Lux Blox Review

One of the best things about blogging at NaturalMath.com is that I get to review books and games! That’s one benefit of having seven kids at home still, too! I asked Lux Blox if I could review their blocks and they sent me a free box!  (Thank you, Michael!)

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 Not familiar with Lux Blox yet? This is from their site:

Lux was created by artist/inventor Michael Acerra because he and his wife Heather wanted to give the world a block that could build everything as nature does.  Lux revolutionizes the possibilities of construction block creations by combining innovative technology with nature’s design principles.

With Lux, builders are now free to make structures that curve, bend, and move.  The unique, patent-pending snap and lock hinge system allows you to create structures that flex, twist, and turn, while retaining strength and stability.  Now builders and innovators of all ages can use Lux to model machines, biological organisms, architecture — or whatever structures they can imagine!

As soon as the box arrived my kids started asking what it was. I hadn’t told them they were coming! I used their excitement as leverage to get the living room cleaned up, because I knew what would happen once we opened the box.

And I was right!

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They were consumed by building Lux Blox creations for several hours. We had to make them stop for dinner. The blox were everywhere. It didn’t take any time for them to start being really creative with their building. They LOVE that the blocks can lock and be firm, but that they can roll and curve too. We’ve had them for four days and they are still out and still being used. The only challenge we’ve had, is that I need to order another few boxes so everyone has enough blocks to build! They aren’t liking the need to share!

We’ve built guns (boys!), balls, baskets, cars, Star Wars Y-wings, and more. The 4yo and the 12yo sit side by side and build. They are creative and challenging. We haven’t even touched on all the neat videos on the Lux Blox site yet!

One of the neatest things about them is their curving ability. I don’t really know how to explain it, but they work almost like a human joint. In the photos below you can see my daughter roll up a “carpet” (as they call it) of them and then let it unroll. That part was really amazing to them (and me!)

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Rolling it up is so cool!

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Then it unrolls flat!

When they started building hollow spheres (balls), they had small gaps between some blocks. So I challenged my older boys to build a ball that didn’t have any gaps in it. They are still working on figuring out how to do that. In fact, they get home from school and drop their folders and jackets on the floor and start working with their Lux Blox. I love their enthusiasm (but maybe not the dropping stuff on the floor part)!

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I’ll sum up my review with a quote from my 9yo lego-lover. (He’s the one in the photo just above.) “I declare that Lux Blox will be as awesome and famous as Legos and that they will keep growing and growing and everyone will know about them. These are the awesomest blocks ever! Can we each have our own box?”

 

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Posted in A Math Circle Journey, Make

Summer Camps and Book Crews: Newsletter April 19, 2016

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Be a beta reader: volunteer with Natural Math authors

How do we learn to help our children better? How do we learn to lead beautiful, joyful math activities? We talk with other parents and teachers who share our values!

We have two crews looking for members to help make our upcoming books. If you haven’t tried before, here’s how it works: As a beta reader, you talk with book authors, play-test newest activities, and make sure books fit your children’s needs. Your name will appear in the book credits.

When you volunteer, we arrange a meeting online (text or voice chat). You will read a chapter and try activities with your children, and then meet the authors to give feedback.

In the next couple of months:

  • With children ages 3-12, join Dr. Irina Malkin Ondik and the crew of Kingdom on the Wall: a physics, math, and arts experiment-based adventure.
  • With children ages 6-15, join Alfreda Poteat and the crew of Math Roots: building the foundations of math through storytelling, history, pretend-play, and discussions.

Interested? For more details, email reach.out@naturalmath.com

Moebius Noodles Paper

 


Join the new online summer camps for children

What’s an online summer camp? Shelley Nash has perfected the format over the past few years, and now she’s bringing it to Natural Math! Every day for a week, your children and you join others in a meeting software similar to Skype. It feels lively, active, and inspiring. Not like talking to the screen, more like a math circle or meeting friends – but without all the driving.
This summer, we offer three subject areas students rarely encounter until high school or college: linear algebra, calculus, and logic. In the signature Natural Math style, the activities are playful, hands-on, and accessible to everyone. Check them out!

  • One week daily, live online, logic camp: a fun way to learn mathematical logic through puzzles, riddles, challenges and games.
  • Children ages 9-14, with Shelley Nash as organizer.
  • Choose between three sessions
    • May 9-13 at 12-1 PM EDT
    • June 27-July 1 at 1-2 PM EDT
    • August 8-12 at 10-11 AM EDT

  • One week daily, live online, math camp to learn calculus concepts in hands-on activities.
  • Children ages 5-9 and their parents, with Shelley Nash as organizer.
  • Choose
    • June 27 – July 1 at 11 AM – noon EDT, or
    • August 8-12 at 1-2 PM EDT


  • One week daily, live online, math camp that is a fun way to learn about linear algebra: matrices, graphing, coordinates, and more!
  • Children ages 9-15 (parents welcome!) with Shelley Nash as organizer.
  • Choose
    • Cohort 1: June 13-17 at 10-11 AM EDT (New York).
    • Cohort 2: June 13-17 at 9-10 PM EDT (New York), which is June 14-18, 11:00 AM in Sydney.


My Account: all your Natural Math stuff in one place

Quite a few people asked for a more convenient sign-up, and here it is! You can access all your recordings, electronic books, and courses from one central place when you log in to NaturalMath.com

Your account is created when you first write on our forum, join a course, or get a book. After that, the site remembers you, and makes sign-ups easier.

With an old account, you may need to request a new password before using the new system.

This is how to navigate to My Account from the top menu, on your computer:

My Account NM

On a mobile device, click the top menu icon first, then select My Account:

My Account NM Mobile

See you online!

Dr. Maria Droujkova and the Natural Math crew

CC BY-NC-SA

Questions? Email reach.out@naturalmath.com or ask in comments to this page.

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Posted in Newsletter

My Kingdom on the Wall!

This week wrapped up our live session of Kingdom on the Wall! What fun! We had an amazing, international group! I think I learned more physics in two days than I had before! I’m not the only one that felt that way either! The magic glass of water spurred some fun activities for my children, but what I loved seeing happen the most was the balancing activity.

I set the supplies on the table and left, planning to come back in a bit. My children grabbed the supplies and started playing around before I returned. (You don’t see the 9 year old who loved helping!) It didn’t take them long to outwit gravity!

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We started out trying to balance on the lens cleaner bottle, but got the salad dressing for a larger base. He immediately plopped the lens cleaner on top and loved that he could put things anywhere and it would stay balanced!

 

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His finished tower (for now!)

 

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He wanted to pull a goofy face, but he was proud of putting that final paper on top and getting it to balance. It was like outwitting it!

 

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Wait look! I can just stack those plates with bottles between them and balance whatever I want! Doesn’t take them long to figure out some basic principles of balance, mass, and torque does it?

Want to try some yourself?

Irina Malkin’s book, Kingdom on the Wall is coming out soon. You can help crowdfund it. Email reach.out@naturalmath.com to learn how.

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Posted in Make

Summer Camps for Kids!

  • Are you looking for a fun adventure for a child in your life?
  • Are you hoping to keep up the math skills during the summer?
  • Have you wished that your kids could play math with other like minded kids?
  • Do you love the idea of a camp, but hate the daily driving?

Good news!

NaturalMath.com is offering three new, online summer camps for kids!

Summer Camps

Check them out!

  1. Camp Logic

  2. Calculus for Kids

  3. Transformers! Matrices & Graphs

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Posted in Make, Make & Grow

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Activities, courses, books, and games by and for the Natural Math community.

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Playful algebra, calculus for 5 year olds, inquiry problems and more: join our adventures with Natural Math books!

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