This afternoon, my son and I played with these magnetic shapes and numbers. It lasted, I believe, for more than an hour. It was fun because it wasn’t just a simple playtime, but a learning playtime. There are countless ways to use these learning toys. The more my child uses it, the more I get ideas on what to do next. =)
Here are some ideas on how to integrate playing with magnets to learning and reviewing different lessons in school: (If you don’t have magnets, ANY TOY or item will do. =))
- Numbers. You can ask your child to identify the numbers, put them in the correct order, fill in the missing numbers, etc.
- Counting. Ask your child to put the correct number of shapes for each number.
- Colors. You can help your child identify the colors and sort the shapes according to colors.
- Sorting. Guide your child through the skill of sorting colors and shapes.
- Math. Use the shapes to add for example, two triangles + two circles. This will help the child master counting, and addition. He won’t feel pressured because he thinks he’s playing. =)
- Body parts. This one was suggested by my son. He came up with the idea of using the shapes to put a nose, eyes, etc. So, you can create a faces or body parts using the shapes. Just guide them by adding another part from time to time.
- Transportation. Now, this part was a little difficult for me. When my son told me to make a car out of the shapes, I agreed. Then he asked for an excavator! I’m not very good at putting the shapes, so it was a challenge for me. In this case, let the child lead you. Ask him what should be placed first and then he will place the wheels, the body, etc. He even added his “stairs” for the driver. We also did an airplane and train which are very challenging for me. This is more for me than for him. =)
- Buildings. Just ask your child what to do next and you’ll be surprised, for after doing a house, he requested for a castle (like in Disney’s).
- Animals.Kids can be very creative, you just challenge them to make an animal out of the shapes and they will do it. Younger ones need to be guided by simply asking questions like: Where are the eyes? Where’s the tail? Where should I place the nose? Which shape is better for a nose? These simple questions will help them think. The next time they’ll do the same activity, you’ll see that they have added those things that you’ve suggested to put before.
You can use any thing/toy to help a child learn. If you don’t have magnetic shapes available, use the same ways above while using another item. (Example: colored blocks, surprise eggs, colored pencils—sort them, build something out of them)
Have you tried using magnetic toys? What do you think are the other possible ways to use these magnetic shapes for learning?
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If you are looking for magnetic toys, you may try Amazon.com has many magnetic toys ready to be shipped.