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Written by: Lauren Swickard

I’m drawn to magnet toys like the magnets within them that make them irresistible to kids. Why? Because my four kids got bored with every building toy, science toy, fidget toy before the gift wrap even made it into the recycling bin. But Magna-Tiles? Magna-Tiles stood the test of toy time in an epic way. Even teenagers revel in building a ceiling-high magnetic toy tower. Plus these toys fall into the “education toy for kids” category, so it’s a win win. Magnet toys for kids also aren’t just that: even mom and dad can’t help getting in on the excitement of adding one more tile to a precariously shaky, magnificent magnetic-tile skyscraper.

Experts love these toys for kids. The go-to pregnancy and childrearing site reports: “Magnet play stimulates active curiosity and visual memory, and it’s also a great introduction to science. Plus, this activity builds fine motor skills as your toddler grasps and moves the magnets around.”

My most prolific magnet toy builder is now in college, so we caught the very early side of the magnet toys craze. Although, the trend actually started decades ago; parents may recall the colorful magnetic alphabet pieces we played with as kids—for many of us these magnetizing little toys were our first foray into spelling. Now there are a gazillion magnetic toys for kids, from toddlers to teens. Here are some worth putting on you holiday shopping list.

Best Magnet Toys for Kids:

Magna-Tiles – a major brand in the magnetic toy space, recommended for age 3 and up. We got 15 years of use from our bins of Magna-Tiles and I’m saving them for the grandkids! These magnet toys not only stand the test of time, they stand the test of kids’ short attention spans. Sets range from $19.99 to $129.99 on Amazon. We had multiple sets of the old standard Magna Tiles Rectangles Expansion Set, The Original Magnetic Building Tiles for Creative Open-Ended Play, Educational Toys for Children Ages 3 Years + (8 Pieces)

Picasso Tiles – another popular brand of magnetic building toys for kids, for age 3 and up. Sets range from castle to marble car race themes, some with action figures included. A simple starter set of tiles is $9.99 on Amazon. If you want to go all in, the PicassoTiles 128 Piece Race Car Track Building Block Educational Toy Set Magnetic Tiles Magnet Playset runs $99.99. (In my experience, it will be money well spent!) These magnetic tiles are generally compatible with Magna-Tiles if your children want to mix and match.

Magformers – These magnetic building blocks open a world of fun with educational and entertaining sets of all kinds: Animal Jumble Set, Log Cabin Set, Vehicle Wow Set, Amazing Construction Set, and many more, for ages 3 and up. Check out the rainbow Magformers Basic Set (30 pieces) magnetic building blocks, educational magnetic tiles, magnetic building STEM toy for $42.50 on Amazon. Magformers for toddlers come with larger pieces for tiny hands to grip. Sets range from $14.21 for 14 pieces to $249.99 for a 144-piece set.

Blockaroo Magnetic Foam Builders – the age 18-month+ crowd will love these soft foam blocks that also make great bath toys for kids. Blockaroo will have them happily sorting, stacking, and

counting, in the tub or on dry ground. Check out the Blockaroo Magnetic Foam Building Blocks – STEM Preschool Toys for Children, Toddlers, Boys and Girls, The Ultimate Bath Toy – Critter Set on Amazon. (Most in the $39 range.)

Melissa & Doug – This brand manufactures only durable high-quality toys, and their magnet toys for kids are no exception. From Wooden Animal Magnets and cute Show Horse and Dog sets to the Magnetic Wooden Dress-Up Dolls Play Set and Magnetic Wooden Dinosaurs, these toys will entertain your tots for years—maybe even generations—to come. Check out the Wooden Magnetic Matching Picture Game for ages 36 month through 5 years, $15 on Amazon.

Magnetic Fidget Toys

Fidget toys are another trend that captured the attention of antsy kids everywhere in the past decade. And magnets up the game. These toys can be especially helpful to those struggling with ADHD. Here is a fave: 9-Piece Magnetic Ring Fidget Toys, Fidget Toy Pack, Stress Relief Magnetic Rings, ADHD Anxiety Relief Decompression Finger Magnetic Ring, $11.99 on Amazon.

Even adults are caught up in the craze. Consider this for your desk at work, to help you through tedious Zoom meetings: Speks Geode Magnetic Fidget Sphere – Pentagons 12-Piece Set – Cobalt – Fun Desk Toy for Adults, $29.95 on Amazon.

Safety Concerns with Magnet Toys for Kid

Always follow recommendations on the appropriate age range for toys. You don’t want your baby or toddler getting a hold of pieces small enough for them to swallow. Also the American Academy of Pediatrics advises: beware of high-powered magnet or “rare-earth” magnets; their strong force makes them dangerous and they should not be used in any toys for children.

The Consumer Product Safety Commission maintains a list of magnetic toy companies that have violated safety standards.

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