Teaching kids maths has gone high-tech – and hopefully fun – with the Sifteo Cubes – as long as you have a couple of hundred quid to splash out. Unlike most games offerings for children, the Cubes don’t feature touchscreens – instead the players move the blocks around and touch them against each other to create patterns and solve puzzles.
It’s an interesting use of near-field communications (NFC) technology – something that often appears in the latest mobile phones but generally fails to have much in the way of real-use applications as yet.
The cubes have in-built accelerometers, so also know when they’re being tilted. All the information is sent back to a nearby computer via wireless USB.
There are a number of games to play (three are included with the six pack starter kit set). Puzzle games, for instance, ask the player to match colours and move dots – think Tetris but with another dimension. There are also maze games that require the player to combine pieces of path to move around the games’ character, and word games. Extra games cost around £5 each.
At £200 a pack, the Sifteo Cubes are rather pricey for your average family (although I guess you might ask how much you paid for your games console?). But the cubes might well be attractive to schools and educational groups – the makers say they are ideal for special educational needs learning.
Also, children learn in different ways, and if your child is a tactile/kinesthetic learner, and prefers to learn by experience (touching, moving, doing) you may be particularly interested in the Sifteo Cubes.
For more information head to www.rmeducation.com/Sifteo