Traditional toys are always fun for kids for the holidays; molded plastic and or mind numbing video games are always a parents easy choice and favorite. Who doesn’t want to make their kid the happiest on Christmas only to be bored by New Years.
This year I wanted to engage in my children’s imagination, mind play, and really use the brain power these three possess. Alarmingly they are more intelligent than any parent could dream and I always want great toys for them to harness this intelligence and encourage them to flourish. Granted video games and the like are fun every now and again, but as a child my fondest memories were playing educational type games, mind teasers and challenged me to think outside the box. Hence why I am an underwriter, critically thinking and always looking to spin outside the box. Oh I digress.
So I found Mindware Toys and asked them what they had for my little brain trust of children and they presented to me: Contraptions, Pattern Play and Imaginets for my kids to delve into.
Contraptions inspires young thinkers to build unbelievable ball track structures with this simple stacking plank system. Create ramps, funnels, chutes and crazy contraptions like the “Black Hole” and “Bounce Plate.” Then find out if the ball rolls as expected. Fostering unlimited creativity and experimentation, KEVA planks build an early understanding of proportion and balance, while teaching basic principles of physics and engineering. No glue, no connectors-just loads of constructive fun! Includes 200 identical wooden planks, 2 specially designed lightweight balls for maximum action and an 18-page idea book with project photos and quick-start instructions. Contraptions planks are made from pine.
My eight year old absolutely loves this, comparable to Lego’s he can build amazing structures and literally contraptions.
Pattern Play blocks are a great introduction to math concepts like sorting, matching, symmetry, congruence and fractions. This high-quality set fits just-so into its wood tray, with vibrant colors and unusual shapes that build spatial skills. Includes 40 exceptionally well-finished wood blocks, a 10.5″-square wood building tray, 40 Pattern Cards and a drawstring canvas storage bag. Pattern Play must have been personally selected for my twin son Seth, at the rip age of three and a half, almost four who has some serious OCD and this is perfect for him to put together the like colors.
Finally my twin daughter who has been playing with the Imaginets. She is such a girl with putting things together to look pretty and match, as I said earlier, these toys seem to have been hand selected based on who they are. The sturdy wood carrying case features durable hinges and rope handles that are perfect for little hands to grasp. Inside, brightly-colored magnetic blocks can be arranged on the boards to replicate any of the 50 full-color design challenges, including animals, faces, vehicles, sports, structures and more. Plus, the magnetic board surface doubles as a dry-erase board, so kids can decorate a backdrop for their creations!
I was so thrilled to have these toys for my kids, flexing their brain power and I enjoy hearing them giggle and talk things through about how to build different creations, contraptions and patterns. Not to mention the price point for all these toys are $50 or less which is even easier on the budget!
“Disclosure: I was provided with a copy of Contraptions, Pattern Play, and Imaginets at no cost in order to test the products’ abilities and give my own personal opinions on it. The opinions I have given are mine and may differ from others but were not influenced by the company or the free product provided.”