I know, I know. Halloween is passed and you are busy planning for the holidays. Let the teachers do the teaching right now. Not in my house. Sorry, not sorry. We are a learning home YEAR ROUND. As always, I want learning to be something that JustaBXgirl looks forward to doing. I don’t want education to be met with sighs and eye rolling. I want knowledge to be something that she strives towards and craves to achieve.
I write these Toy School posts for me as much as I do you. It is good to be able to come back and see the lessons that we pulled out of a game or toy that was originally created as entertainment. The best part is that many times there are many lessons to be found in these items. If you use one of my ideas and it catapults you to another of your own, please share!
Geomag Mechanics Magnetic Motion – Okay, okay. I know that you can easily see that this is a learning toy. I mean, it has STEM on the box. That doesn’t mean that it isn’t hours of fun. JustaBXgirl is a builder. She loves connecting things. This set allows you to discover shapes, learn about chain reactions and magnets.
The Wimpy Kid 10 Second Challenge – I know, you saw The Wimpy Kid and thought I was going to talk about the books. Nope, I’m here to share the fun of this game. It is the perfect way to do gym class at home. Listen, with the winter coming, I am looking for ways to keep us active without having to go outside. I adore that this combines literacy with action. The timer makes it so much more fun (and challenging). With 90 game cards, there will be lots of movement, laughter, and silliness. There will also be competition (at least in our home). I love that the character pieces are made of hard plastic so they won’t easily break.
Unsolved Case Files Harmony Ashcroft Case – Gameschooling isn’t just for the littles. The Wimpy Kid 10 Second Challenge is a great family game but this is just for the older littles and their bigs. Not to say that if you have precocious littles like mine that they won’t enjoy this. JustaBXgirl watches plenty of crime television with justaBXgrandpa so she is all into conducting an investigation. However, I’m here to suggest this to our high school game schoolers. Yes, of course, there is reading. There is also the need to work together, make educated guesses, use deductive reasoning, and connect the dots. I really like that this can be done in a team or individually. And while you do most of the crime-solving offline there is a technology component that allows you to check your work! A new case will be finding the path to one of my holiday gift guides.
GUJO Adventure Mission Mass Rocket – This is a new find. We discovered it a few weeks ago at #holidayofplay and are obsessed! There are so many facets of this toy that make it a great toy school product. When built it stands at 2 1/2 feet tall. There are over 240 pieces to put together so this takes time and engineering. The instructions are simple and give littles the opportunity to do some engineering and build confidence. My favorite part though is the two astronauts that come with the set. Each character comes with 4 interchangeable faces which are amazing tools for not only different adventures but for Social-Emotional Learning and check-ins. But wait, there’s more! They even have a Youtube channel where you can keep up with their adventures.
Shopkins Real Littles – Shopkins were one of the first, if not the first toy we started collecting. We still love them and over the years, we have found multiple ways to use them for learning. We use them as math manipulatives. We use them to practice categories and organizing. The Real Littles are really great for not only pretend play. They work great for dollhouse pantries BUT also as a learning tool for financial literacy. Since the brands are ones that we see in our supermarkets, we can have JustaBXgirl’s dolls go food shopping and discuss budgets, needs vs wants and so much more.
We are in unprecedented times when it comes to education. It is imperative that we take this time to figure out what we really want our children to learn. Finding toys around the house that connect with the subjects that really matter to us is really important. During a traditional school year, JustaBXgirl only has the weekends to really enjoy her toys. Being a remote student this year means much more time at home and more access to the fun. For me, I want her to think of learning as fun so I am constantly looking for ways to connect both.