PLAY BETTER #18: WHY MODULAR TOYS ARE BETTER
Research has proven that Modular construction toys are powerful tools of learning for young children because they are truly open-ended, encouraging creative and imaginative learning through self-directed play. Often, modular toys are very scalable; and the complexity and creativity of the built project is likely to increase in tandem with the child’s growing abilities, making them long-lasting toys.
So What, Exactly, Is A Modular Toy?
Typically, Modular Toys are systems constructed from independent elements that can be put together in endless combinations; allowing for fully customizable play that changes each time in design, size, or even concept. Modular toys encourages children to take on play differently each time; incorporating strategic planning, reasoning, and imaginative thinking in the process.
Modular Toys are often associated with STEM Learning, which takes on Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics in an interdisciplinary and applied approach. It is a highly effective technique for driving learning through inquiry and exploration , while integrating the four subjects into one cohesive learning paradigm based on real-world applications.
Why Are Modular Toys Better?
More than just a toy that drives academic learning, modular systems also often teach an invaluable combination of intrinsic skills rarely achieved through any other one realm of play. Here’s a list of some of the benefits of engaging in modular play!
• spatial intelligence
• perceptual reasoning
• strategic planning
• divergent thinking
• problem solving
• focus and patience
• social integration
• communicative abilities
• confidence and self-esteem
What Are Some of the Better Modular Systems?
The most famously known modular toy system in the world is undoubtedly Lego, but there are also a variety of other systems that display equally incredible learning opportunities. Here are our Top 3 picks for Modular Systems which we think are Better!
Aquaplay is the original award-winning water canal system developed to help children explore the physics of water while having fun. Many of its key canal sets have won the prestigious German Spiel Gut Award, together with the Excellent Swedish Design Award, BBC Toybox Good Toy Guide, & Right Start Best Toy Awards.
Scalable and Modular System
The endless opportunities for expansion and rebuilding not only demonstrate the general properties of water in a fun learning environment, it also stimulates the imagination and encourages continual discovery. Additional canal parts and separate sets can be integrated into one mega water system comprising of locks, harbours and jetties, providing hours of fun even for large groups of children.
Quality and Environmental Sustainability
Aquaplay is fully produced in Gnosjö, Sweden; and the company constantly works on making themselves as environmentally friendly as possible. All Aquaplay canal systems are made of non-toxic, recyclable phthalate-free plastic with unique rubber seal joints; the packaging is easy to recycle; and all products pass the EN71 and ASTM toy safety standards. The CE-mark and the Secure Three-year Warranty are also clear distinctions of the products’ quality; and it is no wonder that parents and educators appreciate this original award-winning system as a representative of high-value, quality and educational play with water.
Manufactured to the highest precision in Germany using high-quality, phthalate-free, non-toxic ABS-plastic, Hubelino is a marble run system that is 100% compatible with Duplo interlocking blocks by Lego. All blocks are tested according to the TÜV Rhineland (Technical Inspection Agency); and conform to CE and EN 71 standards.
The seemingly endless multitude of design possibilities remains Hubelino’s main unique selling point, not to mention that it is also compatible with additional expansion packs to create bigger and more impressive systems. Expect hours of fun as you continue to build up your Hubelino marble run with unique elements such as the Twister funnel, the Catapult launcher, and even the Cradle Chute!
Recommended for little builders as young as 3 years old and extensible to be challenging even for tweens, building with Hubelino encourages spatial thinking, mathematical planning, creativity and the understanding of the principles of physics in the most fun-filled way possible. While building these marble runs, kids are able to work on their critical-thinking and problem-solving skills, develop engineering skills; as well as make quality observations about speed, time, distance, and direction.
A remarkably fun and satisfying activity that can be constructed independently, or undertaken together as a group to foster the sense of collaborative play from an early age, teaching invaluable skills for social integration, communication, patience, and cohesiveness between team members.
Who knew problem solving could be this exciting?
Through open-ended play of building the tallest, grandest and most intricate marble runs, both kids and adults get to hone fine motor skills, practice spatial thinking, challenge imagination and creativity; and grasp an understand of the basic laws of Physics.
The blocks in HABA’s Marble Run System are not only large enough for a beginner’s handle, they are also designed with different types of grooves and holes, allowing marbles to not just roll down a slope, but to also zig zag through an exciting maze and ring a bell as they make their way down. With an extensively diverse range of add-on elements available for continual expansion; players can also experiment with different materials of marbles and watch them travel at different velocities through the maze. Why do glass marbles move faster than cork marbles? And why are wooden marbles unable to retain as much momentum as metal marbles after descending a slope?
A fantastic tool for driving learning through self-discovery, HABA’s Marble Runs encourage multi-sensory exploration, which aids cognitive development and shapes the way that our children grow to process information.
How do you tell if you’re making the MOST of playtime?
Well, if your kids are dabbling with Modular, Open-ended and Scalable Toys, then you’re on the right track!
Get more for less when you invest in a modular system with us this month!