Our Story

Gakken is the number 1 educational publisher in Japan. Founded in 1946 by Hideto Furuoka, the mission of Gakken has always been to produce fun-first, educational materials for children.

 

Gakken is well-known to Asian families for its bestselling workbooks. Gakken is also well-respected in academic circles - publishing popular teaching materials for preschools, kindergartens, and primary schools. In addition to its substantial publishing business, Gakken also runs 14,000 learning centers called “Gakken Classrooms” and operates nursery schools - all inspired by the successful formula used in their workbooks.

Gakken's Play Smart Workbooks are the best-selling activity books in Japan, sold over 42 million copies, and still selling 1 million copies each year! 

 

The winning Play Smart formula:

Puts the emphasis on fun - so much so, that children have no idea that they’re building important skills while they trace lines and shapes, cut and paste objects, solve mazes, create crafts, and tackle other simple, enjoyable activities.

Includes parent involvement: Extensive research asserts that young children learn the most, have the highest rates of literacy, and the most developed math skills, and even social skills when there is parent involvement in the learning process. Every single page of the Play Smart workbooks includes “notes to parents” offering advice to help each child progress.

• Has been proven to strengthen kids’ reasoning, decision-making, and concentration skills, which helps them prepare not only for the classroom - for life!

• Includes age-appropriate trying, cutting, pasting, and drawing activities to build fine motor coordination and other important skills. 

• Uses  stickers within the context of certain activities and also as rewards for completed work to keep children motivated.

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