Wouldn’t you love your child to have a toy that is both engaging and educational? Yep, me too! Children end up with so many things that they just play with a few times and then are set to the side to collect dust. What a waste. Let me tell you all about my children’s favourite toy this year: Magformers.
If you’re in the States you’ve probably heard about Magformers, but for those of us over here in the UK, they’ve only been launched this year. Tristan and Kallista were so happy to have received some to try out!
What are Magformers?
They are little brightly coloured geometric shapes that contain magnets. Don’t worry about those magnets being a health and safety concern for young children, they are closed up inside and won’t come out (but do be sure to check the pieces on a regular basis as magnets can be harmful if swallowed). The magnets are quite special because they twirl around and thus the children will always be able to stick the forms together and not have to worry about ‘north’ or ‘south’ attractions.
What can you do with Magformers?
What can’t you do is a better question? My kids have been finding new ways to use them as they play (you can bet that you’ll be seeing them make appearances in future blog posts).
Tristan will give you a little demonstration:
Magformers are great for learning about colours, shapes (both 2D and 3D), and how to view different angles of the same model. I do believe it will even help the kids learn how to read a map by turning a 2D mat into a 3D structure. Not to mention the creative elements involved.
The Magformers My First 30 Set (aged for 18months and up) is Kallista’s favourite! In it there are 18 square pieces and 12 triangles. There is a book that toddlers can use to learn shapes and colours using simplified pictures to help them.
There were also double-sided cards with loads of ideas for different things to build from balls to rockets to houses. Some of the cards fold out so that you can use them as a guide to place the pieces on it in a 2D layout and then lift the pieces at once and watch as they turn themselves into a 3D form! Other cards show the 3D shape and it’s up to the children to look at it and figure out what goes where. This progression means that one set will grow with children and they will always be challenged and learning.
The Magformer’s WOW set is Tristan’s favourite. It’s geared towards those of 3 years and up. It includes 16 pieces, but WOW, what you can do with those pieces is amazing! There are 8 triangles, 5 squares, 2 sets of wheels, and a boy in a square, along with cards to make 20 different vehicles. Of course, you can build more vehicles and other models as well.
As children grow, you can add on different sets and expand their complexity. There are many sets available, and the sky’s the limit when it comes to what you can create from them.
One thing I like about this product is that they don’t take up much space. The pieces can all just stack up onto each other and fit just about anywhere. Things like this are important when you live in a small space.
There’s only one thing I would change about Magformers and that’s the clacking sound they make as they click together. However, the children like it, and if they’re happy building, then I’m happy!
Who would I recommend Magformers to?
Just about anyone! They’re a great investment and other than parents, I’d also highly recommend them to childminders, nurseries, daycares, schools, and other groups. They’re well-constructed and will certainly last a long time with regular play. They are also easy to clean (always a concern when many children use the same toys).
Tristan and Kallista have had these sets for over a month already. The first week they looked at nothing else! From the time they were up in the morning until it was time for bed you’d know just what they were doing by the click-click-click of the pieces stacking up into new models that they were proud to show off. Since that first week, they’re still playing with them every day, so they definitely have lasting-power!
Kallista also wanted to share some of her Magformers ‘creations’ with you. She was a little nervous to start with, but then she just kept going and going!
Although the picture cards are quite sturdy, I kept finding them lying about everywhere and there wasn’t room to walk, so I simply put the cards into a clear view book to contain them. It makes them much easier to pick up and put away, but if both children want to use cards at the same time, then they are still easy to take out and share.