Remember the Wedgits that I said older kids would play with out of sight? Well, today's recommendation is a magnetic "toy" for those older kids. Called a "Ball of Whacks" the original was all red. Recently they have added a blue version and a multicolored version. The pictures don't really show what can be done. The "ball" allows nearly endless creative building and imagination.
The ball is made up of 30 magnetic pyramids so that you can pull out or move any piece and it will stick anywhere you chose on the remaining pyramids. I can only imagine what you could come up with by combining different sets together.
I did find a video on you tube that shows the Ball of Whacks in action creating animal figures.
Roger von Oech has also come out since then with a companion product the "X-Ball" which can be used independently or in conjunction with the Ball of Whacks. I can't recommend this because I have not yet tried it and you know how picky I am about only recommending things I personally have used. [Though I have heard a rumor that Santa is bringing the X Ball to a person in my home.... so stay tuned in January for a followup report!]
Both toys have won awards in the creative play categories. Both range from $20-$30 when not on sale. Both come with books of suggestions [which kids mostly ignore in favor of their own independent explorations!].
P.S. Coming later in Holidays 101 are some far less expensive gadgets for those needing more of a fidget toy than a creative building toy.
I am a lifelong educator, writer and author, a foster, bio, and adoptive parent, happy mom of five daughters, Grandma to six, Nana to four, and church and theater musician. Oh yes, and all-round optimistic, crazy lady.