Cubie is a learning tool for little ones that is as multi-faceted as its name suggests. For a start, it is not an app (hallelujah!) but a three-dimensional, real-life booklet brimming with age-appropriate maths questions. I hesitate to call it a workbook, because the way my two boys (aged 5 and 6) went at it, it was all about curiosity, fun and achievement. It’s homework so cunningly disguised, that my smalls wanted to do it before breakfast on a Saturday.
So what does Cubie look like? Inside the monthly subscription box are 4 small booklets that cater either to Reception, Year 1 or Year 2 children (you specify when you order). There’s a pencil and a dice or counters, depending on what’s needed. Visually simple yet with splashes of bright colour, it can grab the attention of young minds, but not overwhelm them. Meaning: following a little instruction from Mummy, I can walk away and leave them to it. And – here’s the best bit – they were keen as mustard to complete the tasks (and add stickers to a Cubie reward poster to celebrate).
The pages are colour-coded so that they only need do 10-15 minutes of maths per day – a little and often approach throughout the month. My two charged through more than that at each sitting, even when it was challenging their grey matter and they might normally have abandoned the idea. It made me think how perfect it would be for a train or an aeroplane, and how happy I’d feel about their eyes off the iPad when we travel.
This is old school, but it’s been cleverly reimagined and likely to appeal to attention-poor kids. Designed by a team of teachers, Lottie Trump is at the helm of Cubie. I spoke to her about the brainwave of her Cubie concept and how it’s beginning to ripple amid pools of parents.