Do you know anyone who doesn't like magnets? I'll give you a minute. Because I don't know a single person, male, female, old or young, that doesn't get a feeling of enjoyment when they are playing with magnets.
BUT not only are they great FUN, the benefits of playing with them are great too! Active, hands on learning, while playing is so important, and here a few things your child will develop while learning through play with magnetic toys.
Fine Motor Skills and Hand Eye Co-Ordination - As your child puts pieces of magnetic toys on the various surfaces they are learning about spatial awareness, hand eye co-ordination and developing fine motor skills in their hands and fingers.
Language - TALK to your child while you're playing to develop language skills. What colour piece are they holding? What is the shape? Is it bigger or small than that piece to the left? Start talking about the process and the words will become a learning experience of their own. Further to this, you can use the magnets to learn about spelling too! Check out this activity - https://iheartcraftythings.com/word-building-activity-travel-kit.html
Cognitive or Problem Solving - This is particularly evident when playing with a matching game. When a child is given a task to solve (like recreating a face, or trying to build a structure) they will learn from cause and effect. Maybe a piece is too heavy, or the wrong colour for the design they are making. All these little 'errors' will facilitate learning!
Creative Skills - On the flip side to cognitive skill development, magnets can also encourage creative and imaginative play. Sure, that magnet might look like a circle to you, but to your child maybe it's a planet to land on, a lions head roaring at the zebras, or perhaps it's a ball being thrown in the back yard. Anything is possible when you develop your creativity.
Want some new ways to PLAY with your magnets?
- Experiments - We like to put a basket of items, some magnetic and some not, and use our magnetic wand to discover what is metal and what isn't. This is a great game that we turn into a fishing experience and a classification and sorting game.
- Magnet Hunt -Place some magnets around your house, or even just a room, and give your child a basket to go and collect them all. This is a great way to play hide and seek as you can put the magnets in places your child might not normally think of!
- Sorting - We ADORE this sorting wall activity! We will most definitely be doing this at home ourselves.
- Maths Lessons - We use our number magnets to discuss a range of mathematical concepts such as size, value, space and simply counting. Use magnets on a baking tray for ta ble top learning. Ask your child 'how many red pieces are there?', 'which number is the biggest?', 'what number is to the left of the number 7?'.
- Patterns - make a pattern with the magnets and get your child to copy it. This could be a colour sequence, number, letter, size... really anything you like!!
We couldn't talk about magnets without showing you this amazing outdoor magnet set up! How fun would this be! Source unknown, but if you know who it is, please let us know!