I’ve seen Magnatiles at toy stores and a few of the children’s museums I’ve visited. From what I could tell, they seemed like a great manipulative for building. So, I finally ordered some last year.
A week after I received my set, I happened to be helping out in a Kinder classroom, and realized with a bit of disappointment that Magnatiles seemed to be a standard supply for 5 and 6 year-olds. I worried that my investment would be met with disdain by my older students.
Sure enough, when I pulled out the set, the first thing a student said was, “We used to play with those in Kindergarten!”
But it wasn’t said critically; instead the third grader sounded nostalgic and wistful for the times when building with Magnatiles was an acceptable part of the curriculum.
Since then, my gifted students and Maker Club students have awed me with some of their Magnatile creations. Sometimes I set what seem to be impossible parameters, yet the students still find a way to make my jaw drop.
Lesson learned by me – never think that toys that encourage imagination are too “young” for my students!
For more Makerspace Essentials, check out this post!