Are your kids getting too much screen time?
In a University of Iowa study, 50% of one-year-olds were able to use a tablet. In fact, when children turn one year old, they learn how to interact with the tablet using an index finger.
There’s nothing wrong with children being exposed to electronic devices at a such a young age, but there should be a balance. It may be time to give them something a little more challenging.
Here’s the deal:
Magnets are awesome for your kids. Here’s why:
As we researched the best magnetic toys, we found that there are a lot of them out there, which makes it difficut to choose.
The good news is:
We tested the best magnetic toys, magnetic tiles & best magnetic blocks for you. Take a look at our list below.
For parents or caretakers looking for a fun way to teach their kids the alphabet, these fridge magnets are an excellent way to do it. Each of the magnetic letter tiles speaks when pressed: once for the letter’s name and sound, twice for the letter to be used in a word and in a sentence.
Some reviewers have reported issues with the sound not working properly on some of these magnetic tiles. Others have found scratch marks on their refrigerator after using these.
There are some potential issues with audio quality, so make sure to check each of the tiles right away.
Fridge magnets generally don’t have issues with magnets falling off, nor do they pose a choking hazard, but it’s still important to be mindful of your children when they play with these.
These magnetic tiles are great for younger children learning the alphabet. And because they require interaction in order to get the audio component to work, they also teach children fine motor skills.
You get 26 letter tiles with this set, so this is a great value product (so long as they don't scratch up your fridge or come with audio defects).
If your kids aren’t into building, but instead enjoy a bit of the outdoors, they will simply love this fishing toy. With a well-thought-out design, this magnetic toy teaches kids how to fish, how to line up magnets with targets, and how to fit their fish pieces back into the puzzle board.
The biggest issue reviewers have with this puzzle toy is the fact that there are no pictures underneath the fish pieces. They claim that without the guidance of corresponding images, the puzzle pieces are hard to fit back into place after they’ve been fished out.
Some previous customers report that these puzzle boards are cheaply made, while others herald it for its solid construction.
The typical safety issue with magnetic toys is when the magnets fall out and end up in the mouths of children. However, with this particular toy, the main issue is with the string accidentally getting wrapped around a child’s neck or whipped in the direction of another child, so be extra vigilant when your kids play with these.
This fishing game is meant for children three years of age and up.
This is the cheapest magnetic toy on our list, but it’s not for lack of quality.
Named #10 on Top10BestPro’s list of best magnetic toys in 2016, the Playmags magnetic tiles set is a great alternative to Magna-Tiles. They also happen to so closely match Magna-Tiles style that they can be used in conjunction with them for a cheaper set upgrade.
These cheaper magnetic tile sets tend to suffer from the same sort of defects: no metal rivets to hold magnets in place, magnets repelling one another, and weak magnets which lead to difficulty in maintaining a solid structure.
Customers who love Playmags laud these magnetic tiles for their durability and strong magnetism.
Because magnets are not secured in place by metal rivets like in the Magna-Tiles sets, magnets have been known to fall out of the Playmags pieces. So always make sure you supervise your children when they play with these (or make sure they’re old enough to know not to put magnets in their mouths).
Magnetic tile sets are meant to be used by children older than three years of age, though they also seem to keep adults well entertained.
While this may seem like a lot of money to pay for a child’s toy, these are actually the best value magnetic tile set we could find. At approximately $.69 per tile (and probably a little less since this set comes with a car and carrying bag), you can’t get a better deal on a Magna-Tiles lookalike.
Endless hours of fun, perfect for competitive kids, suitable for all kids, durable, long-lasting neodymium magnets, set of 6 darts included, easy to hang thanks to the hook on the back, great to get your kids into darts!
Not the most accurate, darts may slide.
The dart board itself is crafted of solid materials, though some users have complained that it feels a little flimsy. The hook makes it easy to hang anywhere, so you can set it up quickly and get playing right out of the box. The darts themselves won’t bend or break with regular play, though the neodymium magnets may not have the sticking power you’d like. Some reviews state that the darts hit the board but take a second to catch on, so they slide down a little. But it’s a pretty common problem for magnetic dart boards, and overall this is a high-quality product that guarantees many hours of fun for the whole family.
The fact that these darts are magnetic rather than spike-tipped means they’re very safe! Practice proper darts etiquette (no throwing when anyone is down-range), and you’ve got nothing to worry about.
This magnetic dart board is suitable for kids 6+, though it’s one that will get even the most competitive of teenagers and adults playing, too.
At $30 for the dart board, you’ve got the perfect gift to give your older kids. It’s a game they’ll love playing for years to come.
Teaches young kids about the effects of magnets, fun science experiments and games, and includes a kit to create interactive magnetic objects. Great for challenging your child’s imagination and a way to combine learning and play.
Parts are smaller than expected and magnets lack staying power.
The quality of the kit is excellent, with durable components that will last. However, be warned: the individual toys are a bit smaller than you might expect given the size of the box, and the magnets are lacking power.
The good news is that this kit provides 10 fun and creative games to teach your kids about the effects of magnets. They can build their own magnetic toys from this kit, including a Magnet Racer, a Mysterious Dangler, a Yacht Compass, and more. They will be able to put the toys together themselves, and in doing so, learn how magnets affect not just their play-things, but the world around them.
There are a lot of very small components that can easily get lost, dropped, or swallowed. Make sure to work where there are no young children present, and use a wide, clear surface that makes it easy to keep track of all the smaller parts.
Because of the many smaller components, this kit is recommended for kids 8+.
Starting as low as $11, this toy is an amazing Christmas gift to give your older kid, or simply a fun way to break up the monotony of regular book-learning if you want to teach them about the use of magnets.
When it comes to teaching your kids to count and to do simple mathematics, these non-scratch refrigerator magnets do a great job. With 110 magnets, nice colors, strong magnetism, and convenient storage, you get a lot of bang for your buck with this set.
Amazon does not currently have any 1- or 2-star reviews on these magnetic toys. That being said, you’ll want to make sure to keep smaller magnets (like the multiplication dots) away from children with a tendency to put things in their mouth.
Unlike the letter magnetic toys on this list, there are no reported issues with these magnets scratching up refrigerators. And in terms of overall construction, these are durable and well made.
There is always a chance that magnets may fall out of toys like these unless they’re secured by metal rivets, so keep an eye on your kids when playing with these.
While there are no specific restrictions on age, be careful about using these toys around very small children. If they’re ready to start counting though, then these should be perfectly fine for them to play and learn with!
With 110 number magnets in this set and a convenient storage container, this toy set is an absolute steal.
An excellent toy for teaching art, provides sensory feedback as your kids create, easy to use the stylus for drawing, great for free play and guided art, great for learning numbers and letters, durable, and colorful.
Some products arrive defective, with balls that either stick too much or don’t stay in place.
The quality of the toy is excellent, with durable materials that are built to last for years of use. The bright colors make it visually appealing to small children, and the accompanying stylus is large enough for even small and uncoordinated hands to use. Children will be able to draw using the stylus, and it produces a satisfying click when the balls snap into place. This sensory feedback is a critical part of the art process, one that will help your kids to learn quickly and easily.
Some users have complained that the product arrives defective, with balls that either won’t stick in the magnetized slot or will stick too much, making it difficult to draw. However, overall, it’s a high-quality product that will give your child many happy hours of use.
This toy is perfectly safe for small children to use, as all the magnets are securely locked inside the Magnatab and will never fall out. The Magnatab is also BPA-free, PVC-free, lead and phthalate-free, and exceeds all Europe and US safety standards.
The Magnatab is not recommended for those under the age of 3, due to the fact that it contains small parts (balls) that can be a choking hazard. Though the balls are securely locked within the toy, there is a risk that they can become a hazard if the toy breaks and the balls spill out.
At $20, this is a simple toy that will do wonders to get your small child interested in art. You can also use it to teach them to write their letters and numbers, making it an educator’s best friend.
These are perfect for the adult who has fidgety fingers or feels a lot of anxiety at work. These magnetic balls keep your hands distracted and work to calm your mind - ultimately creating a less stressed you!
These are tiny! Make sure to read the size and look at pictures before purchasing to know which size will work best for you!
These miniature magnet balls are designed for fun and zen. They are durable and perfectly crafted into small balls that you can shape however you'd like! Use these as a form of reducing stress, anxiety, or just something to do with your hands while you think.
The kit comes with a guide to get you started (in case you need some ideas on what to build). The possibilities are endless with these magnets, and the set is easily portable - so you can bring out to any social outing that may bring you anxiety or stress! Perfect for fidgety fingers or as a simple desk piece.
Keep these out of reach from children. Magnet balls can be fatal if swallowed. They are safe to use, but keep in mind these are meant for adults.
These are meant for ages 14+ and should be kept away from small children. This magnet set is geared toward adults who have anxiety or stress.
You get 512 mini magnets balls for under $25. It's a great value that should last you for years to come. The set is small, making it easily portable, and the magnets all stick together (hence - magnets), making them hard to lose!
An amazing LEGO toy to craft chain reactions, parts for 10 moving machines, great for older kids, 80-page instruction booklet included, non-LEGO components (string, balls, etc.) included, easy to build, and compatible with all LEGO kits.
Some of the components are single-use only.
The quality of this toy is excellent, made to LEGO standards, but with a lot of unique pieces that can’t be found anywhere else. The entire kit is compatible with regular LEGO blocks, meaning you’ll be able to expand the size and scope of your chain reaction machine simply by adding on pieces and finding creative ways to extend the 10 different machines you can build. The instruction booklet is beautifully easy to follow and provides detailed instructions on how to put together the amazing machines.
Most of the LEGO parts used for the machine will need to be supplied from your own stock, so make sure you’ve got a lot of LEGOs handy. And be warned: some of the parts (such as the folding paper items) are intended for single-use only.
With LEGO, you can expect a lot of small pieces that are easily swallowed, lost, or misplaced. That’s why this kit is recommended for older kids.
This set is recommended for kids 8+, but you’ll find that even adults will have a lot of fun building these chain reaction machines. The older you are, the more creative you can get!
At under $20 for the kit, you’ll find this is decent value for the price. You’ll need to have previously purchased regular LEGO blocks to make it work, but it’s an awesome investment to get your kid thinking creatively.
In conducting our research, we kept running into the same list of magnetic tiles over and over again: Magformers, PicassoTiles, and Magnetic Stick N Stack. But Magna-Tiles won over the competition time and time again with their high-quality, easy-to-use, and reliable toys.
The most common complaint about these is the price (which is about $40 more than other magnetic tile sets of this size).
Top10BestPro named this their #1 magnetic toy of 2016. I Can Teach My Child named this one of their picks for best toddler toys for encouraging fine motor development. And Amazon and Fat Brain Toys (among other top toy e-retailers) showcase consistently high ratings for these toys. Based on the reviews we’ve seen, we have to agree that these are the best-made magnetic toys available right now.
One of the main reasons why these magnetic tiles are so well loved is because of the metal rivets that hold the magnets in place (which most of the competitors don’t have).
When it comes to any magnetic tile toy, the recommended age of play is three and up. If you do get these for any younger children, make sure to closely supervise.
The most expensive toy on our list, these magnetic tiles are definitely worth the price tag. While every reviewer does seem to have their favorite brand, there is none so well-trusted and loved as Magna-Tiles.