Admit it, there are times when you’re on a Zoom call, sitting in on a Google Meet or even on a regular old phone call where you’re interested and engaged in the content, but not 100%. In fact, a little part of your brain is spinning, trying to think of something you can do while you’re on the call without it being disruptive or too mentally taxing so you don’t completely tune out. Don’t want to own up to it? Okay, that’s fine. I bet your kids find all sorts of things to do while they’re doing online learning then, right? I have certainly watched my kids on live classes while they’re also fiddling on their phone, checking for the latest Insta’s or even quietly peeking at TikTok for something to light up a neuron or two.
While the Swiss GEOMAG toy might not be designed for us fidgeters, the fact is it’s perfect for the task, whether you’ve got an 8yo who needs to keep her hands busy, a high schooler who could do with something that’s not digital and electronic, or you just like the idea of these sort of toys:
As becomes much more obvious when you open up this set, called “Confetti”, it’s comprised of a base, 16 58mm (2.2 inch) magnetic rods and 18 steel spheres:
Right off the bat let me say that this is not suitable for little ones as the steel balls are way too inviting for a toddler and you do not want any of these going through someone’s digestive tract. Ugh. Just keep ’em away from little people, even the completed models and sculptures!
But for the rest of us, this is pretty darn fun. Each rod has a specific polarity so you can connect them end-to-end without the spheres at all, but the general approach to construction is to have rod-ball-rod, as you can see with the two blue “V” shapes leaning against the polystyrene container above.
So what can you do with it? Well, you can make the geometric shape on the cover, for one:
This geometric figure has 10 faces and 7 vertices, if you’re curious. What’s its formal name? Dunno. But it’s fun to make, which is the purpose of this as a fidget toy, right?
Here’s another one I made while possibly on a Clubhouse discussion:
Turns out a shape like the above is a bit tricky because it’s not rigid so while it all stays together, is prone to falling towards one side or the other. Creating rigidity is an interesting challenge with toys like this, actually.
Of course, the spheres themselves have magnetic properties too, so you don’t have to constrain yourself to just a single sphere at each vertex:
If you want to get a GEOMAG set to help teach a child geometric figures, the company has lots of instructions online and challenge shapes to construct too on its Web site. Or you can just pick up a set and enjoy fiddling with it, even if you never make a classical geometric object or produce any of the STEM education challenge shapes!
GEOMAG Confetti kit. 35 pieces, $26.49 at AMAZON.COM.
Disclosure: GEOMAGWORLD sent me the Confetti set to play with in return for this review. Darn nice of ’em, really. Thanks!