As you probably figured out, I am a huge advocate for STEAM education. So when Picasso Tiles sent us this Magnetic 4 Family Action Figures, we were excited that we have another magnetic piece to play with. There are four figures included, two are adults and the other two children. They are BPA free and non-toxic. They are the perfect size to travel with and manipulate with smaller hands. I like toys that can be used to teach skills and concepts. If they have a multiple use, then I buy them. This is something I find that Picasso Tiles products provide. So I have listed a couple of ways that you can maximize your play with them.
- Magnetism is a basic physics term that is easy to teach young children because of the ability to see two items stick together. There’s easy science experiments that can be done using magnets especially these figures to see what they either will stick to or not. You can then talk about this invisible energy that magnets have to either push away or pull in an item. So when my boys started to play with these figures, it was the first time that they had magnetic figures to explore with. They were so excited to see that the figures can hang when they lifted the tiles and spent a good 20 minutes experimenting with this.
- I also liked that they weren’t as frustrated to stand their figures up because they held to the magnetic tiles. This provides confidence in play and allows them to problem solve at ease. You can also manipulate their arms and legs so practice listening and directions. You can say, “Can you lift her leg?” “Raise his hand.” “Connect them by the feet.” “Can you place the girl on/in the window?” This is also providing new language opportunities to teach them words such as, raise, connect, lift, on vs. in etc.
- Teach numbers 1-4, addition and subtraction. There are four figures and my youngest is learning his numbers so we use the Picasso Tiles Magnetic Building Blocks number set to accompany the figures. I place the number tile and ask to find that many figures. How about I have three, but I hide one. How many do I have now? This helps with adding and subtracting skills, too!
- Pretend play is so important to a child’s development. Teaching skills such as sharing, teamwork, or discussing a problem using figures can help teach children coping skills or language to use in situations. Use the figures to help support interactions. Recently, I used them to discuss that we might go back to school in the fall and how my kindergartener will have to remember to interact with classmates and teachers. Is your child nervous to go to the dentist? Create a dental clinic and use these figures to play out how it will feel and the steps to a successful trip to the dentist. This helps with the unknown and create a sense of ease.
How do you use these magnetic figures? While I am typing this post in my kitchen, I start to wonder the play my boys can have if they wake up to the figures on the fridge. Will we have them experimenting in other parts of the house with them? Can we begin to explore what is magnetic around the kitchen? There is also a variety pack with eight figures that you can also get. These figure sets are perfect to accompany the other Picasso Tiles products. So as we prepare to gift birthday presents, or upcoming holidays make sure to tag this product!