To state the obvious, Christmas is coming. A particularly tricky time of year if you have children, nieces and nephews to buy for. Trying to negotiate what toys are for different ages and what they’ll actually want is predicament that baffles even the most seasoned toy buyer. I’d also like to think that I can buy toys that will capture their interest for more than a day and, dare I say it – be educational! I work in education so there is a little bit of a reputation to uphold… Then about a month ago Geomag approached me to review their toy. To call it a toy is simplifying things a bit. Geomag claim that their magnetic toy will help children develop and train their minds, imagination and curiosity, using the fun of playing to stimulate creativity and intellect in older kids. That’s a pretty lofty claim. I was intrigued. I’ve never been naturally drawn to construction so things like Lego are new to me. Given they also claimed that the toy was suitable from three years of age onward, I thought this would be something to explore both with my own children, and those I teach. I’m always on the hunt for toys that will inspire my older nieces and nephews, not to mention those I teach. So I quickly replied saying that I’d be happy to review their product.
Geomag didn’t disappoint, but not for the reasons I expected. I expected Geomag to allow for greater creativity than other construction toys on the market – if for nothing else than because because it uses round balls with magnetic bars to create any shape you can imagine, rather than rectangular prisms and rigid shapes. I expected that the sheer novelty factor of magnets would be quite intriguing. I expected it to maintain the interest of all the children I tested it on. And it did all that, but it delivered more than that.
Within five minutes of the boys playing, they started working together on the same construction. A common criticism of electronic devices is that although children play virtually together, they aren’t physically playing together. It was the same with my two toddlers. They shared in the delight when they got it to work, and laughed together when things fell apart… and it’s at this point where I should admit that my husband and I had a lot of fun too! Geomag’s promise that it was a game for all ages certainly stood true against my test audiences. And another tidbit they don’t promote on their website – it packs up really small. I could fit all our pieces in a small lunch box. Portability is a big thing for us. It’s difficult to expect that everyone will have toys to entertain your children when you’re out visiting, or in cafes. This is a ‘quiet’ toy that has the capability to keep your children entertained for a long time and it’s portable! Easily portable – like fit in my handbag portable. To me that is a huge plus.
But the teacher in me most likes the idea that as my children get older, we can delve a little more into the ‘why’ and ‘how’ behind it all – Why does it work? How do magnets make things move? Why does it continue to spin after I’ve stopped pushing it? So many questions to answer!
So, is there a downside? (I can hear you asking!) It’s a little on the expensive side. But for me, I’d rather pay a little extra, for a toy that I will know will last longer than just Christmas day. Geomag is designed and made in Switzerland – so you’re paying for quality. A quick YouTube search of Geomag will retrieve an amazing array of videos, including the one below, giving you more ideas.
If you’d like more information about Geomag, check out their website. If you’re interested in buying some Geomag there are quite a few stockists. I’ve sent my husband over to Kidstuff to buy some more as my daughter is keen to add to the glitter collection of bars.
Once again it’s Tuesday, so you know I’ve linked up with Jess for I Blog on Tuesdays – be sure to check out the other great posts up this week.