Hello, my name is Kate Meade and I manage the furniture category for Discount School Supply®. I am also the mother of a very imaginative 8-year-old boy, who was diagnosed with Autism Spectrum Disorder about five years ago. One thing that I realized early on was his fascination with shapes, sorting, and how things go together. I sought out learning materials that would encourage his development, and Magna-Tiles® (LTMAG100) fit that need perfectly.
I have seen my son sit for long periods of time, first sorting the tiles by shape, then by color, and then he would stack them in neat, orderly columns. Finally, when every tile had been sorted to his satisfaction, he began to build. Sometimes the structures he built were quite ordinary -- a house, a car, a pyramid. However, sometimes his imagination took flight and he manipulated the magnetic tiles to become a broccoli-eating robot, a sun and moon that he could “eclipse”, or a time machine that would take him back in time to meet his favorite dinosaurs.
Beyond the basic play value of this set of tiles, there were aspects of math and science that he did not even realize he was learning. We would count the tiles and ask questions like:
- “How many large triangles are there?”
- “How many blue tiles?”
- “Count the red squares and the green triangles and tell me how many tiles you have.”
- "If you took away four green triangles and two red squares, how many tiles would you have left?”
- “What is the difference between an equilateral triangle and an isosceles triangle?”
When he would build something interesting, I would ask him questions about that item. If he was building a house, I would ask about who lived in the house, what their names were, and whether or not they have pets or children. This would lead to discussions of social issues, such as how to meet new friends, or we would talk about family dynamics, or we would just become pirates and sail off on our houseboat to find lost treasure.
The thing I liked the most about this set of Magna-Tiles® was not the colors, the shapes or the creative way they stack together. While those are great aspects of this product, what I really liked the most is the unlimited possibilities that these tiles bring out in young minds. I have always preferred open-ended learning products, and it was wonderful to see my son’s imagination blossom with the use of one simple set of Magna-tiles®. I highly recommend this bright and colorful set of tiles, whether you are using them to teach sorting or math, or just letting your children’s creativity take them wherever their young minds want to go.
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