Kids Consult is an amazing consulting company founded by three girls, who are just a couple of years older than the target audience of the “Moebius Noodles” book. They review mathematics games, puzzles, books and other materials. Here is their review of three chapters from the book, and some of the changes that resulted.

Kids Consult:

Function Machine

• We love the illustration at the top of this page. It really adds reality to the concept.
• Even though this is the most “mathy” of the set, it’s also the most interesting. This is probably because it has no pre-prescribed instructions. Even though the others do need directions and examples, try not to get too constrictive – some parents might think that these are the only variations for the activities. Be sure to mention that those are only possibilities.
• Great idea with the actual building of the machines, but it would be good to put some sample photos up of actual built ones.
• The sentence is way too long, which makes the content very hard to understand clearly and completely: “Use qualitative functions, for example, a machine that adds a sticker to each toy thrown into it by a baby or a machine that finds its mommy for each baby animal.”
• Well done. This is amazing!

Double Doodle Zoo

• This is a classic activity, and a favorite with kids. Good choice.
• However, there may be one downside to this: they might get bored, and shun the activity. So, on this activity especially, though this applies to all, have more and more interesting variations. For instance, suggest that the kids try to make a chain with 2 or 3 different types of figures on it, for example.
• Excellent job accommodating all the age groups involved.
• Overall, a job very well done!

Snowflake Symmetry Demo

• Move the snowflake making instructions closer to the beginning of the document. For kids and parents who start right in at the top, this does not help them have pretty snowflakes, but little messes and frustration instead.
• Please explain how this relates to symmetry. Some kids may not realize this, and if their parents cannot explain to them what’s going on, you end up with some problems.
• How does someone study times tables with snowflakes? Please explain.
• Could this be combined with the previous chapter? It’s very similar…
• It is great how you explore the possibilities of working with snowflakes. All in all, this is a great thing to try at home.

Question

Is this meant to be for parents to read and kids to look at pictures, or is it for just parents or kids to read on their own? If this is only for parents, then you don’t need as many illustrations, do you?

Dear Kids Consult reviewers,

Thank you for the detailed and thorough review. It is very useful in our work. I will recommend your services to colleagues!

About Double Doodle, you wrote: “So, on this activity especially, though this applies to all, have more and more interesting variations” – we have variations inside light bulbs, which symbolize bright ideas (page 2) and the “blueprint” area that shows a few more ideas at the end (page 4). Retrospectively, I see that these ideas don’t necessarily take math to the next level of complexity, like some other chapters. Is it why you thought they were less interesting? Good catch; we will be checking all chapters for that now.

As you have seen, we don’t usually have visual instructions upfront. The layout of all chapters is:
Page 1 – inspiring big picture
Page 2 – short text description, mindmap of keywords, bright ideas
Page 3 – three ages and a picture representing them
Page 4 – blueprints for more ideas

Do you think we should move the basic visual instructions to Page 2 in the case of snowflakes?

The next iteration of the long sentence: “Use qualitative functions, that is, machines that work without numbers. How about a machine (good for babies and toddlers) that adds a sticker to each toy thrown into it? Or a machine that finds mommies for baby animals?”

Kids Consult:
Thank you. We are glad that the reviews were useful.

About the interesting variations, we were just making sure that parents would not think that those are the only possible ones that work.

We think that you should move the visual instructions to page 2 for the snowflakes.

So, is this for parents, kids, or both, to read and look at pictures?