Magnetic Maze for Toddlers: A great way to learn all about magnets!
Is your toddler fascinated with connecting different objects together? If so, they probably enjoy attaching blocks, fixing puzzles, or gluing pieces of paper. While each of these requires some force or effort, what if you told your child that it's possible to link some objects by simply bringing them close to each other?
For children, magnets are wondrous things, almost magical in their ability to click together when you bring two pieces next to each other. Magnets are not just fun, but also encourage children to build, explore, and get creative.
While your little one may have enjoyed observing the magnets on your refrigerator before, you can now give them their own magnetic toys and explain how they work.
You could make the concept even simpler to understand with DIY magnetic games that show them exactly how these pieces of metal work. This week's Co-Create activity is one such game.
Benefits of Magnetic Maze
This game is called Magnetic Maze and offers several motor and cognitive benefits, such as:
1. Sharpens pre-writing skills: Moving the popsicle stick with the coin along the curved paths will hone your child’s hand-eye coordination, spatial awareness, and visual acuity, all of which are important to be able to draw, colour, and write.
2. Hones fine motor skills: Holding the stick and carefully moving it within the lines will strengthen their grip, finger strength, and wrist movement.
3. Improves concentration: Working their way from one end of a path to the other takes time and requires patience, focus, and concentration.
4. Facilitates STEM learning: Playing with magnets in such a simple and basic way will get your child curious about the science behind what is happening. You can take the opportunity to tell them how magnets work, which of their toys have it, and what items around the house it is present in.
5. Betters problem solving skills: Observing the coin move as they move the stick will teach your child about cause and effect, an important problem solving skill that develops early brain connections.
Creating the Magnetic Maze
This activity can be enjoyed by children between 2.5 to 5 years.
2. White sheets
3. Scissors, glue, and markers
4. Dot stickers
5. A small magnet and a coin
6. A popsicle stick
How to create this maze:
1. Take the cardboard and cut it into 4 pieces of equal dimensions.
2. Stick the white paper on each piece.
3. Using a black marker, draw different paths on the cardboard pieces. You can refer to the picture above as an example.
4. Stick a dot sticker at the beginning and end of each path and draw an arrow next to the starting points.
5. Stick the piece of magnet to the popsicle stick and drop the coin onto the magnet.
Playing with the Magnetic Maze
The aim of the game is to trace each path using the magnet and coin. Show your child how to hold the popsicle stick and bring the coin onto the paper. Explain that they need to get from one end to the other. Watch as they quickly learn different tricks and movements to keep a steady hand and ace the game! If your child is old enough, explain to them how a magnet works and talk about the different places where magnets are used.
Up the challenge: Once your child has gotten a hang of the game, you could introduce boards with more complicated paths. You could even time them and have them compete with friends and siblings!
We hope you’ve enjoyed this activity. If you would like to share your experience playing this, tag us at #CoCreatewithshumee. Take care and stay safe!
Disha Shah is a DIY blogger who creates smart play ideas for children. You can follow her @momkid.smartplay on Instagram.