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.