1 - 5 Magnetic Maze
The 1-5 Magnetic Maze provides a fine motor exercise and a numeracy learning experience combined with an early exploration of magnetism.
A small 'pen', with a magnet in the tip, is used to attract the magnetic balls. As the pen moves the balls are pulled along and they can be transferred through the maze to be deposited into their corresponding homes.
The child can simply count out any of the beads - placing one bead into the 1 compartment, then dragging two beads to the 2 compartment and so on - or they may notice that the balls are coloured coded to provide a prompt for counting! There is just one red ball, two yellow balls, three blue balls and so on - which acts as great scaffolding or a 'self-correcting' mechanism for a child who is proficient with colour matching but still working on counting.
This pen can be carefully tucked into a little pocket along the bottom of the board to keep the entire activity self-contained.
The use of the pen can help to encourage the development of a pincer grip. The lines and curves of the various mazes can also be seen as indirect preparation for the movements involved in writing numerals and letters.
In my own classroom this 1-5 Magnetic Maze is enjoyed primarily by children around the age of three years old. At this stage the Maze seems to engage their attention for all of the repetitions required to maneuver all of the magnetic balls through the mazes and into their correct numerical 'homes'.
Younger children (2 to 3 years old) also thoroughly enjoy working with it but they tend to engage in quicker attempts rather than comprehensive completion. They might just 'catch' the magnetic balls with the magnet or may try some early sliding back and forth to discover the correct amount of pressure and speed required to keep the balls attached to the pen.
For older children, of 4 years of age, this is an enjoyable remedial or relaxation activity. It is a low-pressure experience that a child can revisit when they are in need of some cognitive rest. It seems almost a little meditative - like raking sand in a zen garden!
The wooden board measures approximately 28cm x 28cm.
It is made of European beech plywood from sustainable sources.
The manufacturer recommends it for ages 2+
If you like the 1-5 Magnetic Maze you might also appreciate our
Colour Sorting Magnetic Maze