This past week, my daughter Samantha ‘s elementary school announced a screen-free week when students were offered incentives to give up television and computers. She had the motivation of earning a school dance party, an ice cream social and a certificate. To show my support of the screen-free week, I began implementing more one on one time doing activities, crafts and games with my daughter. Being a hands on parent required a lot of energy for me as a working mom, but I found it very worthwhile. One of the toys that made the week easier was the Magic Moves toy from Educational Insights.
Magic Moves Review
Magic Moves is a toy shaped like a wand that lights up and uses sound to appeal to kids. Each time the toy talks, it gives kids a new direction. For example, my daughter practiced stomping like a dinosaur and slithering like a snake. Each direction is very different from the last one and it encourages creative movement. The product was especially fitting for my family during a screen-free week. Even when I had work to do, the Magic Moves toy always offered a fun activity without me having to continually give my children advice on what to do with their time.
As a teacher, I understand the appeal of the item for children in the early years of their education. In the past five years, I earned my Master of Education from Vanderbilt in elementary education and I taught a preschool class in the year after earning my degree. From what I observed and learned from other teachers, a common transition for young learners in the classroom would be for the teacher to tell the students to zoom like an airplane to the rug, bzzzzz like a bee back to their desks or hop like a bunny rabbit to the door to go to lunch. When students are in a self-contained classroom all day, transitions can help the students make sense of the new activities they are doing, while also giving them a very short brain break before making them sit still and quietly listen.
To me, the benefit of using the Magic Moves product was so clear after using it with my daughter that I could also picture using it in a classroom setting with young learners. I could envision using the item during a morning meeting as one choice of a game for students to pick for the whole class to do. To enforce good classroom management, I would of course cover the basics of safety of using the item in the classroom to make sure that the students don’t slither like snakes into each other or stomp like a dinosaur on each other’s feet. Used with the right group of students and in a well managed classroom in the younger grades, the product could be a neat way to teach similes.
Some of the best features of the item were that it incorporated language arts skills, creativity and kinesthetic movement. My daughter worked on her gross motor skills, while engaging in pretend play. Because the item was so fun for my daughter, she successfully stayed screen free for a whole week. The Magic Moves toy was integral in the success Samantha had in reaching her goal. In the upcoming summer months, I plan to have her continue to play with the item to keep her actively learning even when school is not in session.
I received a free item, but it in no way influenced my opinion.