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.
What is it about these magnetic toys that make them so irresistible to children? I remember as a young child being fascinated by the almost “magical powers” of magnets. Chances are that you yourself may have fond memories of playing with magnets as a child if you’re reading this article. So I did some investigation into some of the more popular magnetic toys out there and I’m going to list a few of my favorite ones here.
This has to be my favorite of all the magnetic toys, as they have really captured the imagination of many children all over the world. It’s just one of those toys that children in general never seem to get tired of. Magnatiles are geometric plastic shapes with magnets around the edges, that make them stick together and allows them to be stacked into any kind of structure imaginable. If a part of the structure collapses, it’s easily fixed. And adding to existing structures is also very easy, and the different triangles combined with some squares can build an endless number of shapes and structures.
They are also safe for children over 3 years, and is made of BPA-free plastic. The most popular set is the magna tiles 100 piece set, that provides enough pieces to build larger structures. But not even 100 seem to be enough. The 100 piece set comes mostly in the clear/transparent color, and something interesting that I’ve seen people do, is buy the solid color set and mix it with the clear color one. That seems to be the way to go eventually, as it just really ads to the fun, and opens up more possibilities. My kids and I love them so much.
You probably recognize this toy, as it’s been a hit all over the world. I don’t know of one friend with kids that don’t have one of these in their house. So this is a firm second favorite It’s basically a square plastic drawing pad that works with magnetism to make drawings that can be quickly erased by sliding an eraser bar. The stylus is also magnetic, and draws a dark magnetic powder of some kind through a thick white opaque liquid to the surface of the pad to create dark lines. The eraser is also a magnet, that draws the powder away from the pad surface to make the display white again.
This delightful toy is also a hit with many people, and it is basically fridge magnets on steroids. The toy consists of various magnetic parts that are designed to funnel marbles along an interesting track downwards towards a little bucket that catches the marble. What makes this so interesting, is the 11 different parts included in the toy pack. The marble moves mainly along rails, but can be made to bounce of a Ferris wheel or bouncy “Tornado” ride, and also what they call serpentine chutes that catches the marble and then slowly lowers it into the next rail, and then returns automatically back to its original position.
It’s almost like one of those crazy automatic coffee machine inventions one sometimes sees in cartoons where a whole elaborate interconnected chain of events are kicked off when a small lever is pulled, just in order to trigger the button on the coffee machine to start making coffee (Dexter’s Laboratory anyone?) I really love this one, and so, it seems, everyone that bought one. I see there are now extensions one can buy for this that can add a launcher to the mix as well as pieces to funnel the marbles around the fridge corners. That just sounds like real awesome fun. Only thing to note is that it is only for ages 7 and up, due to the choking hazard posed by the marbles.
SmartMax magnetic set
This, like Magnatiles, is a toy with which to build shapes and small structures. It consists of very simple parts, which should be safe for toddlers. The parts are basically short, thick bars magnetized at then ends that connect to magnetic one or more plastic balls. The magnetism is apparently quite strong, and these toys can, according to its creators, carry up to 60 times their own weight. People also generally seem to love these, especially as toys for very small kids, but I’m sure older kids will enjoy them just as much.
This one also used to be one of my favorites, but they have been discontinued due to serious risk of inhalation death, and nasty intestinal damage caused by swallowing magnets. So now they’re not one of my favorites anymore, but definitely worth mentioning as possibly one of the coolest magnetic toys that used to be out there. They are basically an entire set of magnetized balls that form cubic shapes when put together. Playing with these almost makes one feel like you’re assembling molecules from individual atoms, and it’s a lot of fun, but alas, I don’t think one can legally purchase these anymore.
Jumbo Magnet Zappers
These are also very popular with children, and little boys in particular. They are basically two very strong magnets that are thrown into the air, which then start to spin, while making a strange clapping, whizzing sound. They are sometimes called rattlesnake eggs because of the sound.
So there you have it. My top 5 magnetic toys.