heroWho knew a block of wood could be a smart toy?

With the Magik Play Starter Kit, from Magikbee, kids all different ages can collaborate with one another in the real world to find success in the digital. The ready-to-play technology features simple wooden toys, no batteries, and no wires. The kit also includes access to three apps, a set of wooden Magik blocks, and a wooden universal iPad stand.

The wooden Magik blocks are really neat, and come in basic colors like red, blue, green, and yellow. They’re well crafted, and feature hidden magnets that can relay information to the apps kids will play on their iPads. How, you ask? Well… I have no idea, but it’s super cool and we’ll leave it at that.

three apps
Hidden Shape, Runaway, and Dino Blocks

To start, kids can get a parent to help them download the three Magik Play apps, which include Hidden Shape, Dino Blocks, and Runaway. Once they load, kids can set their iPad into the wooden stand (which has slots for a variety of generations and sizes) and start building.

Hidden Shape, designed for kids 2 and up, is a simple and gentle game that introduces young ones to shape recognition and block handling. In this app, kids are tasked with identifying various shapes within a colorful, cartoon landscape. I recommend young ones begin their Magik Play adventure with this one.

Hidden Shape will ask them “what shape do you see?” and highlight a part of the image that mimics the shape of one of their colored blocks. Mountains, highways, and jungles are just a few of the environments kids will have to examine as they progress through the levels.

When young ones think they have the right answer, they can place the block on the stand and let the magnets inside the blocks relay the information to the iPad. If they’re right, they’ll move on to the next level.WellDoneDino Blocks—a more fast-paced adventure—enlists kids ages 4 to 6 in helping dinosaurs complete tasks. To solve each puzzle, young ones will have to assemble the physical blocks and watch the digital dinos react to their constructions.

In level one, for example, a tree falls and prevents a dino from passing through. Kids have 20 seconds to locate the correct shape and place it on the wooden stand to create a ramp for the creature to climb. In level three, they’ll have to use two pieces to construct a bridge over rough water.buildingRunaway is the most challenging of the trio, as it asks kids ages 5 to 8 to use multiple blocks at a time and aid in a birds’ bicycle escape. It’s a challenge full of balance, speed, and collaboration. Kids will have just one minute to complete each level, which involves correctly identifying the pieces needed to get the job done, and the careful balancing act that comes with stacking them on top of one another.

In level one, kids have to build a two-piece ramp for the bird to fly off of. If they lean them against the iPad the right way, the bird will take a ride down them and soar into the sky. Things get more difficult in level four, when builders will have to stack a whopping six blocks in front of their iPad in order to safely get the bird down from a large crane. It was a race against the clock for me in this level, and I succumbed to the pressure.

Overall, the Magik Play family of STEM learning games is a great fusion of digital and real world play. With each app, young ones will strengthen core skills like shape recognition, spatial thinking, and measurement. And thanks to playful learning, they’ll improve their fine motor skills and build confidence along the way.

The Magik Play family of educational games is currently available for iPad and iOS only.