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Has your little one discovered magnetic tiles yet? We bought my son his first set of magnetic tiles two years ago, and he is still obsessed with them! At our house, we have the Picasso Tiles brand, and my son absolutely loves them. They are durable and strong, and stand up to a lot of tough toddler and preschooler play. It’s been two years and the magnets are still working like magic! Trust me, our Picasso Tiles have been in the dirt, in the bathtub, stepped on, chewed on, and more. They are amazing.
In case you’re not familiar with them, there are several different brands of magnetic tiles on the market.
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There are so, so many magnetic tiles ideas. What I love about them is that they are really great for independent play and hands-on learning activities. My son even loves to explore how light shines through his magnetic tiles. Just take a flashlight and some tiles underneath a blanket for a magical light show!
Needless to say, we use these tiles a lot for our homeschool preschool activities. We practice simple counting, build shapes and structures, and even discover color mixing theory! The possibilities are truly endless with this toy.
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Recently, we’ve been working on identifying patterns. I’ll usually start out by creating a pattern, and then have my son fill in the missing items. You can create patterns with pretty much anything (We even make patterns at the breakfast table: bowl, cup, napkin, bowl, cup, napkin.) but I promise you’ve got to try making patterns with magnetic tiles. It is so much fun!
Magnetic Tiles Ideas for Teaching Patterns
Here’s the lesson we’ve been doing recently. (Psst…I use the word lesson very loosely. Learning should look and feel like play! If your little one gets too frustrated, just put it away and try again later. Don’t get stressed about it!)
- Set out a box of magnetic tiles and have your child choose two or three of his favorite colors. Letting them choose the colors helps them buy in to the whole activity!
- Use the tiles to create the first segment of a pattern: red, blue, orange.
- Then, just let your child fill in the rest of the repeating pattern: red, blue, orange.
- If you’re just starting out with patterns, you can start with more of the pattern filled in: red, blue, orange, red, blue…. and leave just one space for your child to fill in the missing piece.
- Once you get going, it’s fun to let your child be the teacher! Have him create a pattern and you fill in the blanks! (I love to put the wrong tile in on purpose to see if my son can catch my mistake. In teacher terms, this is called “error analysis.” Can I tell you a secret that “error analysis” is becoming a sought after skill in schools and in the workplace? Start cultivating this skill early on!)
- If you’re ready for another layer of challenge, try creating a pattern with shapes instead of colors. This will be more difficulut because there are multiple colors of each shape. See if your child can think critically and make the correct shape pattern regardless of the color. That’s deep thinking, mama!
Curious about exploring more magnetic toys for your tot or preschooler? You’ll love the toys featured below!