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A New Line of Dinnerware Makes Math Fun 

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Why should learning math be relegated to school? What if kids had a chance to develop their number sense at the dinner table?

That's the idea behind The Multiples, a line of children's dinnerware created by a husband-and-wife team of Montessori educators. Each plate, bowl and tumbler is illustrated with one of 12 quirky characters and a set of times tables to encourage kids to play with numbers instead of their food.

"It's not, 'Sit down and finish your peas and do your five multiplication tables.' It's more to have the kids lead the conversations about numbers," says Brooks Addington, co-president of Realtimes Products LLC, The Multiples' Vermont-based children's educational company.

And the colorful characters — such as Professor One Hoot, a scientist owl from Berlin, and Madame Two Moos, a happy-go-lucky Australian cow — add to the fun.

Afraid you're not prepared for spontaneous math lessons? "The answers are right there on the plate," notes Addington, "so parents don't have to be intimidated."

The multiples: Appropriate for ages 2-10. For sale at nine Vermont stores, including Kids City and Healthy Living Market and Café in South Burlington, Toy Factory in Rutland and Stowe Kitchen Bath and Linens. "Curriculum sets" of bowls, plates and tumblers available for $29.99-$34.99 at usa.themultiples.com.

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