If I could only buy one toy this would be it! These are incredibly versatile building materials where 2D geometric shapes easily connect to make 3D shapes because of the high quality neodymium magnets they contain within colorful plastic. They always attract and never repel. Everyone from the 2 year olds to the middle schoolers enjoy playing with them, and I can’t say enough how many concepts you can use them for. Even playing with them with no teacher direction at all the kids make many discoveries. The four year olds I work with can tell you that six triangles make a hexagon and six squares make a cube in 3D.
The creativity and innovation of the kids amaze me. They use the triangles, squares, and pentagons provided to make houses, domes, tents/teepees, microphones, rockets, towers, balls, fences and so much more. They combine these with other manipulatives often, for example making farms for the farm animal counters. I have also seen them make a house and then draw the floor plan, and design a property and then draw the “google map.”
With some guided “teacher talk” we use these for identifying attributes of shapes, turning 2D nets into 3D shapes, introducing perimeter, area, and volume, combining to add and taking away to subtract, equal groups to multiply and divide, and so, so much more.