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Kids Turn Toy News

Zillio Do The Math! Zillio Gets Kids To Grasp Math Principles By Scaling A Mountain On A Countertop

Mini & Mega Mountains Teach All Ages To “Learn Once, Use Many”

Redwood City, CA (March 11, 2010) – Grownups will recall – with some trepidation – having to memorize multiplication tables in math class. 7 X 8 = 56; 8 X 8 = 64; 9 X 8 = 72. This was long before hand-held calculators! Today’s kids, especially those that are home-schooled, have a whole new option to learn math principles. It’s Zillio Mountain from Zillio®, Inc., makers of a zillion ways to play math. Kids, learning in a multi-sensory environment, are mastering addition, subtraction, multiplication and division by scaling the Mountain with their fingers. The raves are pouring in from around the country from teachers, parents and especially kids.

According to its website,, “what truly sets Zillio apart from all the rest of educational games and math manipulatives is that Zillio provides the missing link necessary to succeed in critical thinking – the playful structure allows children to see, touch and systematically manipulate numbers to reveal the meaning behind math!”

When kids get their hands on the Mini Mountain or its big brother, Mega Mountain, they can easily explore a colorful rotating model of math based on two critical math concepts: times tables and number lines. The twelve rainbow-colored staircases each represent a number and its multiples. All equivalent numbers are at the same height so children can see and feel important math concepts while they play and learn math.

Industry professionals have already bestowed multiple prestigious awards to Zillio for educating a wide range of children: Dr Toy's Best Play and Learn Vacation Award for Summer 2009; Dr. Toy 100 Best Products; Creative Child Magazine’s Education Product of the Year. Informal Education Products’Award of Excellence and AblePlay's 5 stars out of 5 rating (awarded to exceptional toys) for meeting the needs of children with cognitive disabilities.

Investing in a toy that teaches math may make some children and grownups wince. It’s not exactly an action figure, a plush doll or an electronic toy. But according to Kay Emerson, Zillio Founder, conquering basic math skills really matters!

“Numerous studies report that over 60% of our youngsters are not proficient in math,” reveals Emerson. “This will limit their career choices, earning potential, and self esteem. It even has a huge impact on whether or not they stay in school.” She adds, “a similarly large number of adults tell us they do not feel comfortable with their own math skills so investing in Zillio can really make a difference -- now and into their child’s future.”

Educators, mom bloggers and parents who homeschool have incorporated Zillio’s products in their lesson plans and are in total agreement with this new method for teaching math:

I found this to be a very helpful, highly visual math supplement. When my older child was able to visibly see the pattern of a multiple family, I saw a marked improvement in his math work. My younger child made great improvement with her counting and addition facts from just one afternoon of playing games on the mountain. -- Charlotte Gochnauer, The Old Schoolhouse® Magazine

Kay Emerson has invented a math manipulative that will blow your socks off! Today, we are going to talk with her about why the Zillio is revolutionary, how it can not only benefit your children but you as well. The support system for this product is nothing short of amazing. -- Teri Helms, A homeschooling mother who blogs at

Indeed, Zillio was invented precisely to provide children with a fun and powerful way to see, touch, and understand essential math concepts. Math needn’t be strictly serious – it’s actually fun! With Zillio it can be accessible to all learners as they prepare for a successful math experience in middle school and beyond.

Currently, Zillio’s products are available online at their own website,, and at specialty toy virtual stores such as,, or Homeschool families who shop for school supplies at will find Zillio products among the listings.

Mini Mountain Choose from three best sellers or a combination:

Mini Mountain • $99.95 • Ages 4+
It may be called mini but this mountain measures 18” in diameter and 8” high and is easily portable. It’s ideal for introducing and exploring even the most advanced concepts but it is more limited in developing fluency. The number of players varies by activity, from one to four. Hands-on activities and length of play are suited to beginning levels and skills as well as more advanced ones. An instruction booklet with 20 starter games plus dice and mini tokens are included.

Mega Mountain • $199.95 • Ages 4+
This Mountain measures 27” in diameter and 12” high and is modestly portable. It’s excellent for introducing basic to the most advanced concepts and developing more fluency in multiplication. With its expanded number range and number of steps it is better suited to pattern recognition activities than the Mini. The number of players varies by activity, from one to six. More advanced skills and superior strategies have a bigger payoff when strategic games are played on the Mega Mountain. Children with special needs are very fond of the big mountain.

2D Playgr 2D Playground • $31.95
This laminated and colorful 2D version of the Mega Zillion can be used as a game board, a poster, and a worksheet. Perfect for 2- 4 students to practice math facts and or play games to develop problem solving and reasoning skills. Measuring 24" by 24" it showcases the mountain with multiples on one side and without on the other. Each playground comes with instructions, 3 dice, and 1 set of 12 foam cards with tokens. Zillio’s own website sells either Mountain combined with the 2D Playground for a discounted price of $119.95 or $219.95. Fans who poke around will find 50 more games online!

Since its debut in 2008, the interest in Zillio is so keen that the creators made a separate blog to create alliances with other Zillio users, to share ideas and stories, learn about the latest research in math and educational games, and to just get the most out of the products. Find the latest information at

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Welcome to the Next Generation of Math. Zillio, Inc. is an innovative designer, developer and marketer of math toys, math games and math educational products to provide fun, engaging, math-rich play and learning experiences for children in Pre-K to 9th Grade, wherever math is used or taught: in homes, classrooms, special need programs, after-school programs, enrichment programs, intervention programs, and tutoring. Zillio helps youngsters develop the thinking upon which more advanced instruction and problem-solving is built.

The Zillio Foundation is a non-profit 501 (c) (3) foundation that works in tandem with other non-profit, community and research organizations to develop scalable after-school programs and professional development programs for pre-service and in-service elementary and middle school teachers to deepen mathematical conceptual understanding. The Zillio Foundation is managed by Zillio, Inc. and supports its mission and core initiatives.