NumbersAlive! Debuts Internationally at Toy Fairs in Germany, NYC; Plush Numbers with Personality, Travel/Activity Books, Games Counter 'Fear of Math' Passed on by Adults
WASHINGTON, Jan. 23, 2013 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- The Washington, DC-based NumbersAlive!, a unique pre-K-5 coordinated suite of award-winning playful plush toys, travel books with educational activities, and games to improve numerical literacy, debuts internationally at two huge toy fairs.
NumbersAlive! travels first to Nuremberg, Germany, for the Spielwarenmesse International Toy Fair, the world's leading toy fair, Jan. 30-Feb. 4, and next to New York City for the American International Toy Fair Feb. 10-13 organized by the Toy Industry Association. Products on display in USA Pavilion and Booth 2280 respectively: huggable, colorful, plush 0-9 numbers in three sizes with faces, feet, movable arms, and personalities derived from their historical and cultural roots; multilingual "World of Numbers" poster including Braille and sign language; books for young travelers; special plush numbers—pi, phi, infinity with LED eyes and imaginary unit, and polygon puzzle at three levels of difficulty; children's clothing; novelty birthday/special occasion customizable sashes for numbers.
The NumbersAlive! debut is particularly significant in light of two things: the need to attract students to STEM education (science, technology, engineering, and math) and fill critical business jobs in those fields going begging, and a new study indicating that anticipation of doing math problems lights up pain networks in the brain for people with high levels of math anxiety (reported Nov. 2 by CBSNews/Live Science).
"It's clear we have to start much earlier—as early as the crib—to cultivate a love of numbers and build a needed STEM foundation well before adults inadvertently pass on a fear of math to children," urges Dr. Rebecca Klemm, a successful businesswoman, mathematician, former high school and college educator (Georgetown University School of Business), and founder of NumbersAlive!
Her solution: multidisciplinary, hands-on early learning starting with huggable, colorful, tactile, plush numbers. Children are encouraged to "hug a number" and see numbers in their daily lives so that they become "friends you can count on." The coordinated NumbersAlive! products develop creativity and inquiry skills as children encounter numerical linkages in shapes, quantities, patterns, names, and order—the basics of mathematical and scientific thinking.
"We have to make math meaningful to their lives and fun when kids are young," emphasizes Klemm. "We can capture the interest of more kids with an interdisciplinary approach by making connections between numbers and global art, sports, history, geography, and culture. With pattern recognition and problem solving skills learned through meaningful relationships, children will be ready to tackle algebra and geometry in middle school.
A born storyteller, Klemm—also called "The Numbers Lady" in her zany red hat and attire—specializes in explaining mathematical concepts in everyday language whether it's piloting NumbersAlive! in libraries, elementary schools, and Boys and Girls Clubs or testifying before a jury as CEO of Klemm Analysis Group statistical analysis and expert witness firm.
"Kids are creative, inventive, explorers. Our product line will grow with the child for lifelong learning," says Klemm. For summer delivery: more books where the playful plush numbers are characters, including Hello Numbers board book and Numbers Help the World Go 'Round hardcover; games: polygon puzzle with pieces at levels 1-3 for difficulty. Next: Interactive books for tablets and electronics.
NumbersAlive! 975 F St. NW, Washington DC 20004, (202) 652-1820, International +1-202-652-1820.