With half term coming up I’ll bet that you, like me are starting to think about what you are going to do with these kids – especially if this rain keeps up. Or you might be about to start packing for a bit of autumn sun. If so, I am very jealous… Either way we have been trying out some magnetic games for kids that might be the perfect solution. We were gifted a full set of Interplay Take and Play Magnetic games and this is our review. THE POST CONTAINS AFFILIATE LINKS
What are they?
The take’n’play games from Interplay are six individual classic games contained in tins and with magnetic pieces. They are similar to those traditional magnetic games for kids that you may have played yourself, but Interplay have updated the idea and really got it right. The games available are Hangman, Bingo, Noughts & Crosses (also contains an extra bonus 4 in a row game), Draughts, Chess and Matching.
Who can play?
The games are not suitable for children under 3 due to small pieces, but from 3 upwards there is a game for everyone. My 4 year old twins love the matching, noughts and crosses and bingo games and the boys aged 6 and 8 are also happy to play those with their sisters, but totally love the Chess, Draughts and Hangman.
Take them anywhere
The first thing that appealed to me as a parent is that these games are small and not in a box! Interplay Take and Play Magnetic games come in a small square tin case which you could easily slip in your handbag or hand luggage for a holiday. They are no more than a couple of cms thick and the tin closes tight. Unlike a boxed game this can withstand children! No more fixing boxes with sellotape every time the kids go near it. The tins are easy for little ones to open, but securely close so that even if you have accidentally not got a piece secured with the magnets it won’t get lost.
You could literally take these anywhere. So far we have taken them to restaurants and to the hospital when waiting for a consultants appointment for the twins. These games are fab for keeping children occupied when they are having to wait around.
There is no complicated or time-consuming set up so the second they get bored you can whip out the game and disaster averted. Now I am a great believer in children needing to get bored sometimes, but I don’t think that should be in the departure lounge of an airport. No one needs to start their holiday with my children losing their minds in a confined space – least of all me!!! For that reason alone, these games are now my go to. I only wish I had remembered to take them with me to the shoe shop yesterday when 4 people’s little feet were measured, but that’s a whole other story…
As a parent it is easy to see the learning opportunities within these games. Some of the things I have noticed are:
Matching and Bingo
Matching and remembering the location of the tiles is a great way to develop memory skills, short term memory and classification skills. I have also found the matching game to be useful with helping my daughter who has a speech delay. Getting her to name the tiles she has and being repetitive really helps her to retain the information and commit that vocab to memory. The bingo game has also been good for this.
Watching the kids learn to be strategic and think ahead is fascinating. Even my four year olds are starting to think ahead in Noughts and Crosses and not just think about their own game, but also what their opponent might do next.
I have read that games like chess actually stimulate the brain and encourage development. Chess develops critical thinking skills, abstract reasoning, strategic thinking, pattern recognition, sportsmanship and patience (what kid doesn’t need more of that?).
This game is one I had all but forgotten from my childhood, but with a son struggling with reading and spelling this is a perfect game for making spelling fun. When he is playing the game spelling correctly suddenly has a purpose for him. We have used it to help with learning his dreaded spelling words for school. This is probably the game that I have taken out the most to use with the kids.
The kids verdict
From the minute they saw these games they were hooked. I have actually had to put them away as they were rushing in from school and grabbing out the games. There is nothing wrong with this of course and a get endorsement for the appeal of the games, but I really want to try to keep them for those times when we are out and about or on holiday as they are so perfect for that.
I always think that when they haven’t seen something for a while, they are even more entertained when you suddenly bring them out. I will be bringing them all back out for half term as I am planning a games day when rain is forecast.
Interplay Magnetic Games for Kids
The girls totally love that they can play them by themselves. The tiles are easy for little hands to handle and the magnets are strong enough to hold the pieces in place, but not so strong that the kids can’t get them off.
What is not to love? Games that can go with you anywhere that are small enough to fit in your handbag and sure to keep kids entertained… I am in!
Also so far we haven’t lost any pieces and that is nothing short of a miracle. The whole magnet thing works… The only pieces that aren’t magnetic are the dice and the spinner in the bingo. It would be useful to be able to secure these when in transit just in case a child opened the tin unexpectedly, but that is literally the only thing I would change about these games. Having said that the tins do close very tightly so the tin won’t just fall open.
All in all these magnetic games for kids are colourful and interesting. My kids love them and I can see us getting years of fun out of them all. With a price point of under £10 each I think these would make a great addition to any family travel kit and for all those times when you just need to give the kids something to do when you are out and about.