## MouseMatics: Workbook of Logic Problems: Learning Math the Fun Way

Dear parents and teachers! You now have in your hands a far from ordinary workbook for the ordinary subject of mathematics. There is a multitude of books and aids that help preschoolers become familiar with mathematics. All these aids introduce children to the world of numbers and geometric figures, teach them to tell numbers apart, continue patterns, and find identical pictures. The problems and tasks presented in all these books are more or less similar: connect identical shapes, find the odd one out in a set, count the number of objects, add or subtract, find the largest object, connect the dots to write the number 3, number 4, number 5, and so on. However, the standard exercises conceal several dangers. First, they perpetuate unnecessary stereotypes to which the child quickly becomes accustomed. For instance, if the child needs to find an odd one out in a set, there may be only one correct answer. If the child is asked to match identical figures, there will be exactly one match for each figure, and the counterpart will be located in a different column. The child perceives the instructions and solutions as the “rules of the game” and learns to follow them, and is stumped by the smallest exception to these rules – say, there are two different ways to exclude an extra object or there are three matching shapes. There are also hidden, but pervasive visual stereotypes: children often memorize images and connect them with the required words; for instance, they know that a picture with dots drawn in the corners of a square is called “four”, and an identical picture with an extra dot in the middle is called “five”. But can they recognize the same number five if it looks different? These stereotypes interfere with a child’s ability to master counting, and constrict the child’s freedom of thought. Therefore, in this workbook we try to break as many stereotypes as possible.