It’s a cold, rainy Thursday morning in Chicago and you’re standing in front of a classroom filled with bright-eyed Pre-K students. Their faces light up when they see the room is filled with presents, balloons, and more MAGNA-TILES sets than they could ever imagine. No, it’s not a typical school day. It’s a day for Meaningful Play with the MAGNA-TILES team.
What you’re picturing is our favorite moment of 2023.
We love any chance we get to make connections with our #1 fans – aka, little kids with big imaginations. Kids radiate positivity. Their laughter and their curious questions seriously crack us up. Their creativity is off the charts. It reminds us of when we were kids ourselves and what we love about working here: The opportunity to spread the joy of Meaningful Play — play that is child-led, developmental, experience based, fun, and engaging.
By The Numbers
This day of Meaningful Play wouldn’t have been possible without the tremendous partnership with AdoptAClassroom.orgⓇ. A leader in promoting educational equity, last school year AdoptAClassroom.org provided direct assistance to more than 28,000 classrooms and 470,000 children nationwide. 90% of classrooms supported were considered high-needs. Through our partnership in 2023, we donated over $60,000 to over 200 high-needs PreK classrooms for essential supplies. Promoting Meaningful Play is our purpose and Chicago is our hometown, so of course we had to throw in care packages with 20,000 MAGNA-TILES pieces as well.
Living Our Values
The entire MAGNA-TILES® team got involved with our AdoptAClassroom.org partnership, working together to build packages for each classroom. Several hundred MAGNA-TILES sets were included, along with great lesson plans, personalized notes and a lot of TLC. The pack-out event also provided our team with a hands-on opportunity to live one our core company values: A complete commitment to our colleagues, customers, consumers and community.
Fast forward a couple weeks and we had the privilege to hand deliver a few of these care packages to Sherwood Elementary in Chicago, 30 minutes away from our headquarters. As we unloaded our cars in the rain, wrestling a few dozen balloons that wanted to fly away, we were greeted by the amazing staff at Sherwood with smiles and open arms. We knew we were in for an amazing day of Meaningful Play.
Looking Back… and Toward the Future
As we reflect on that day, it became apparent that we weren’t delivering toys. We were sharing what we love most about working on the MAGNA-TILES brand… what kids love most about playing with MAGNA-TILES sets… and what educators love most about the benefits of MAGNA-TILES play. Will one of those bright-eyed Sherwood kids grow up to become an architect who designs skyscrapers that form Chicago’s skyline? Will the red T-Rex figure continue to be the most coveted piece in Sherwood’s new MAGNA-TILES collection? Who knows what the future holds.
Until then, we want to say thank you AdoptAClassroom.org and thank you Sherwood Elementary. We gave you a school year of Meaningful Play. You gave us memories that will last a lifetime.