Why are parents and kids so “attracted” to magnetic toys this year? There are many reasons! For one, magnets in and of themselves are fascinating. Kids particularly love playing with magnets, learning about their poles, and playing with different strengths and sizes.
Additionally, magnetic toys are almost always educational and great for STEM development. Many of the magnetic toys on the list below envelop mathematical concepts like structure, design, and geometry while also encouraging kids to be creative and experiment. Some products even focus on the alphabet and spelling while one of the toys teaches anatomy! Chances are magnets will appeal to whatever your child is interested in and make it more fun.
A magnetic toy is sure to become your child’s favorite!
How to Choose A Fun Magnetic Toy for Your Child
- Make sure magnets are large enough they can’t be swallowed. Eating magnets is very dangerous, so be sure the toy you choose does not pose a choking or swallowing risk.
- Choose a toy with magnets strong enough to do their job. Magnet toys are no fun if the magnets fall apart and don’t hold together securely.
- Buy something that is age-appropriate. Of course, a toddler will not enjoy a magnetic toy intended for 8-year-olds and vice versa. Make sure to look for a toy that will fit your child’s development now but also into the near future.
- Get a toy which you will want to play with your child. Magnetic toys are a fun way for parents and children to play together, so choose a toy you can enjoy with your child. You might be surprised at how exciting magnetic toys can be even for adults!
Our Top 11 Favorites Magnetic Toys for Kids
|Magna Tiles Clear Tiles|
|PicassoTiles 100 Piece Set|
|Magnetic Stick N Stack|
|Learning Resources Magnet Lab|
|Mickey & Friends Alphabet Magnets|
|4M Magnet Science Kit|
|Toomies Tomy Gearation Magnets|
|M&D Magnetic Pattern Blocks|
|Curious Columbus Magnetic Objects and Letters |
|M&D Human Body Magnet Set |
|Gifts2U Stacking Robots Toy|
|PicassoTiles Marble Run|
|TEPSMIGO Magnetic Fishing Pole|
|PicassoTiles Race Track|
|Speks Magnetic Balls|
1. Magna-Tiles Magnetic Building Tiles
Magna-Tiles are magnetic building toys appropriate for all kids older than about age 2. They’re a great magnetic toy for toddlers because they’re less frustrating to build with than traditional blocks. But they continue to excited older children who can build more advanced structures.
This set of 100 tiles includes three types of triangles (equilateral, right, and isosceles) and two sizes of squares in five colors. Not only do they grab a child’s attention, but they are also a great first introduction to geometry and engineering.
Magna-Tiles are durable. They’re not indestructible — the magnets can fall out if the pieces are thrown too hard — but they are built to last. They’re used in preschools and day cares all over the country and can stand up to years of being played with. Many parents agree they are worth the splurge.
2. PicassoTiles Magnetic Building Tiles
Although Magna-Tiles is often considered the leading brand, it’s surprisingly not the best-selling magnetic building set on Amazon. The best-selling set on Amazon is the 100-piece set of PicassoTiles, which are nearly equivalent to Magna-Tiles. PicassoTiles are slightly heavier and have slightly weaker rivets, but they have equally strong magnets.
The real selling point, though, is that they’re nearly half as expensive as Magnatiles. If you are looking to grow your magnetic toy collection and you don’t want to spend a fortune, consider Picasso Tiles. If you already own Magna-Tiles, no worries: PicassoTiles will work with them. If you’re just starting out, consider starting with this 100-piece set.
This set contains five piece shapes and four colors that will make it easy for your child to create any structure they can dream up. PicassoTiles are a good alternative to LEGOs.
3. Magnetic Stick N Stack Train and Car Set
Like other magnetic building sets, this Magnetic Stick N Stack set comes with lots of different colored tiles. What’s fun about this set is that it comes with locomotive and car-specific building pieces. That means there are car bases, arches, window frames, wheels, door pieces, magnetic people, and more. The magnets in this set are strong and compatible with other magnetic tile building sets.
The one complaint about this set is it may leave you yearning to buy more tiles. With only 50 pieces, this is a good set to add to another one. Since the car pieces are not as open-ended as other building pieces, they may be more suited for older builders, although young kids can certainly play with them as well.
4. Super Magnet Lab Kit
If your child has taken an interest in magnets, this magnet lab kit is one way to fuel her curiosity. It comes with over 100 durable magnets of different sizes and strengths for your child to experiment with. The set also comes in a nifty storage bin and includes a book of guided activities.
This kit is the perfect resource for elementary and home school learning. However, you’ll have to keep it away from kids younger than five due to the choking hazard of small pieces. Unlike other magnetic toys, this one may require some adult supervision and guidance. But out of all the toys on our list, this ones comes with the best potential for learning.
5. Melissa & Doug Mickey and Friends Alphabet Magnets
Fridge toys are a true favorite because they’re perfect for dinner prep. Your little tyke can be in the same room as you and keep himself busy with his own toy. These colorful Melissa & Doug letter magnets are decorated with adorable Mickey Mouse patterns and includes both uppercase and lowercase characters. If your child is learning to spell, you may want to get two sets since a single set doesn’t have enough characters for forming many words. But if he’s just learning the alphabet, one may do the job.
These fridge magnets are highly rated, though some parents don’t love that the stickers peel off when small children put them in their mouths. So be wary of using them around young kids. Otherwise they make for a fun, educational toy for children over the age of three.
6. 4M Magnet Science Kit
This magnetic kit can seriously teach kids the true power of magnets. It includes instructions for constructing a super power horseshoe magnet, a super magnet racer, and a yacht compass. Even adults can be entertained by and learn something from this toy!
The science kit is recommended for children over age 8, but it is really geared mostly to younger children (we recommend it for ages 5-9). Adult supervision is recommended to prevent children from ingesting small parts. It would make a great toy to add to your home school or special adult-supervised activities.
7. TOMY Gearation Refrigerator Magnets
One motor, six gears, and hours of entertainment! Your children can arrange the gears in a variety of patterns to learn which way the gears turn when interlocked with each other and the motor. Each gear in this TOMY set has a strong magnet attached to the back so it can be stuck to the fridge. The magnets are strong enough that they won’t fall off when the fridge door is opened and closed, but not so strong that kids can’t move them around.
It’s an ideal toy for the rambunctious three-year-old who wants to hang out in the kitchen with mom and dad during meal preparation. One drawback to this toy is that, unlike other magnetic toys, the motor requires batteries. Luckily, the motor has a long-lasting battery life.
8. Melissa & Doug Magnetic Pattern Blocks Set
This may remind you of the traditional geometric pattern set that you used in grade school. But this one has magnets attached to each piece so they’re less likely to get lost, making them perfect for traveling. It contains a whopping 120 magnetic shapes, six double-sided cards, a magnetic board, and a carrying case.
Children of all ages can play with this set. Younger children will enjoy mimicking the patterns on the cards and older children may create their own designs. The set is made by Melissa & Doug so the magnets and wood are sturdy. With that said, it’s best played with on a flat surface because the magnets may slide down the board if it’s tilted.
9. Curious Columbus Magnetic Objects and Letters
These magnetic objects and letters are made of sturdy, thick foam and are the perfect size (2-2.5 inches) for little hands. There are 52 letters and 26 objects, which are beautifully illustrated with descriptions. Having both letters and objects is valuable so your child can learn to associate letter sounds, such as “A” for “airplane.” Since there are two objects that start with each letter, it’s a perfect matching opportunity for older children.
The pieces feature full magnetic backs, which is worth noting because the magnets are too large to be ingested by little ones. However, the magnets can still be damaged if they’re chewed on, so keep them away from tiny teethers. This set is a great value for its price and is the perfect magnetic toy for preschoolers. Either let your kids play with the magnets on your fridge or give them a cookie sheet to play on the go.
10. Melissa & Doug Magnetic Human Body Set
If your child is curious about the human body, this magnetic play set is perfect for them. It illustrates several layers of the human body including: bones, nerves, organs, muscles, and skin. Children can learn about each system and the functions they perform. For instance, they can begin to learn where blood comes from and what it means to break a bone. Since the 24 magnets are high-quality material and stackable they will last through lots of playtime. This set is great for kids as young as three.
Warning: the magnets are anatomically correct and therefore include both female and male genitalia. It may spark your child’s curiosity regarding male and female differences, which may provide a learning opportunity to teach them about privacy and inappropriate touch. But if you’re not ready for your child to learn about these things, it may be best to avoid this one.
11. Gifts2U Stacking Robots Toy
If your child is one of the many who are interested in robots, they will get a kick out of this unique magnetic toy set. It comes with 35 pieces which can be built into 5 magnetic robots or one giant robot. Since the robots come apart and go back together, there are endless play possibilities. Kids won’t even realize that their imaginations, creativity, motor skills, and critical thinking skills are being engaged as they play with these fun stacking magnets!
The best part is that they come with a plastic box designed to carry and store all the pieces. Although they are made of non-toxic, durable plastic devoid of sharp edges, it is still not recommended to let children younger than 3 years old play with them unattended.
12. PicassoTiles Magnetic Marble Run
Once you hear about this option, you’ll see why this is a favorite for kids of all ages, both in classrooms and in home toy rooms! Magnets are used to create a marble run with translucent, vibrantly colored pieces. The 120 piece set is comprised of 10 geometric shapes which are non-toxic, BPA free, and lead free – totally child safe! And the company stands behind this product; if you’re not satisfied for any reason you can return it within 30 days for a full refund.
This play set will draw kids away from electronics and stimulate their imaginations with all the open ended possibilities. It requires logical thinking to construct an unobstructed path for the marble, making it an excellent introduction to STEM concepts such as engineering and physics.
13. Magnetic Wooden Fishing Pole Game
Younger children will love this beautifully crafted, creative fishing game which uses magnets to catch all sorts of sea creatures. It comes with 2 magnetic rods and a die so your little one can practice playing with a friend; simply roll the die to see how many fish you get to catch.
As kids play, they’ll learn about counting and colors. And if you’re like me, you’ll appreciate the mesh bag to store all the pieces as well as the 1-year warranty which allows you to buy with confidence.
14. PicassoTiles Magnetic Race Car Track
Finally, make sure you check out this race car magnet track, another brilliant product by PicassoTiles. While it is a bit expensive, it will entertain your young car enthusiasts for hours. Kids employ their hand-eye coordination to construct a race car with magnet pieces which easily connect together. It comes with enough pieces (80) to build a multi-layer track for the LED light up cars to race around (note that batteries are not included).
Since play is the best way to learn, kids will get an early introduction to STEM with this playset. It will inspire them to dream big and instill them with confidence to create anything they can imagine!
15. Speks Magnetic Balls
Now this is a toy that you’ll want to give yourself! I suspect that if you set it on your office desk, you’ll find yourself playing with it throughout the day to release stress. However, since it consists of 512 super strong, miniature, round magnets, it is best suited for teens (and even adults) and should be kept away from small children. Teens will enjoy sculpting the magnetic balls into all sorts of shapes than smashing it up to make something new. It even comes with a metal building base, carrying case, splitter card, and starter guide. This is the perfect magnet set for any older child who needs to release nervous energy.
Recommendations and Final Thoughts:
Who could have guessed there are so many fun toys that use magnets? It’s easier than ever to turn your refrigerator into a place that not only feeds your kids bodies, but feeds their minds. You can bet I’m putting those gears into my child’s stocking this year.
Are magnetic toys safe for kids?
Certain magnets are specifically designed for children with safety in mind. The market is full of age-appropriate magnets for kids which are large enough that they won’t be swallowed. Parents should make sure to keep small children away from small magnetic toys since they can be dangerous if swallowed.
How old should a child be to play with a magnetic toy?
Children under 3 years old should be kept away from magnetic toys small enough to be swallowed. With that said, kids of all ages will enjoy large magnets in the form of tiles, puzzles, or race tracks. Just make sure to read any warning labels on the packaging to make sure it’s safe for your children.
How do magnets work?
Every magnet contains a north and a south pole. When the same poles get close, they repel each other. But when opposite poles get close, they attract each other. This force is strong enough to firmly connect two magnets and is harnessed in many entertaining toys, such as those included on our list.