Are you looking for a toy that encourages critical thinking, allows for creativity and open ended play? Or are you simply looking for a toy that the kids will play with over and over again?
Today we're taking a closer look at Magformers, they are one of our top selling products and we're sure you'll love them too. You may have seen them before in your child's classroom as they are a popular choice for Early Childhood Educators and Day Care Centres.
Magfomers are a collection of brightly coloured geometric shapes with powerful interlocking magnets. Your child (or your inner child!) can design and build any structure, vehicle, robot, animal, plant, ball, shape … in fact the possibilities are limited only by their imagination.
We recently gifted a set of Magformers to a local primary school to see how the children played with them. We are delighted to have Early Childhood Educator Juliet as our guest writer this month to share her observations of Magformers in her classroom.
"It has been wonderful to introduce the Magformers Math set to our early years classes and to observe children from Pre-Kindy to Year One investigate this top quality open-ended resource, which offers possibilities for:
- Problem solving
- Development of spatial awareness
- Patterning 2D and 3D shapes
- Number investigation
As an Early Childhood teacher, I have been thrilled to discover a new resource that transfers so well between age groups and which offers so many possibilities through fun and active hands-on investigation.
The Magformers are naturally appealing to the children across age groups because they are so flexible and open ended. The children chose to go back to this resource time and time again and were creative and enthusiastic participants in their learning.
The variety of shapes and colours and the ‘snap’ that the magnetic joins make is naturally appealing and challenging for children. Whilst other magnetic construction sets are often unstable the Magformers are sturdy and lock together so that even the youngest children can construct and create with ease.
We first tried out the Magformers out in our Pre-Kindy class of three year olds. The children were curious about the magnetic properties of the shapes, and enjoyed clicking the pieces together (they make such a satisfying snap!) They enjoyed making 2D and 3d shapes and creations. I was also interested to see their attraction to the plastic number tiles and frames that other adults had suggested were better suited to older years. The three year olds investigated the numbers incidentally through play – making long number trains, and purposefully in activities such as finding their age and familiar numbers – thus providing me with great opportunities for teachable moments.
Older children were able to create complex 3D shapes and investigate their features; corners, edges and faces. Children who find it difficult to imagine 3D shapes (from the most simple to very complex) can use the Magformers to create them first in order to then represent them as 2D nets, thus moving their learning from hands on to the more abstract. I noticed the older children chose to play with this resource in their free time and made increasingly complex shapes including an octahedron (!!!) which I had to admit I had never heard of!
Parents who have this resource at home have told me how fun these are to use to build on metal doorframes (sadly we don’t have any at school!). On a practical level, the Magformers are tough and durable making them a great investment for classroom use.
All in all it was the children’s enthusiasm and persistence they demonstrated when using the Magformers which was for me the biggest indicator of their worth.
As teachers we want children to express wonder and interest in their world and to use play to investigate, imagine and explore ideas – and the Magformers ticks all these boxes and more. I am looking forward to adding to our set over the coming years."