As a therapist and mother I need materials that will be close to indestructible.  During our 'assessment' of the flat fish they were stepped on, thrown, chewed on, and driven over with a push car.  They still look great and held up to a lot of abuse. 
  • Great for 'hands-on' learning.  The kids we work with typically do better when they can see, touch and feel the concept they are working on. 
  • Sensory fun!  Each color has different textures as you can see in the picture below.  This makes it great for exploration with the little and big hands alike. 

CONS:
  • A little on the pricey side.  Online they are selling each set for $28.99 without shipping.  If you were hoping to have all of the sets (letters, phonics, numbers, words), it could add up quickly!
  • Once the fish come out of the container, it was impossible to get them back in let alone fit the cards in too.  Cute container but it will have to be stored in something else for future use. 
  • The cards were good to show different patterns but the pictures were pretty small.  It was hard for the kids to transfer the concept on the card to the larger fish they were using. 
  • A bit overwhelming when not set up by an adult.  When I opened the box and let the kiddos go for it, they were unsure of where to start.  This is something that has to be set-up/organized in advance for most kids.  The child I initially started working with, poured all of the materials out and lined up the fish randomly but didn't quite know where to go from there.  

Our Verdict
It's a winner!  Sorting out materials ahead of time into the area you want to focus on became the most important.  Removing as many of the pieces that are not going to be used during that activity time will help to not overwhelm everyone involved.  Set up a handful of fish that will be used for stringing, color matching, letter matching or patterns and enjoy.

                                           Lacing the fish and Color matching:

 

                                         Patterns and Letter Matching:


Overall, a quite enjoyable product.  If you have used this product as well, we would love to know what you think and hear about your experiences! 

-Abby

3 comments:

  1. I cant wait to try that with my son who has PDD issues, this will be very good for him and will make learning fun which is what we have to do with him. Thanks for the information!

    ReplyDelete
  2. Absolutely! We would love to hear your opinion as well after you use them with your son. Have fun playing!

    ReplyDelete
  3. Looks like a great development tool to help with fine motor skills. Great find!

    ReplyDelete