Scott’s Toy Box: Toys That Attract
My family, like most families, owned a refrigerator cluttered with lots of notes and pictures held on with magnets. I remember there was one magnet that was very powerful. It was moon shaped (probably used to be a circle) and black. I would take the magnet to our analog TV and place it against the screen to watch it distort the picture and cause a green and purple glow in the corner of the TV. Note to kids: DON’T do that; it messes up the television. This month in the Toy Box, I’ve found several toys that include magnets, and I hope one of them attracts you.
Jishaku is a game for one or more players. It comes with 18 magnets and a game board made from a foam egg crate. There are several different types of gameplay, but the main objective in each is to keep the magnets from attracting one another. To add some suspense to the game, when the magnets contact one another, they make a large clacking sound. The magnets are small, so the manufacturer recommends this game for 14 year olds and older; however, I don’t see a reason why younger children can’t play under adult supervision. Jishaku costs about $20 at Learning Express.
Magformers are building toys. You can buy them in different-sized sets. The pieces come in shapes including triangles, squares, and pentagons with magnets in their sides. By connecting the sides you can build 3D models. The pieces also come in an array of colors. The pieces I’ve seen come in two different colors, one on each side. The sets also come with a booklet full of ideas. Magformers are suggested for five-year-olds and up. You can buy Magformers at Learning Express where a set of 30 costs $35.
SmartMax are also building toys but are made for one-year-olds and up. The pieces are much bigger than Magformers and come in rods instead of shapes. The rods are colored in each color of the rainbow. The warm colors are only attracted to the cool colors and repel other warm colors. There are also steel balls that any of the rods can attach to, giving you the ability to create any shape you want. You can find them at Amazon.com where the basic set of 25 is available for $51.