A Passion For Learning
While Having Fun
Kids love to build forts! There’s no doubt about it. Give them a fort and they are happily playing and having a blast for hours to come. Whether they are building forts from our manual, or cleverly creating new designs on their own, kids will have a tremendous amount of fun building with their Fort Magic kit.
However another benefit of building with Fort Magic parents may not realize is that it is also an excellent learning tool for the most important habits of happiness and success! This is what Fort Magic is truly passionate about.
To teach a child the value of planning, believing in their ability to complete a project, or having unlimited creativity and confidence while building or accessorizing a new design, are just a few of the important values Fort Magic increases in your child. A love of process and learning is one of the greatest gifts you can give your child, and with Fort Magic these are learned while having incredible fun!
We invest our heart, creativity and the highest standards of quality into our products…for children! Because we believe this is what children and families deserve. I am a mother, with two beautiful children of my own, and I am unendingly passionate about what we do at Fort Magic. We wish you many hours of creative, quality family time with your children! It is our pleasure to be of service each day.
Important Activities To Develop Your Child’s Best Brain
Fort Magic fort building kit belongs to a very important category of creative play toys for children called “Physical Toys”. This category includes toys that encourage and promote cognitive and emotional development through repetitive use. It is the repetitive interaction with physical toys that literally helps to ‘build’ your child’s best brain.
Dr. Cortney V. Martin, PhD, writes “Physical toys offer a number of advantages over computer-based toys for children including: Being Socially Interactive, Multisensory, Exploratory, Developing Perceptual Skills, Increased Motor Skill Development, And Encouraging Critical Thinking And Problem Solving. There is a growing body of evidence that physical building toys also contribute to spatial ability, and in turn, science and math aptitude.”
Sean Brotherson, Family Science Specialist, writes, “Early experience and interaction with the environment are the most critical in a child’s brain development (not genetics). Until the age of 11, a child’s brain is superdense and has about twice as many neurological connections as an adult’s. Around the age of 11 a type of 'pruning' begins and gradually the child’s brain begins to eliminate the extra connections."
"The neurons in a child's brain are formed and strengthened through repeated experiences, the connections and pathways that are built actually structure the way a child learns. If a pathway is not used, it's eventually eliminated based on the "use it or lose it" principle. If it is used repeatedly is becomes permanent.If you do them a single time, either good or bad, they are less likely to have an effect on brain development.”
Positive and loving interaction with loved ones, and a daily investment in quality learning activities, such as playing with physical toys, are just a few of the critical experiences that can have a huge impact on your child’s first ten years of life. These types of repetitive activities will create a strong neurological foundation in your child’s brain. It is literally the one chance we have at developing our child’s best brain for life.
Why Play Is A Child’s Work
“Because children grow up, we think a child's purpose is to grow up. But a child's purpose is to be a child.”
~ Tom Stoppard
Play is often thought of as a “break” from learning, but for children, play is how they learn. During play, children frequently move between important learning skills such as exploring solutions, taking incremental actions, learning from trial and error, seeing the benefit of applying focus to an idea, and developing social skills as they learn to cooperate with others while having fun. Play gives children the opportunity to feel alive and have a wonderful experience while learning how to successfully live in the world.
“Play is often talked about as if it were a relief from serious learning. But for children, play is serious learning. Play is really the work of a child.”
~ Fred Rogers, American educator, author, and television host.
The Benefit Of Making Mistakes
“Mistakes are not just golden opportunities for learning; they are, in an important sense,
the only opportunity for learning something truly new.”
~ Daniel C. Dennett, Tufts University Professor
A wonderful benefit of building and creating with Fort Magic is the permission kids are afforded to be exploratory, totally unique and sometimes even “wrong”. These types of perspectives and challenges present wonderful learning opportunities for children.
When a child is building a design from their own invention they have a chance to decide for themselves what may work, what they like to build, or in what direction they would like to build next. They will think inventively about which type of stick they may like to add next, curved or straight? Long or short? Or what type of connector they would like to choose.
If a parent refrains from suggesting too much when the child is building, or criticizing the child when they are doing things differently than the parent may think correct, but instead observes patiently how well the child focuses, or compliments the child on their inventive solutions, unusual designs, or encourages the child to keep exploring or trying new ideas when at first they can’t see a solution,
then the fertile ground for raising self-esteem is set.
The independence to make their own mistakes and discover their own solutions is exactly what children need to develop confidence. Mistakes make us stronger when they are the pathways to success.
Eventually, kids will find the solutions they are looking for and build something wonderfully inventive and fun! This moment… when they overcome their obstacle, or finish their new amazing design, when their face lights up with joy from accomplishing something creatively their own…this is the moment they learn mistakes are not scary failures, but simply regular stepping stones towards their personal enjoyment and success.
Failure Is Your Child’s Best Friend
David Bayles and Ted Orland [from their book, Art & Fear: Observations On The Perils (And Rewards) Of Artmaking] document a story about an art teacher who did an experiment with his grading system for two groups of students. It is an important life-lesson that teaches the incredible value in failures, an important and beneficial focus for our own lives and childrearing if applied each day. Here is what happened:
“The ceramics teacher announced on opening day that he was dividing the class into two groups. All those on the left side of the studio, he said, would be graded solely on the quantity of work they produced, all those on the right solely on its quality. His procedure was simple: on the final day of class he would bring in his bathroom scales and weigh the work of the 'quantity' group: fifty pounds of pots rated an 'A,' forty pounds a 'B,' and so on. Those being graded on 'quality,' however, needed to produce only one pot – albeit a perfect one – to get an 'A.'
“Well, came grading time and a curious fact emerged:
the works of the highest quality were all produced by
the group being graded for quantity.”
It seems that while the 'quantity' group was busily churning out piles of work – and learning from their mistakes – the 'quality' group had sat theorizing about perfection, and in the end had little more to show for their efforts than grandiose theories and a pile of dead clay.”
As children apply themselves to activities that are challenging it is inevitable they will make mistakes and perhaps feel like giving up. However, if we patiently encourage them to continue on, because it is the right thing to do when faced with an important activity, they too will learn the wonderful truth that quantity becomes quality in everything we do. Additional Source Credit: John C. Maxwell