The foam magnetic patterns that I purchased in the fall for our new school year, has been a great success in our house. The box is always on the kitchen counter, and when I am cooking most of the time the girls would come up and keep me company by playing with their pattern shapes. They have been using the cookie sheets and I also have a book with different patterns, outlines of animals to fill in with the shapes. The cookie sheet works as a magnetic surface, and it is easier to work with the shapes since they don't get messed up that easily. The concept of the toy is supposed to teach them shapes, pattern recognition, and also be used as a great tool for math manipulatives to learn about fractions, additions and subtractions, etc.
And then Leona took the box and dumped it on the floor and started creating various images. It is so great to see her use the imagination and take initiative to explore the things you can make out of the shapes. She came up with a whole landscape, as you can easily see the sun and clouds with rain drops, two types of flowers and a tree, there is a giraffe, a car and herself standing next to it. As she was playing she kept on counting the leaves, the drops, the petals. She definitely is showing interest in math and it seems that it excites her, as she constantly asks me questions "how much is five plus three", etc. And she brings a math workbook to me to do it together.