Engineering Challenge for Older Kids: Exploring Different Building Designs
Magna-Tiles® can be used in the home and the classroom in a variety of ways, from helping children learn about shapes and colors to introducing them to basic magnetic principles. However, our magnetic building toys aren’t just for young children. They’re also an excellent learning tool for older kids as well – especially when it comes to lessons about engineering, architecture, and design. Here, Magna-Tiles® explains how to use our magnetic shapes to explore building designs and enhance your child’s understanding of STEM concepts.
Exploring Engineering Concepts with Magna-Tiles®
Most children begin their educational journey by learning shapes and colors, followed by objects and descriptive words. Once they become more advanced, they will not only begin to build objects with their Magna-Tiles®, but they’ll also start understanding engineering principles such as:
- Cause and effect
- Design considerations
- Differences between shapes
- Pattern recognition
- Prototype testing
- And many more.
Ideas for Hands-On Engineering, Design, and Architecture Lessons
Magna-Tiles®, Magna-Tiles® Structures, and Magna-Qubix® magnetic building toys are great tools for introducing older to more complex STEM subjects like engineering. Because the possibilities are endless when building with Magna-Tiles®, your children or students can express their creativity while critically thinking about which colors, shapes, and sizes to include. Here are just a few ideas on how to get older children started on an entertaining engineering adventure:
Choosing the Right Colors and Patterns
Older kids may already know their colors, but now, they can use Magna-Tiles® to apply their knowledge to engineering, design, and architecture concepts. Our signature magnetic tiles are available in every color of the rainbow and various styles including, clear and solid colors, sparkling stardust, and even glow in the dark. Challenge them to build a structurally sound structure that’s also aesthetically pleasing with coordinating colors and patterns. It could be anything from an old, red brick building to a sleek blue skyscraper.
Experimenting with Different Shapes and Sizes
Magna-Tiles® can be used to create buildings in any shape you have ever seen, including triangle, square, and pentagon. You can even create two tall towers that are different shapes and connect them with a hallway. Have your older children recreate the skyline of your nearest city, depict your neighborhood, or build a replica of their school, so they can experiment with various shapes and sizes and test which tiles work best for their architectural goals.
Introducing Kids to Square Footage
Not all buildings are the same size, and neither should your children’s Magna-Tiles® creations! When your child is done designing their building, have them count the number of tiles they used for the floor together. Then, introduce them to the engineering concept of square footage, explaining how it’s calculated and how it’s used to create real-life homes and buildings.
Inspire STEM Learning in Older Children Today
When exploring the basics of engineering, design, and architecture with your older children or students, choose Magna-Tiles®, the original magnetic building toys for kids that fuse math, science, and creativity. If you are interested in learning more about our products or the various ways our magnetic shapes can be used in the home or classroom, contact us today or consult our plethora of educator resources.