We all know that Connetix magnetic tiles are great educational toys for kids and that they are perfect for building. But let’s be honest, sometimes you need a break from all the garages, castles, and tall towers. We often use Connetix to create our own board games.
Board games are not just fun family games or toys that will keep your kids busy, they are educational activities too. Some of the benefits of playing board games are they:
- Help develop reasoning skills
- Improve critical thinking,
- Focus on language and communication skills.
- Increase attention and concentration, and
- Teach problem-solving skills.
In addition to the educational benefits of playing board games, there are also many social components to playing games. Board games give children a fantastic opportunity to learn how to take turns, practice patience and work as part of a team. It also teaches them to negotiate with others, learn to compromise and take risks. And obviously, it needs them to be able to follow the rules and directions.
We love open-ended toys like Connetix so we can create our own games. Here are some of our favourite ones. You don’t need much to recreate them. We mostly use some tiles, dice, counters, and a chalk/whiteboard marker.
1) Colour spin.
We used an online colour spinner for this game, but you can use any colour spinner/dice you have at home. To create a track, we use tiles that are the same colours as the ones on the spinner, and lay them out in a random order. You can also add some tiles with challenges on them. (Some examples we enjoy are: sing a song, do a dance, go forward or backward, spin again, skip a turn, etc.)
The rules are straightforward. Spin the spinner and move your counter to the matching tile. Complete the challenge on the tile. If you can’t, you need to move back to your spot. Whoever reaches the finish first is the winner.
2) Guess the number.
Create an 100 board by making ten rows of ten and write a number on each tile. One person chooses a number, and the other person needs to guess which number by asking yes/no questions. (Is it an even number? Is it higher than 60? Does it have an eight in it? etc.) Who can guess the number in the least amount of turns?
3) Target practice.
Write some numbers, letters, or sight words on the hexagon tiles and stand them up with additional square tiles as support.
One person chooses the word, and the other tries to knock over the correct target. You can add points or allow a certain number of throws to see who gets the highest score.
4) Domino effect.
An oldie but such a good one! Create a super-long domino track using all your squares (and some triangles if you want to go around the corner). If you want to make it more competitive, you can create teams and have a time limit for building their track. Who can make the longest one?
This is a two player game. Create a rectangle of 6×4 tiles (or bigger) in one colour and write the numbers one to six on the tiles randomly. Each player gets a pile of squares in their own colour. Throw the dice and cover a tile with the corresponding number using your own tiles. The person having three tiles in a row is the winner. This is an excellent combination of luck and strategy!
6) Memory game.
Create little pieces of art that fit inside the Connetix window/hollow square shape. Once you create 8-12 tiles, photocopy them to have two identical pieces of each. Stick each picture between a window tile and a square tile. You have now created your own memory game! You could also use sight words, multiplication facts, letters for name recognition, etc.
7) Add them up, up, up!
This is a game Benji created. All players get the same number of tiles. The youngest player sets up a base of tiles to start the game. If it’s your turn, you have to throw the dice and add the same number of tiles to the structure. Each tile you place needs to be in a different part of the building. If the tower collapses while you’re building, you lose the game.
8) Create a maze.
This one is great on a baking tray (or Base Plate). Use Connetix tiles to create a maze for the other person to solve. Who can complete it the quickest?
And to finish this list to make it a beautifully even 10, I wanted to mention two super cool ideas we spotted on Insta:
9) Snakes and ladders deluxe.
Guess the three-letter word (or longer if you wish) in 5 tries. The player gets a green tile for each correct letter in the right place. For a letter that features in the word, they will get yellow tile. Such a great idea for those beginner readers!
Thank you so much for reading to the end of our blog. We hope we can inspire you and love to see your play ideas on insta!
Lisa ( and of course Benji Moon)