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Review: Little Genie Box’s Literacy Program

Some time ago, I wrote about Little Genie Box’s Everyday Chinese Program, and promised to share our experience with the Literacy Program, but things got a little crazy with the relocation, so I haven’t been able to get it done till now. Oops.

Now that N is in school, I have very little time to do “fun things” with him. It doesn’t help that he’s now in Term 4 of K1, instead of Term 2 like he would be in Singapore, and I try to do “work” with him whenever the twins don’t need me, which is like maybe 5% of the time. It’s quite sad, since I would love to do more interesting things with him than getting him to trace letters or something equally boring, but I don’t have time to prepare interesting lessons for him.

Little Genie Box’s Literacy Program allows parents to spend quality time with our kids, while teaching them something in a fun manner. We received Leo Lionni’s ‘Inch by Inch’ in our Little Genie Box, and with it came a set of lesson plans and materials to teach N all about measurements.

Little Genie Box

What’s inside?

I was amazed at how much effort was put into preparing the materials. The different birds were laminated and cut out according to their shapes (I wouldn’t have bothered, to be honest), and the parts that had to be measured were made with different materials, such as feathers and pipe cleaners. N found the little inch worms really cute, and spent a lot of time lining them up and giggling because they had eyes drawn on them, so he could make some of them “smell each other’s backside”. *rolls eyes*

At his age, N is still a visual and kinaesthetic learner, so these colourful and different-textured materials definitely appealed to him, and he was eager to find out what they were about. I previously tried teaching him how to measure things with just a ruler, but he lost interest quickly, after I stopped him from using the ruler as a lightsaber.

Activity One

The level of difficulty gradually increases with each activity, so that it won’t be too intimidating for the child. For the first activity, N had to use the inch worms to measure the various parts of the different birds, just like what we read in the book. I had to guide him a little, by ensuring that he held the required part straight, and lined the inch worms up properly, without leaving any gaps. Sounds easier than it actually was, because N isn’t really big on details. He then had to record the answer on the laminated card, and I helped him by writing down the number at the side when he used the mirror image of the number. I like that the cards are laminated and that an erasable marker was provided, so that errors can easily be cleaned away, and also because I can reuse the materials again.

Ready to start measuring

Measuring and recording

Got distracted and tried to get the flamingo to eat the inch worms

The next activity was similar to the first, but with two additional steps. I got N to use the inch worms to measure the grass, since he was already familiar with them, before getting him to use the paperclips provided. He then had to learn how to use a ruler to measure the grass, which is a very important skill for kids. This step took quite long, and I struggled to get him to hold the ruler firmly, so it was a good thing that I didn’t get him to start with the ruler. Once he got the hang of it, he was able to read the numbers off the ruler quite easily to tell me the lengths. He was surprised that the numbers were all different, and we had a short chat on why it is therefore important to use a standard measuring device.

Activity Two

Measuring with inch worms

Measuring with paperclips

Learning to use a ruler

Final product

The third and fourth activities are probably more suitable for older children, as they require more writing, but you can do what I did, and just get your child to circle the correct answer. At his age, N is definitely capable of comparing, but he’s not great at writing long words, much less complete sentences, so in order not to put him off these activities, I simplified them for him.

Activities Three and Four

We tried out this box way back in September last year, but I brought all the materials along to Jakarta, as I figured it would be something fun for N to work on again. Since he’s working on subtraction in school, I plan to revisit these activities with him one day. I love that there are so many lessons to be learnt from the book, and it is what I envision book-based learning to be about.

Parents who don’t have enough time or knowledge to come up with lesson plans and materials will definitely appreciate the amount of thought and effort put into preparing these boxes. I wish there were something similar here in Jakarta, because I really don’t have the time or energy to make my own materials these days. For now, I’ll reuse whatever materials I can, and try my best to make learning fun for N.

For more information, visit Little Genie Box’s website HERE.


Little Genie Box is having a special promotion in the month of April! You can purchase a trial box for ANY program at $45 (usual price $49) or get 10% off the 6-month subscription for the Literacy Program. Click HERE to place your order!

Disclaimer: We received a box of the Literacy Program for the purpose of this review. All photos and opinions are, as always, our own.

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