STEAM Skills targeted: Engineering, Science, Art
Recommended Age: 3+
When it comes to educational toys, often the simplest ideas are the most effective and this is certainly the case when it comes to magnatiles. Pretty much every teacher, homeschooler and involved parent I know recommends this simple building toy as a “must-have” for kids from toddlers to teenagers.
So what are magnatiles? Basically multi-colored plastic tiles that stick together via internal magnets, allowing you to easily build 3D constructions in any imaginable configuration.
Magnatiles can’t be programmed, they don’t flash lights, buzz or spin around but without all these distractions, they become a superb building toy that can be used to teach spatial skills, geometry, science, art, engineering and a whole lot more.
The kits don’t come with instructions or sample structures because they are unnecessary. Kids will naturally use their imaginations to come up with their own creations and develop problem solving and engineering skills for supporting a sagging roof and building different 3D shapes.
Magnatiles are not just a construction toy. They can also be used to create beautiful art projects. Mosaic patterns, tangrams, and explore how light changes as it passes through the different colored translucent squares. For further play and learning opportunities, it’s well worth investing in a light box as a different kind of building surface to create beautiful glowing stained glass effect patterns and constructions.
This is the best set to get started with magna tiles as it contains enough pieces to make many different constructions.
If you already have a magnatiles set, this set would be great to expand your existing set or you could choose it if the larger sets are a bit too much of an investment and you’re not sure if your kids will like this toy (but they will!)
What’s unique about this set is that it included the chassis, enabling kids to make cars and other wheeled vehicles and extra building pieces for making amazing houses, castles and other buildings.
These tiles are the same as the normal magnatiles but are made from solid colors rather than the jewel-like clear colors of the other sets.
This limited edition set includes 32 clear (non-colored) tiles and helps to introduce design concepts to your child by protyping objects with clear tiles that makes their shapes and patterns easier to recognize than the multi-colored versions (I can totally see my little girl building Frozen Elsa’s Ice castle with these!) They’re also great for using as windows together with the solid or translucent multi color sets.
The sleek modern look of these makes them ideal to display around the home if you hate the bright colors of other kids toys – they make an excellent desk toy for adults too!
Another special edition modem and minimalist version of the original tiles. These work great with the ice tiles and would be perfect for an office toy or for a teenager who loves to build but thinks the original magnatiles look too childish.
This set includes two new types of triangles and a booklet that links math concepts with playing with the tiles and helps to introduce the basics of geometry.