Building blocks are a staple of childhood play. And from creative challenges to problem solving skills, blocks provide the perfect opportunity for developmental growth in children as young as six months. As your child grows, so will their ability to build more elaborate and complicated structures. Blocks are the perfect educational toy, giving your youngster confidence as they conquer motor skills challenges and develop a keen sense of spatial awareness. When picking out block sets for your child, consider options that feature open-ended solutions and support success. Here are a few of our favourites.
Playmags. Perfect for budding architects, Playmags are beautiful and colourful translucent tiles with magnetic edges. These 2D geometric pieces come together to make 3D wonders that are both artistically and mathematically wondrous. Recently, this clever company added more structured sets that allow children to build wheeled creations such as this super cool magnetic car kit which, once completed, can be driven via remote control.
Fat Brain Toy Company hit the big time when they developed Squigz. Squigz aren't a traditional block but their unique bulbous rubber shape and suction cup action make them a great tool for creating organic structures and figures. Squigz constructions can be further used for imaginative play once completed as their flexible nature encourages movable action. And a truly ingenious benefit of Squigz is their ability to suction to tabletops for stability during the building process.
Tegu. Tegu blocks come in a vast array of collections from standard shapes to monster sets and Tegu has ingeniously embedded magnets into the wooden blocks where they can safely encourage attachment and allow for taller, more stable building projects. Tegu block sets are all interchangeable and come in beautiful colour schemes so you can build your child's collection over time.
Kidzinc stocks only developmentally beneficial, quality playthings for your worthy child. The brands we carry are award-winning and feature innovative products that challenge and inspire youngsters from tots to teens. You'll love our selection!
The Best STEM Education Coding Toys
This Christmas, don't give your kids another toy that will be used a handful of times before being discarded in favour of something more interesting. Instead, give them the gift of knowledge in the form of these fascinating STEM toys that will catch their attention while teaching them at the same time. When learning becomes a game, children will be more likely to excel in a wide range of subjects--and you can place that gift under the tree this year.
Below we have categorized some of our best STEM education toys, to make choosing the ideal toy an easy decision.
1. ThinkFun: Code Master Programming Logic Game
The Code Master Programming Logic Game brings the principles of coding to life without requiring your child to spend endless hours in front of a computer screen. Instead, you'll be able to introduce your child to fascinating coding concepts through a board game that simultaneously builds problem-solving, planning, and spatial reasoning skills. There's only one specific set of actions that will bring success on each level, allowing your child to solve the challenge and enter the portal. It's hours of fun that will help build your child's mind and keep them away from screens throughout the holiday break from school.
2. Littlebits: Electronics Gizmos and Gadgets Set
Have a young inventor on your hands who is constantly fidgeting with gadgets and gizmos? This great Electronics Gizmos and Gadgets toolkit is the perfect way to offer your child the freedom to invent to their heart's content. It comes complete with a wide selection of tools, accessories, and electronic components that will allow your child to create the inventions that have thus far existed only in their imagination. This creative toolkit will help expand your child's mind and help them feel like a true inventor.
3. Primo Toys: Cubetto
Cubetto is another tool for teaching programming without ever needing to sit in front of the computer--not to mention a great way to start giving toddlers and preschoolers the basics of coding. Cubetto is a little wooden robot with a big purpose: providing the basics of a programming background to even young children. With plenty of adventures and lots of hands-on play opportunities to choose from, Cubetto will be sure to entrance your child and teach them more about the wide world of STEM waiting for them.
4. Learning Resources: Coding Buddies Let's Go Activity Set
Teaching coding skills is well and good, but it's often a stationary process. The Coding Buddies Let's Go Activity Set, however, turns that expectation on its ear. With this great 50-piece activity set, kids will hop, jump, spin, twirl, and bounce their way through the basics of programming, building a deeper understanding of coding concepts while moving their bodies and having tons of fun. It also encourages teamwork and listening skills--valuable concepts to reinforce at any age. If you want to shake out the wiggles and break out the giggles while helping to increase your child's knowledge, the Coding Buddies set is a great way to get it done.
5. ThinkFun: Robot Turtles Game
In Robot Turtles, kids get to be the boss--and as they play with a parent, they'll quickly discover how their problem-solving skills can help them to reach their goals. This great game transforms the parent into a "computer" that follows the child's instructions as they work to move their turtle to its jewel. This fascinating game will bring hours of fun for the whole family while simultaneously building coding concepts that your child will be able to take with them in the future.
This holiday season, don't content yourself with ordinary toys that will only bring joy for a short time. Instead, choose from this great list of our best STEM education toys that will give your child a gift of learning that will last a lifetime.
STEM education is an incredibly important part of the education of every child. Without knowledge in science, math, technology, and engineering—the four fields "STEM" gets its name from—our society simply cannot move forward.
Unfortunately, traditional methods of teaching these subjects are often boring and unlikely to inspire future generations to build careers in these areas. In order to inspire our children, we must provide them with the tools they need to explore the world around them at their own pace. One of the best STEM tools out there is a set of Magna-Tiles or Playmags magnetic tiles.
If your child has ever played with Magna-Tiles or Playmags, they know just how fun they can be. Combining science, math, and creativity, these cool magnetic blocks offer kids endless opportunities to express themselves. They come in a variety of shapes, sizes, and colors, and each one boasts magnetic edges which stick to the sides of other blocks in the set. This means less frustration with collapsing structures, and more small-scale engineering as the child discovers all the amazing ways Magna-Tiles or Playmags can go together.
While building with Magna-Tiles or Playmags is a blast in and of itself, it doesn't have to be the only way these incredible educational blocks are used. Below is a list of four other ways Magna-Tiles can be used to expand upon your child's STEM education.
Magna-Tiles or Playmags are the perfect addition to any light table. If you've never seen one, imagine a table with a glowing top. Light tables provide sensory and exploratory fun for children of all ages.
If purchasing a light table isn't feasible for your family at the moment, you can roll your own by placing lights inside a transparent box. Just be sure to watch your child carefully when they play with it, to avoid burns.
Once you have a light table, just add a set of Magna-Tiles or Playmags on top for hours of awesome, stained-glass fun!
Because Magna-Tiles and Playmags are magnetic, they are perfect for adding some fabulous decorations to the front of your refrigerator. Begin by showing your child how the tiles stick to the fridge, and see where they go from there.
Soon enough, they will likely discover the fact that they can actually build out from the fridge and create three-dimensional fridge structures.
Adding some marbles or toy cars to your Magna-Tiles or Playmags play may not be the first thing to occur to you. However, these are actually an excellent addition to building time. Kids love tunnels, and tunnels built with Magna-Tiles or Playmags are the perfect size for tiny cars and marbles.
Tunnel building is an ideal opportunity for teaching some science lessons in gravity, physics, and energy, and it's all so fun that your children are sure to remember the lessons learned, whether they realize it or not. Tunnels can be built freestanding on the floor, or on the refrigerator or other magnetic surface.
Encourage the kids to experiment with different angles and several rolling objects. You'll be surprised just how much they absorb.
Magnetic blocks such as Magna-Tiles or Playmags present a great opportunity to introduce children to magnetism and why it works.
After discussing the science behind magnets, head out into the world — equipped with some tiles, of course — and experiment to find out what in our world is magnetic and what is not. Have the children make hypotheses, test their theories, and track the results. This is a great educational family activity!
These are just some of the awesome ways Magna-Tiles or Playmags can be used. By handing your child a set of these fantastic blocks, you will see just how many more there truly are.
Kids today seem to have an endless supply of entertainment. With games, music, and videos all available at the touch of a button, it can be easy to forget the value of simple, unplugged play. Toys can be a great way to not only give your child something fun to do, but to help them improve intellectually as well.
One of the earliest types of brain-strengthening toys to come into popularity were wooden puzzles. Wooden puzzles were being designed and created since before the colonial days; wood carvers enjoyed thinking up and carving these unique toys almost as much as kids enjoyed trying to solve them. Early examples of wooden puzzles ranged from simple printed puzzle blocks that younger children could rearrange to create different pictures, to more intricate puzzles that might take hours or even days to solve.
Though they have been around for decades, wooden puzzles have not lost their charm yet. These sturdy toys are as appealing today as they were a hundred years ago, and along with being entertaining, they are also a great way to challenge young minds and inspire creativity. Wooden puzzles are durable, sturdy toys that will last a lifetime, and they come in a wide range of colours and styles. Along with being great toys in general, wooden puzzles are a good choice for many other reasons:
Improve Hand/Eye Coordination
Unlike electronic puzzles and computer games that only require mental work, wooden puzzles provide the extra challenge of a physical medium. Your child will learn not only to solve problems with their mind, but they will also be able to learn how different objects work together mechanically. Younger kids will enjoy learning visual and tactile matching skills with shape-recognition puzzles and classic wooden peg puzzles.
Improve Basic Skills
A wide range of puzzle choices provides your child with many different opportunities to improve their skills - whether that's helping your older child learn creative problem solving, or introducing your younger child to basic math concepts. These types of games also help exercise young minds to help them think of new solutions to things in school and everyday life. Puzzles are unique in that they teach problem solving skills in a way that kids will find fun rather than frustrating.
Wooden puzzles often require a lot of creative thinking in order to be solved. Your child will have to think outside of the box to solve these puzzles, and he or she will also learn how to find new solutions to match different problems. The more complicated puzzles may require some trial and error, but remember; the more challenging the puzzle is, the more rewarding will be the sense of accomplishment when it is finished.
Decrease Screen Time
It can be a challenge to keep kids entertained while also keeping time spent in front of computers and phones to a minimum. Puzzles are a great way for your child to have fun and stay engaged - no electronics needed! Your child may even find that they enjoy playing 'in real life' much more than they enjoy playing games on a screen.
Wooden puzzles are a classic and timeless toy that children of all ages will enjoy solving. If you want to find the right kind of puzzle for your child, visit our website today!
At KidzInc you will find a huge selection of wooden puzzles from top-rated toy brands that specialize in creative, thoughtful toys for kids. To make your shopping experience easier, you can also browse toys by age and intelligence level to find puzzles that are uniquely suited to your child.
A STEM education--that is, a focus on hands-on education that allows kids to improve their knowledge of science, technology, engineering, and math skills--is becoming critical for parents who want their kids to have the best chance in the world.
From using toys like Magna Tiles or Playmags and Laser Pegs for creative play that encourages these skills to using Goldieblox, Roominate and IQ Key to stimulate development in these critical areas, many parents are jumping on board with STEM education.
Wondering what the benefits of a STEM education will be for your child? Consider these clear advantages.
1. A STEM education encourages creativity. It helps kids think outside the box, encouraging them to use innovation skills that will benefit them for the rest of their lives. STEM Education practices aren't just about dry, rote learning, though many schools that follow the practice get that reputation. Instead, it's about teaching kids the how and why, then giving them the pieces and allowing their creativity to shine.
2. A STEM education provides a broader view of the world. Many students make it through school without understanding technology in any broader sense than computers and mobile phones. When they leave school, however, those same students are exposed to technology in a much more complicated sense. A STEM education, on the other hand, provides those students with the opportunity to experience those levels of technology earlier, better developing their understanding of the concepts that they'll face when they seek employment and giving them the opportunity to pursue deeper knowledge in fields that may later lead to employment.
3. STEM education bridges the gaps. In many fields, girls and minorities lag behind white male students. There's a bias in place that suggests that students without those advantages of birth won't be as successful in those fields. A STEM education, on the other hand, bridges that gap. It provides every student with the opportunity to master the skills that will advance their education to the university level and beyond, providing them with valuable knowledge and understanding that will later be critical to acquiring jobs.
4. A variety of fields use the skills acquired through a STEM education. Writers will find that it's much easier to acquire freelance jobs when they're able to write about technical subjects, and even the fashion and makeup industries are looking for individuals with this kind of education to help improve their businesses. STEM skills are becoming increasingly valuable for everyone, regardless of their preferred profession, and many people are discovering that developing those skills during childhood makes it natural. Kids whose toys are their tools will fall in love with the learning process and enhance their own success.
5. It improves kids' chances of succeeding in University. Students who have received a STEM education are better able to handle the rigors of University, assimilate new information, and cope with their course loads. They're also more likely to have high scores on their HSC exams, securing them better scholarships or a place at the University of their dreams. In short, giving students a STEM education early sets them up for success throughout the educational process.
Providing your child with a STEM education, whether through their school or with the materials you're providing at home, is the ideal way to see your child become more successful.
A STEM education doesn't just teach students about information they're supposed to assimilate. It also provides them with all of the critical pieces they need to know how to learn: how to stay current in their fields, how to improve their understanding of unfamiliar technology, and how to integrate the pieces into a functional whole.
At KidzInc we have a wonderful range of STEM Toys.
Playing with blocks is a time-honoured tradition of childhood experiences. Most of us have memories of construction toys like Meccano and good old fashioned wooden blocks to build with. For centuries, long before early childhood development studies, parents have understood that building projects are an important foundation to logical thinking in young children. Through experimentation, they discover the laws of gravity, structure, architecture, and aesthetics. This creates a depth of knowledge and understanding that could never be achieved through explanations at such a young age.
While your old block sets are still a great way to bond with your child, there are new developments in early childhood learning through toys specifically designed to enhance building logical abilities from a very young age.
The new Playmags line of magnetic building toys combines the mosaic quality of coloured tiles, the building insights of blocks, and the scientific marvel of magnets into one amazingly educational package
What are Playmags?
Playmags are coloured building tiles, about two inches square with magnets along the corners and sides. This allows children to lock them together and easily pull them apart, encouraging infinite combinations. Each tile can link on all sides, creating lines, then mosaics, and finally stacked into increasingly complex buildings. While many of the tiles are square, Playmags has many construction shapes like long and short triangles, windows, cart, door, and fence pieces, allowing your child to get truly creative with their building projects.
Encouraging Motor Skills
Every action your young child takes is practice for future skilled motor movement. Playmags are big enough to hold easily but complex enough to encourage detailed manipulation. When your child builds things with Playmags, they grasp, pull, set together, stack, and constantly re-arrange the pieces in order to create project after project of colourful and detailed houses, castles, inspiring colourful sky scrapers.
Imaginative and Creative Play
Playmag constructions are as easy to take apart as they are to build, but still resistant to the upsetting 'tumble' of classic wooden blocks. When your child is constantly rebuilding their Playmags projects, they are actively imagining new designs and ways to use each piece in a creative new way. As your child stretches their imagination, more toys will be pulled into the play and the buildings they create will become stages for the incredible adventures of cars, dolls, and action figures.
Math, Geometry, and Science
Every shape has a mathematical truth inherent to it that can be learned at any age. Squares can only have four partners, except when they are part of a cube or connected to other shapes with smaller sides. Triangles can have three partners and can come together to form pyramids if they are all the same height. Combining triangles of different sizes and angles create unique shapes and introduce the concept of mosaics, pictures made with geometric tiles. Without realizing it, your child will gain a deep basic knowledge of the wonders of math, geometry, and science long before their first day of school.
Learning STEM Skills
As your child builds with Playmags, they are gaining a vital understanding of STEM (science, technology, engineering, and mathematics) skills, which often come together because the STEM concepts are so closely linked. Through geometry and construction, they learn about math and engineering, while the interplay of architecture and magnets teaches science and technology. This elegant culmination of learning opportunities happens without a teacher or a single word of explanation. The child learns on their own because it's fun, never realizing the amazing educational boost they're getting from early childhood toys.
Playmags are the culmination of generations of early childhood development toys designed specifically to help children learn about fundamentals years before they are ready to learn through long form lessons. Your children will play for hours creatively building and rearranging the colourful magnetic tiles into more and more complex constructions. After a few weeks, you'll be amazed to discover incredible new ways colourful squares and triangles can be combined into complex architectural wonders, all before they start kindergarten. With Playmags, anything is possible.
For our full range of Playmags, please click here.
One of the most vital skills in today's tech-driven world is coding. Parents who want to give their kids the best possible start in life already know that they need those critical technology skills to help them advance in their future careers--and girls, in particular, need to have that interest in coding nurtured from a young age in order to help them break through the limitations placed on them and accomplish something incredible. With all the warnings about excessive screen time use, however, many parents worry about finding the balance. If you want to teach your child to code without allowing them to lounge in front of a screen, Cubetto is the ideal toy for your child.
No Screen, Lots of Interaction
Cubetto doesn't require a screen in order to teach your child the basics of coding. Instead, this little wooden robot--which is electronic, and requires AA batteries in order to work--helps expand your child's mind and teaches them basic coding skills by encouraging them to interact with the physical robot. By inserting the little coding cubes into the robot, children can learn what each type of "code" accomplishes, therefore allowing them to create longer, more complex strings. Cubetto communicates between the coding board and the robot using Bluetooth technology.
Cubetto comes complete with a storybook that will allow your child to explore creatively. Cubetto's comparatively plain face and lack of other ornamentation means that your child can assign the robot whatever character they like, expanding their mind while engaging in the creative storytelling process with the robot. Not only that, story will engage your child's interest and encourage them to become more involved with Cubetto.
In addition to its storybook, Cubetto also contains maps that it can be programmed to navigate. Your child can pretend that Cubetto is going on an adventure, looking for treasure, or heading to visit a friend: if they can imagine it, Cubetto can follow their plans. These maps, which are designed to engage problem-solving skills, can be spread out on a table or on the floor so that Cubetto can quickly navigate across them. Note that falling off of the table could damage Cubetto, so if your child isn't quite proficient at programming Cubetto or you're worried that it will be dropped, keeping the materials on the floor is probably for the best.
Make Programming Accessible to All Ages
Cubetto's wooden coding pieces are designed to be accessible to a young audience. From their preschool years, children will enjoy interacting with Cubetto and discovering all that it can do. Older children, however, can still benefit from this exciting toy. Whether you're homeschooling or planning to use it to teach your children at home or ready to offer new materials for your classroom, Cubetto is here to help. Its classic design won't give older kids the impression that they're playing with a toddler toy; rather, it will encourage them to learn coding skills and enjoy it in the process no matter what their age.
If you're ready to start giving your child the basics of coding that they will need in order to successfully navigate future job opportunities in STEM fields, Cubetto is the ideal addition to their toy box. This great toy will teach your child without ever letting them know that they're learning. What could be better than a simple little robot that your child will come to assign with emotions, attitude, and personality as they use it to develop skills that will last them a lifetime? Bring Cubetto home today and start discovering everything that your child can accomplish.
Cubetto is available now and can be purchased by simply clicking here.