Best Magnetic Toys in 2017 to Intrigue Your Kids about Science

The concept behind magnetic toys may be very simple, but to a child, they can be magical. As the pieces join together without any visible adhesives or connecting joints, it will surely pique your little one’s curiosity and have them even more interested in how their toys work. A set or two will surely be a great addition to any child’s toy collection, especially since there are lots of different types of magnetic toys available right now.

Best Magnetic Toys that Your Kids Wouldn't Want to Miss

If you want to get to know more about the best magnetic toys for kids, check out the twenty of our top picks below.

​1. Magformers Standard Set

Ideal for: Ages 3 and Above

Want your child to build his own 3D creations while still learning about different geometric shapes and colors? The Magformers Standard Set is an excellent product for this. With 62 tiles in 3 different shapes, your little one’s imagination can easily soar with this magnetic play set.

What's Great About It: The Magformers Standard Set allows open-ended construction play so there’s a lot of freedom for your child to explore their creativity. We also love that their magnets are strong so snapping tiles together is a lot easier to do.

2. Magnetic Stick N Stack Shape Mags Junior Set

Ideal for: Ages 3 and Above

Another award-winning magnetic tiles play set is the Shape Mags Junior Set of Magnetic Stick N Stack. They’re a lot like the Playmags’ Clear Colors but these come with 8 different designs in a smaller set. It’s a great product to opt for if you don’t want to spend much on a large pack without the assurance that your child will like magnetic building toys.

What's Great About It: Aside from their more affordable price, this Magnetic Stick N Stack product is also compatible with other brands’ magnetic tiles. This also makes them excellent expansion packs if your child already has another magnetic building toy set.

3. LeapFrog Fridge Phonics Magnetic Letter Set​

Ideal for: Ages 2 to 4

While teaching your child the alphabet is a great bonding moment for parents and their kids, repetition is still an excellent way for them to memorize their ABC’s. This is why LeapFrog’s Fridge Phonics Magnetic Letter Set is a great interactive toy that will not only entertain, but educate as well.

What's Great About It: I love that this toy requires your child to change the tiles to learn about the different letters of the alphabet. This makes operating this toy more interactive and can really grab your child’s attention, making the process more educational for them. Removing and replacing the tiles in the console are also great for refining their motor skills.

4. Playmags Clear Colors Magnetic Tiles Deluxe Building Set

Ideal for: Ages 3 and Above

Starting this list is the award-winning Playmags Clear Colors Magnetic Tiles set. It features magnetic tiles in 7 different shapes and colors, providing an attractive playset for kids to express their creativity.

What's Great About It: With 100 pieces to work with, this set will provide hours of fun and exploration of your little one’s imagination. As magnetic building toys are very easy to manipulate and handle, younger kids that still need to improve their fine motor skills can get the practice they need with these tiles.

​5. Melissa & Doug Animal Magnets in a Box

Ideal for: Ages 2 and Above

Want some cute animal fridge magnets that you can also use to teach your child about different living creatures? Then this Melissa & Doug set is for you.

What's Great About It: With a nostalgic design brought by its wooden material and classic illustration style, this set can really add some quirkiness to your kitchen. It also doesn’t hurt that they can be great play figures for your little one as well, making this toy even more versatile and useful.

​6. TOMY Gearation Refrigerator Magnets

Ideal for: Ages 3 to 7

Perfect for kids who are curious about how things work, the TOMY Gearation Refrigerator Magnets are actual working gears with magnets that your little one can configure in many different ways to explore their movement and get a good idea of their cause and effect relationships.

What's Great About It: These gears actually turn so if placed next to each other properly, it can demonstrate how gears work. They may not allow as much creativity as other toys will, but this TOMY set can still be an excellent and entertaining plaything for young kids.

7. Melissa & Doug Deluxe Magnetic Fishing Game

Ideal for: Ages 3 to 5

Not a big fan of plastic fishing game toys? Melissa & Doug’s version will surely wow the vintage minimalist in you! This set actually features an under the sea-themed wooden board with magnetized cutout pieces that feature different aquatic animals. It comes with a magnetic fishing rod for your child to easily fish out the cutout pieces, offering hours of fun and excitement.

What's Great About It: We love this product’s design because it offers durability and versatility. Unlike its plastic counterparts, this toy will let you easy storage and even a classic toy to pass down to the next generations. They can also easily double as a puzzle or pretend play pieces, letting you get more out of your purchase.

​8. Newisland Mini Magnetic Building Blocks

Ideal for: Ages 3 and Above

This product comes with a more solid design and a wider variety of pieces. It actually offers more than just the different-shaped geometric tiles as it also comes with wheeled pieces as well.

What's Great About It: The smaller size of the Mini Magnetic Building Blocks of Newisland makes them more ideal for enhancing your child’s fine motor skills. With 42 pieces, this product will give your child the freedom to get really creative in translating what they imagined into an actual toy they can play with.

​9. Valtech Company Magna-Tiles Clear Colors

Ideal for: Ages 3 and Above

Constructing towers, vehicles, houses, and other structures are easily done with magnetic tiles like Valtech Company’s Magna-Tiles. With five different shapes, your child’s imagination can take a life of its own with these marvelous building toys.

What's Great About It: The Magna-Tiles’ solid design and durable materials are definitely noteworthy as some competing magnetic building toys tend to have quality issues when it comes to the plastic they use for their tiles. We also love how tactile each piece is, providing a heightened sensory experience for young children.

​10. Marky Sparky Doinkit Darts Magnetic Dart Board

Ideal for: Ages 6 to 15

Playing darts is something a lot of kids want to try as it’s mostly a game for adults. What with its use of pointed and heavy darts, little kids are definitely not allowed to join the game. Kiddie darts just don’t cut it as most products make use of suction cups, which sometimes doesn’t really get to the board. This magnetic set from Marky Sparky, however, is a nice alternative as it makes use of strong neodymium magnets for accurate performance.

What's Great About It: Ideal for honing your child’s focus, concentration, hand-eye coordination, and even targeting skills, this magnetic dart set is sure to bring loads of fun and excitement in your home.

​11. Melissa & Doug Joey Magnetic Dress-Up Set

Ideal for: Ages 3 to 6

If you’ve ever played dress up with paper dolls, you’ll surely appreciate how these magnetic dress-up set from Melissa & Doug will make your little one’s games a lot easier. It has the same concept as our good ol’ paper dolls, but instead of cardboard, the Joey doll and his clothes are made of wood with magnets.

What's Great About It: Durability is definitely one of the best things about this toy. They can be played with for years without any worries and if your child outgrows they toy, you can always put it on display at home or pass it down to younger kids in the family.

12. VTech Write and Learn Creative Center

Ideal for: Ages 3 to 6

Teaching your kid to read and write? This interactive toy can help you out without having to waste paper. VTech’s Write and Learn Creative Center makes use of a digital screen that displays the letters and objects that your child can copy on the magnetic board with the help of the accompanying stylus.

What's Great About It: As its name suggests, this product is a complete learning console as it has everything your child requires to practice their penmanship and skills with a pen. I like it because it’s waste-free and your child can use it anytime and anywhere.

​13. Goobi Master Magnetic Construction Set

Ideal for: Ages 4 and Above

Another unique building toy is this Goobi product. Instead of using blocks or tiles, it features bars with magnets on both ends. Your child is supposed to use it with metal marbles and plastic tripods to build different figures and creations.

What's Great About It: The sky is the limit when it comes to the things that your child can create with this set. I actually quite like this product as it can really stimulate your child’s minds when it comes to engineering their creations. Playtimes with this toy will be a great test for their creativity, problem-solving skills, as well as hand-eye coordination.

​14. Kid O Free Play Magnatab

Ideal for: Ages 3 and Above

The Free Play Magnatab may seem like a retro toy your grandparents might have once enjoyed, but in reality, it’s just a very unique magnetic writing pad that will really entertain a child who’s just learning how to pen their ABCs. It makes use of magnetic beads on a board that gets lifted by the stylus as it passes on top of each bead, creating a character with great ease. Once your child is done and ready to create another character, all they have to do is press the beads down and it’s good to go.

What's Great About It: Like the VTech interactive magnetic board, this toy is great for practicing your little one’s writing without wasting a lot of resources. It’s also fun how your child will enjoy learning about magnets through this toy.

​15. 4M Magnet Science Kit

Ideal for: Ages 8 to 15

Magnetism works beyond what the eyes can see so little kids may have some difficulties in fully grasping the concept. To help them visualize it fully, 4M’s Magnet Science Kit can be of help. It comes with instructions in building a horseshoe magnet, yacht compass, or a mysterious dangler.

What's Great About It: At first glance, you’ll think that it’s just a kit for demonstrating how a magnet works. However, it comes with additional parts that you can use to play magnetic fishing games or even create a magnetic sculpture, making this set pretty versatile. It will surely stimulate your little one’s minds and allow them to explore how magnets work and what their practical applications are.

​16. Popular Playthings Magnetic Match Rings

Ideal for: Ages 3 and Above

To help better demonstrate how magnets work, it’s also important to make your child understand that like poles will repel each other. The Magnetic Match Rings can be a great toy for a well-rounded discussion of magnetism as it plays out how magnets work in different ways.

What's Great About It: The Magnetic Match Rings is also a puzzle toy as it comes with challenge cards that your child should try to replicate. Each card will require a good amount of your little one’s problem-solving and cognitive skills to complete, making this toy a great educational product.

​17. Crazy Aaron’s Putty World Super Magnetic Strange Attractor

Ideal for: Ages 8 to 15

Here’s another classic toy that continues to boggle the minds of little ones: magnetic thinking putty. Crazy Aaron’s Thinking Putty comes in 22 colors and will really get your little one excited over how obedient it is with a pretty strong magnet.

What's Great About It: If you ask me, everything about a putty is the best because it’s just really so entertaining and educational. However, the magic really depends on the strength of your magnet. Getting one that’s too big will overpower the putty, but one that’s too weak will barely make it move. The trick is to find the right magnet. This set comes with a .5” cubed ferrite magnet which already guarantees hours of fun with this putty.

​18. Toysmith Euler’s Disk

Ideal for: Ages 8 to 15

This toy may have a very retro packaging, but the fun that it offers is quite timeless. Its tagline is just the best description for what it can do: spin science into art. With the aid of a magnetic base and a glittered coin, your little one will get mesmerized by the beauty it can create and piqued by how it works.

What's Great About It: The Euler’s Disk is an excellent toy to introduce your child to physics. It can be a great tool for sensory play as well since it produces a whirring sound as the coin’s spinning comes to a halt.

​19. Magformers Inspire Set

Ideal for: Ages 3 and Above

If you’re not yet ready to spring for a massive Magformers set, the Inspire Set is an excellent beginner’s product with its smaller number of tiles. It also comes in different shapes and colors to keep your child interested and entertained.

What's Great About It: Aside from its friendlier price than its larger-sized counterpart in this list, the Inspire Set is also compatible with other Magformers tiles so you can also just top to expand your kid’s collection should they prove to be into magnetic construction play.

​20. Tolo Toys Funtime Fishing

Ideal for: Ages 18 months to 3 years

For a true-to-size fishing game that will really give your little one a taste of fishing, Tolo Toys’ Funtime Fishing is an excellent toy to get. This playset comes with three bubbling, floating fishes and a kiddie fishing rod that’s equipped with a functioning reeling wheel and a magnetic worm as bait.

What's Great About It: I absolutely adore the idea behind this toy as it really gives your child a somewhat realistic fishing experience. The fishing rod really takes the cake as it not only trains your child’s precision in catching the fishes but its operational reeling wheel design can also help refine a young child’s motor skills and hand-eye coordination as well. It’s also great for bath time making this toy a must have for kids who love to play pretend with parents who enjoy fishing.

How We Picked these Magnetic Toys

There are lots of magnetic toys that you can get for your child so it’s easy to get overwhelmed with which one to choose. Narrowing the options has been our primary goal with this list and we still came up with 20 of the best magnetic toys for kids. So how do we chose them? We looked for quality, complexity, and nature of play.

First of all, we made sure that each toy is made of high-quality materials and craftsmanship. This is a must as we only want the best for you and your child. Then we looked at how challenging the toys are. They should stimulate your little one’s mind without being too complicated and we found these twenty items to have such qualities.

We also made sure to offer toys that will let your child enjoy different kinds of play. Some are for construction play while others are puzzles and even fishing toys. This helps our list to be diverse and cater to the different preferences and needs of parents and children.

Hopefully, our list is able to give you a good array of products to choose from.

Learning with Magnets - Taking Construction Play to Another Level

While magnetic toys are most often used in construction play, there are also loads other toys that incorporate magnets into their gameplay. Fishing toys are some of the best-known ones but you can also find a number of puzzle and shape-sorters to take advantage of its functionality.

In any of these games, you can easily tell that kids’ motor skill can be refined by magnetic toys. These toys won’t just let your child manhandle their pieces thoughtlessly as each piece requires to be facing the right way to snap together. The toys that require some targeting like the fishing and maze ones will also require more dexterity from your little one. They can’t just haphazardly smash things together for these toys, so they’re really great for gross and fine motor skills.

Spatial intelligence is also boosted by these toys. A lot of magnetic toys don’t really have obvious connecting joints so your child can be more creative in joining pieces and even finding ways to make them fit together. This can also help refine their problem-solving skills at the same time.

Your little one’s imagination can also benefit largely if you let them play with magnetic toys. With so many things that they can make out of building toys, they can easily incorporate them with pretend play or make their own unique creations out of the pieces. You’ll be surprised at how versatile these pieces can be at the hands of your little one, making them even more necessary for kids to have.

Letting kids play with magnets can also teach them the basics of the concept behind magnets and how they work. Even if parents are not exactly great in explaining science concepts, a simple explanation can already help your child get the idea behind their toys. This knowledge can then be expanded further as they grow older as they’ll be more interested in the topic after knowing just how fun it is to work with such materials.

This also sets magnetic toys apart from other construction toys as they use a whole different mechanism to let your child create things. They’re easier to handle for smaller kids since they don’t require a bit of a push or tug to put together and take apart. If you also choose a set with some powerful magnets, they can enjoy learning about gravity at the same time.

All of these largely benefit their cognitive development. These toys may not seem like they’re highly sophisticated at first glance, but what’s inside them can really be some of the best materials for your child’s learning. If you make use of what magnets can offer and use it as teaching cues, you can be sure that your little one can get the most out of these toys.

Conclusion

With so many benefits to offer, the best magnetic toys for kids should be at the top of your gift ideas list for the children in your life. They’re not just fun pieces to play with but are also highly educational and make their play times more beneficial for their development. Give them a shot and discover just how much fun your little one will have with magnetic toys.

Sandra Cobain
 

Mum of two. Child psychologist. Ardent admirer of art, crafts and cooking. She is the head of content for BestForTheKids. When she's not busy crafting posts & researching about compelling content ideas, she can be spotted playing outdoors with her two adorable children.

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