Are You Looking for a Magnetic Construction Set for Your Children?

    Magnetic tiles

    It should come as no surprise that adult coloring books and nice sets of colored pencils were some of the favorite Christmas gifts posted this year on social media sites. Scientific articles have recently talked about the therapeutic benefits of sitting and quietly coloring. As other newspaper articles talk about preschool stressing the youngest children out, it might be good to get back to the basics of how children spent their days a few generations ago. Coloring and building with blocks.
    What do you remember doing when you were young? Were you at organized play groups, or were you left to play with your brother and build blocks for hours while your mom was doing laundry in the basement? If you are looking to recapture the unstructured, less stressful time of your youth, maybe it is time that you quit purchasing the toys that are simply handheld video games and instead purchase a couple of coloring books, some new crayons or colored pencils, and building blocks that will stretch the imagination and attention span of your children.
    In this era of science, technology, engineering, art and mathematics (STEAM), presenting your children with a box of building materials, including blocks and magnets, could be the difference between a child who can be productive and entertain his or herself for extended periods of times, and a child with an attention span that never allows sitting still.
    Magnets for kids and other building sets are the perfect example of a toy that allows children to learn while they are playing. Research shows, in fact, that preschool and kindergarten age children should be playing with things that allow them to build. Magnets for kids, especially when the magnets are encased in either end of a wooden block, allow for problem solving as children attempt to sort and build with materials that are different sizes and different colors.
    Imagine all of the things magnets for kids can teach children. The difference between attraction and repulsion is just the beginning. Children can also learn to test the strength of magnets. Now safely and cleverly place those opposing magnets at opposing ends of a wooden block and you have blocks that seem to run away or toward each other.
    Two of every three adults who are working in math fields like accounting and banking indicate they they enjoyed playing with puzzles when they were young. It is just as likely that engineering professionals grew up playing with blocks, magnets, and other stimulating materials.
    Studies indicate that children who spend time in stimulating environments develop a 25% greater ability to learn. What are you doing to provide this stimulation for your child? Do you provide unstructured play time with coloring books, puzzles, magnets, and wooden blocks for your youngest children?