Great Store-Bought Centers
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Snap circuits are by far the best toy we’ve ever had. To present it, I pulled out enough pieces for the first couple of exercises and turn him loose. Soon he comes begging for more pieces so he can keep going. I made him play with it for a week before I allowed him access to all the pieces.
I love this one more than the kids. I love puzzles. I’ve seen them play with it a few times, but usually only want to if I’m already doing it.
Much more beloved are the $1 tangram puzzles from Michael’s. (Just be sure to take a picture of the puzzles BEFORE you open it or you might never get them back together!)
They get taken apart, put back together, and then made into characters.
No Stress Chess is GREAT. Mostly because my nine year old nags me to play chess and it takes SO LONG. But no stress chess limits your options and really teaches the kids the possible moves.
Anything magnetic is popular in our house. Magnetic Match Rings is a great activity. I set out a few cards each day. They do the puzzles and then play freely….
Bendaroos are also fantastic. Middle Kid is really into braiding lately and bendaroos stay put for her. However, most days, the bendaroos are shaped like people or stuck to the walls as decoration. No mess. I love them.
Supermind is another game that I like way more than they do. Little Kid likes to put the pieces in the tray, but is uninterested in the cards. Big Kid did a pile of them the first day and hasn’t touched it without incentive since. However, anything that I can make into a competition (Mama did five, how many did you do?) or let him take pictures of, immediately becomes popular again.