If you have young children, then as a parent, you probably are always looking for the best toy for your child. The best toys are both educational and engaging, and also are highly durable, and very easy to clean. However, none of that will really matter if your child hates the toy. in this article, we will be exploring whether or not Magna Tiles are a good toy for your child or not.
What are Magna Tiles?
Basically, Magna Tiles are magnetized pieces of plastic that are made out of high-grade ABS plastic. The company Valtech which produces the tiles claims they are also free of BPA. These tiles are recommended for children who are a least 3 years old, due to a potential choking hazard. Since the pieces are very large, I’m not sure how that would even be possible. Magna Tiles are available in a wide range of shapes, which are designed to allow you to build even the most intricate structures that an electrician or other building professional would be proud of. The edges on all of the various shapes are basically magnetized, and the edges all firmly cling to one another until you pull them apart by hand.
History Of The Tiles
According to the company’s website, it appears that the concept for Magna Tiles was inspired by Pythagoras of Samos, a mathematician who lived from 560 to 480 BC. Pythagoras is best known for his right triangle theorem, and he thought if we better understood numerical and mathematical relationships, then we could understand the world better.
Why are they so popular?
The reason why Magna Tiles have become such a popular product is due to them being able to keep the minds of children occupied for many hours. Children are able to come up with very interesting and unique buildings and shapes. What Pythagoras thought appears to be quite true. Children appear to learn a great deal about shapes along with their relationships. In turn, this primes children’s brains to later understand complex physics and mathematics. Many people have reported that Magna Tiles are the only toy that their children play with every day without getting tired of them. So they are definitely educational and engaging.
What do Magna Tile sets contain?
Several different types of Magna Tiles are available. They mainly differ in the number of pieces contained in the set and their colors. There are two types of colors. There are clear color tiles that are semi-transparent and solid colors that are opaque. The different sized sets mainly come in 100, 48, or 32 pieces, with a nice balance of various shapes. Small squares are included in the various shapes, which many of them being big squares, with a few being Equilateral Triangles, right triangles, and Isosceles triangles.
What do people who have used them have to say?
Most online reviews recommend choosing the 100-piece set since it provides you with enough pieces to be able to build a good-sized structure. It is also easy to clean them up since they stick to each other. Most of the reviews by far are very positive. However, some of these customer reviews do contain some noteworthy and interesting comments.
One person noted that his 4-year-old son tends to get frustrated when he attempts to pick the structure up that he has built, but they end up collapsing. However, other people see this is as one of its benefits. There are also some complaints from people that say they are too expensive. Then there are other uses who praise how durable they are even when they are played with by destructive children.
Another person stated that the structures that can be built are limited in terms of their size because of the weak magnetism. They appear to be limited to structures of about 150 pieces. Then there are others who state that they purchased 200 pieces of various colors (transparent and opaque), and their children were able to make multiple structures at the same time. So there doesn’t appear to be much negative about these tiles.
Where to purchase them
Currently, it appears that the lowest price on the 100-piece sets is on Amazon since that is the direct storefront used by Valtech (creator of the Magna Tiles).
All families with children should have Magna Tiles. Almost everyone that has purchased them say this. They appear to be an excellent investment and there is a good chance that your children will love them. The biggest benefit appears to be that children learn quickly how the various geometric shapes fit together. Also, they are taught problem-solving skills, basic math, spacial relationships, and logic while building creatively at the same time.
I sometimes wonder what it is about magnetic toys that delights children as much as they do. In my own childhood, I was constantly taken in by how magnets seemed to have magical powers all their own. Odds are good that you have a few memories yourself of playing with some magnets when you were a kid. I couldn’t resist getting back into magnetic toys, and I’ve discovered some popular ones. Keep reading to learn what 5 of them are.
I start the list with these because I love them over all else. They’ve genuinely enthralled kids all around the world, including my own. These are the kinds of toys that kids never really get bored with. In particular, magnatiles are designed to be geometric plastic shapes. They have magnets along the edging, which is what lets them stick to one another. You can stack them into nearly any sort of structure you can imagine. If any portion of the structure winds up collapsing, it’s an easy fix. Adding to structures you already have going is really simple, because you can just add various triangles to a few squares and make nearly any shape or structure you need.
My kids love them because they’re virtually like Legos in how broad the possibilities are. I love them because of the BPA-free plastic construction and how they’re safe for any kid over the age of 3. When I need to have a bed bug exterminator in Seattle come deal with their bedrooms, I know I can sit them down with this in the living room and let them be, staying out of the exterminator’s way. The 100-piece set seems to be quite popular, and it’s got enough pieces to build some bigger things. You’ll soon find that 100 pieces can’t match your imagination though. You need more. The 100-piece kit is mostly clear or transparent color pieces. If you really want some stunning visual aesthetics, also get a solid color set before mixing the pieces with the clear colors. It just opens up so many more possibilities.
You’ll likely recognize this one, since it’s been a smash hit all around the globe. I don’t know a single family with kids who don’t have this in their toy box. Count this as my close second favorite. This is essentially a plastic drawing pad, square in shape, that uses magnetism to create drawings that can be quickly erased. The stylus is magnetic itself, and you can use it to draw with some sort of dark magnetic powder encased in a thick opaque liquid to make dark lines on the pad’s surface. The eraser also uses magnetics, drawing powder off of the pad surface to white-out the display.
This toy is truly delightful, and it’s really just fridge magnets gone wild. The toy has a variety of magnetic parts intended to funnel marbles through a curious track down to a bucket that eventually catches them. The interesting thing about this toy is how there are 11 various parts inside this pack. The marble will mostly move along rails, but it can also bounce off a Ferris wheel or even a tornado ride. There are also serpentine chutes which catch the marbles before gently placing them on the next rail.
It’s a lot like crazy cartoon machines where someone flicks a small switch and sets off a chain reaction of two dozen events just to make a cup of coffee. I love this thing, so I bought one, and now I’m looking at collecting all the extensions. The launcher looks fun. I’m just glad my kids are 7 and older, because these marbles are a choking hazard.
Smart Max Magnetic Set
This one is a lot like Magnatiles. You build small structures and shapes. The parts are very simpler, meaning they’re generally safe for toddlers. The parts are really just thick, short bars that have been magnetized at their ends. You can connect them to other magnetic pieces or even plastic balls. The magnetism in this toy is really quite robust. The creators claim the toys can carry as much as 60x their own weight. Families love these, particularly in families with really small kids. Older kids like them too, though. So do some adults. That’s the farthest my admission will go.
I almost don’t want to write about this one. It was a favorite of mine, but this one has been discontinued. There was too high a risk of death by inhalation. Swallowing the magnets could also result in some gnarly intestinal damage. You can understand why they’re not among my favorites any longer. Still, there are some on the secondary market, and they deserve an honorable mention for just how cool they used to be. They’re essentially a whole set of balls that are magnetized that you can form into cubic shapes. It’s almost like using individual atoms to build molecules, and they were plenty of fun. Then again, they’re not legally available for purchase in most jurisdictions.
Jumbo Magnet Zappers
These toys are quite popular with kids. Little boys seem to especially love them. Essentially, they’re a pair of strong magnets. You throw them up into the air, where they start spinning. While they do this, they make a strange noise, somewhere between whizzing and clapping. The sound has given them the occasional nickname of ‘rattlesnake eggs’, but don’t let that turn you off.
There you are, my recommendations for 5 of the top magnetic toys on the current market.