The little guy loves to [tag]pretend play[/tag]. He started his pretend playing much earlier than his brother so we’ve found it a bit more challenging to find activities at this younger level. Recently, he’s shown a big interest in [tag]magnetic playsets[/tag] like the ones found here and here.
Magnetic play toys are great manipulatives and help to improve hand eye coordination and hone those motor skills for those little fingers. Not to mention boost creativity and feed into [tag]storytelling[/tag] and [tag]language[/tag]. Naturally, he loves the LeapFrog Fridge PhonicsÂ® Magnetic Set ,but the fridge isn’t the only place for [tag]magnetic games[/tag].
He has a Thomas’ Magnetic Playbook and a Muddle Farm: A Magnetic Play Book both of which you can move pieces around to help with the story or make your own up.
In the boys room we’ve just painted two long strips of [tag]magnetic paint[/tag] on their walls so they can create their own stories and start assembling words.
Many people are put off getting magnetic play sets as they seem to be geared towards dolls, pink and clothes- predominately seen as girls [tag]toys[/tag]. Whilst I don’t hold to that view, I’m sensitive to the need for boys to see things that are seen as boy toys partly for their dads, some of whom think boys should play with just boy toys ( A view I have to be sympathetic too :).
However, most boys don’t care that it’s girl toy or pink they just like the toy. But know also that there are a variety of magnetic playsets that will suit everyone from [tag]construction playsets[/tag] and all inbetween to dolls houses.
For the truly mobile experience we love this playset which is totally unisex 🙂
Why we love it?
- There are lots of objects and people that allow you to create whatever scene you want.
- It’s an activity that’s totally open ended.
- encourages talking and using language in context.
- You can initiate stories from favourite stories or buy a specific playset.
- More than one child can play at at time or adults and child can play together encouraging cooperation ( Big skill for toddlers).
- You can move the playset to the table, kitchen, with you on a car journey.
- Nothing is permanent so the story/fun/activity changes every time you use it.
- Encourages creativity and concentration.
- Develops storytelling skills for the older child.
- creates questions about unknown objects.
Why the little guy loves it?
- loves to place all the objects in the different rooms.
- gets to be bossy moving the adult magnetic pieces around.
- talks and tells stories using the pieces.
- Names the objects and the people.
- Can bring grandma or any available adult to join in playing with him.
Magnetic playsets are an easy way of extending pretend play. The characters from the house can walk over to the catch the train. Thereby linking up groups of toys to have make a new play scene from all your available toys. This crossover of linking toys together helps build creativity and show the kids how to play differently with the same toys.
**What magnetic playsets do you use?**