Kids: A Review of Magnetic Building Tiles
average, American excellent parents, our children are the proud owners of one trillion-ty billion toys. I know this, because I count them through gritted teeth every night while they "help me" put them all away. They're still too young to expect to fully clean by themselves (2 & 4), but that day is coming and it will be glorious.
Anyway… there is one toy that we play with every day that all 4 of us love, and it is a set of magnetic building blocks. We recently took them to a family reunion and no less than 3 people ordered some from Amazon on the spot, so it occurred to me that not everyone is aware of these. Consider this a PSA from one toy-weary parent to another.
Here they are, in all their glory:
I am not exaggerating when I say we play with these things every day. They are not so small that they get lost under couches, but small enough that they are easily stored in a small tub. They are easy to clean, easy for my 2-year old to help pick up, and have I mentioned that they are fun as hell?
I know I’m an engineer and building is my love language, but I challenge you to find an adult who can sit with a box of these in front of them and not try to make a fun 3-D geometric shape. They’re awesome.
The other great feature is that because they are magnetic, even very young kiddos can successfully build things with them. My youngest has been playing with them since he was barely 2, and he has just as much fun as my 4-yo. We have gotten hours - nay, hundreds of hours - of entertainment out of these.
The bad news is that these were a gift from Mimi, so I don’t know the brand or cost of them. The good news is that there are literally HUNDREDS of versions of these on Amazon. There are some ‘brand name’ versions like Magformer and Magnatiles that have great reviews, but are spendy. Ours are an off-brand of some kind (I cannot find them anywhere…) and work marvelously. Frankly, as long as the tiles actually stick together, there’s little to differentiate the pricey ones from the cheaper ones.
My best advice is to pick a set with the most tiles for a reasonable price (or buy a couple sets). The more tiles your kids have, the more creative they can be and the cooler the ‘spaceship castle’ they can build. We have 2 sets of 36- so we have 36 triangles and 36 squares- and we regularly have this conversation:
Child: Mom! We’re missing 3 more squares!
Mother: No, you just used them all. They aren’t missing.
Child: Mom, I’m missing 3.
So if you happen to find the brand I have, please send me the link. Many thanks.
They even have these super fancy curved tiles which I now think we need…
Easy to keep clean
Easy to pick up and store
Easy not to lose
Safe for young kids
Fun for all ages (2 to 65, from experience)
Make GREAT gifts - we’ve given many a tub of magnet tiles to friends and family