Best Open Ended Magnetic Building Tiles for Kids

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Find the best magnetic tiles for your family with this comprehensive guide.

Learn about the benefits that magnetic tiles are going to bring to your child’s play.

These tiles are not cheap however by carefully examining the distinguishing features, you are about to make an investment that is going to make a return every time your child reaches for this incredible learning resource.

Meet the brands and discover how magnetic building tiles can enhance your child’s learning through play.

Best magnetic tiles for kids pin

Best Open Ended Magnetic Building Tiles for Kids

Introduction to Magnetic Building Tiles

Magnetic building tiles capture the wonder of children and adults alike with their simple yet profound concept. 

These toys consist of plastic shapes embedded with magnets along their edges, allowing them to snap together and form various structures. 

Designed to ignite a child’s imagination, these tiles do more than just entertain. 

They play a pivotal role in early childhood development, particularly in areas of creativity, problem-solving, and STEM skills (Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics) learning. 

As children manipulate the tiles to build and create using the magnetic properties, they tap into critical thinking and spatial reasoning skills. 

The act of piecing together different shapes to achieve a desired outcome fosters an innovative mindset, laying the groundwork for STEM education. 

The open-ended nature of these toys encourages children to explore and experiment, driving home the importance of perseverance and problem-solving. 

Packs come in different sizes, whether you are looking for a small starter set or if you think it is a good idea to jump right into the Mega pack large set.

In a playful setting, young learners discover the joy of experimenting with engineering concepts, all the while developing their fine motor skills and hand-eye coordination. 

Consequently, magnetic building tiles are more than just toys.

They are a great way to engage your child in meaningful play and make the best gifts.

They are vital educational tools that prepare children for a future in a rapidly evolving world. 

​That is, all while playing and having fun.

The Benefits of Open-Ended Play

Open-ended play ushers in an array of benefits for children’s development. 

It bolsters critical thinking by prompting kids to approach problems with innovative solutions. 

Such play stretches the boundaries of imagination, allowing young minds to explore and create without limits. 

Social skills also get a substantial boost. 

Kids learn to communicate, share, and work together, laying the groundwork for healthy interpersonal relationships. 

In essence, embracing open-ended play is a direct investment in a child’s holistic growth. 

Understanding Magnetic Tile Brands

I find that exploring the different brands of magnetic tiles can significantly enrich your selection process. 

Among the leading names, Magna-Tiles, Picasso Tiles, Connetix Tiles and Learn & Grow Magnetic Tiles stand out for their exceptional quality and wide range of offerings. 

Each brand brings something unique to the table, making it easier to find the perfect set for your needs. 

Connetix Tiles

Connetix Tiles boasts a unique selling point with its clear, rainbow and pastel tiles that are aesthetically appealing and perfect for light exploration. 

Their magnetic tiles support a variety of educational activities, from basic shape recognition to complex constructions. 

Shapes available include:

  • Square tiles
  • Equilateral triangles
  • Rectangles
  • Isosceles triangles
  • Extra large base plates
  • Pentagons
  • Right angle triangles
  • Diamonds
  • Quarter circles 
  • Trapezoids
  • Hexagons

Extension pieces available:

Connetix Tiles are an Australian owned brand, boasting award winning quality tiles designed to inspire builds that evolve with your child as they grow. 

They manufacture tiles using non-toxic ABS plastic, which is free of BPA, lead, and phthalates. The strength of their tiles is enhanced by our distinctive beveled design, producing beautiful light refractions around your child’s creation.

Connetix tiles suit kids of all age groups, accommodating the needs of toddlers through to school-aged children. 

Connetix clear starter pack
Connetix Clear Starter Pack

Learn & Grow Tiles

 Learn & Grow magnetic tiles are purposefully designed to foster imagination and promote open-ended play.

They have enhanced the car base by incorporating a double row of magnets for a more stable platform to support little ones’ creations. 

The tiles now feature stronger ABS plastic and an internal logo, creating a flat and more scratch-resistant surface.

Learn & Grow magnetic tiles offer children open-ended experiences, where their imagination sets the only limitation. 

Younger kids enjoy making 2D shapes, while older children develop their skills and create some truly incredible designs.

Each tile incorporates robust magnets, enabling the construction of tall buildings and structures that won’t constantly topple, preventing frustration for little builders.

You can expand play opportunities by adding sets, and they are compatible with all major brands.

​Shapes available include:

  • Small square tile
  • Right angle triangles
  • Isosceles triangles
  • Equilateral triangles
  • Large squares
  • Half squares
  • Windows
  • Hollow squares
  • Curved triangles
  • Trapeziums
  • Hood shapes
  • ‘L’ shapes

Extension pieces available include:

Magna Tiles

Magna-Tiles is well-known for its durability and the strong magnets it uses, ensuring that creations stay together securely. 

This brand offers a fantastic array of sets, catering to different interests and complexities. 

Their sets are perfect for young children just starting to explore magnetic tiles, as well as older kids looking for more challenging construction projects. 

Magna-tiles brand shapes available include:

  • Square tiles
  • Large Square tiles
  • Equilateral triangles
  • Isosceles triangles
  • Rectangles
  • Staircases
  • Spinner
  • Windows 
  • Arch pieces
  • Doors

Extension pieces available include:

  • Road tiles
  • Dashers
  • Forest animals
  • Farm animals
  • Dinosaur pieces
  • Down hill duo pieces
  • Magnetic cranes
  • Vehicle bases
Magna Tile Metropolis
Magna Tile Metropolishttps://www.magnatiles.com/wp-content/uploads/2019/08/Metropolis.png

Picasso Tiles

Picasso Tiles comes with a reputation for vibrant, engaging colors that captivate children’s attention. 

These tiles come in various colourful shapes, promoting creativity and imaginative play

They are the type of toy that is a great option for children of all ages, providing endless opportunities for fun and learning. 

Shapes available include:

  • Small squares
  • Right Triangles
  • Isosceles Triangle 
  • Pentagon 
  • Small Square
  • Rectangle foundation tiles

Extension pieces and special sets available:

  • Car / truck bases
  • Cars
  • Dinosaur cars
  • Magnetic bricks
  • Marbles

These brands offer high-quality, durable options that cater to a broad spectrum of ages and developmental stages. 

By understanding the strengths and offerings of different magnetic tiles you can make an informed decision that aligns with your child’s interests and learning objectives. 

Our Magnetic Tile Experience

Personally, our first set of magnetic tile toy was a generic brand. 

I had never seen magnetic tiles before until my daughter started kindy. 

Her teacher had magnet tiles set up as a before school activity for the children as they arrived. 

All the children just loved them. It was amazing to see the children collaborate and create such amazing builds.

I mentioned to the teacher that they looked like such a great toy and she kindly recommended some available from Kmart. 

​Well I can confidently say that they made their way to join our families Christmas presents that year and they quickly became a shelf staple in our play space. 

That being said, with three children playing at that stage we quickly worked out that we needed to grow our collection which got me exploring other brands. 

I invested in both Connetix Tiles and Learn & Grow Ball Run extension packs.

Best decision ever! 

Both these brands were solid choices and get so much use. 

The magnets within the plastic tiles were larger and stronger than the small magnets in the Kmart brand, making builds much stronger.

The children were able to build in different ways, taller builds and could be more creative with their structures.

Connetix and Learn & Grow are both entirely compatible so I have no regrets blending the brands. 

I love the bright colours of the ball run tubes in comparison to the clear Connetix.

Years of magentic tile play later

I write this having had magnetic tiles in our play space for a long time. 

It has been 6 years since we added them to our play and they still get used all the time. They have been the best toys!

Magnetic tiles have been so versatile and loved by kids of all ages. 

It has been so rewarding watching. the children’s play evolve with the tiles. 

Even now it is not uncommon for Mr 3, Miss 7 and Miss 10 to be playing together with these incredibly educational toys. 

They have been such a valued investment for my children. My only regret is not learning about them sooner!

Magnetic tile build

Choosing the Best Magnetic Tile Set

Selecting the right magnetic tile set can feel overwhelming with the array of choices available. 

First, consider the magnet strength. 

Magnetic toys are a great option as an introduction to stem toys and for good reason.

Positioning the tile and feeling the magnetic pull is a satisfying reward and offers so much fun for children and adults alike.

Stronger magnets offer more dynamic building possibilities and ensure structures stay intact during play. 

This feature is critical for keeping young builders engaged and satisfied with their creations. 

Weaker magnets can result in collapses and disruption to your child’s creative outlet.

Another aspect to focus on is the variety of shapes included in a set. 

A blend of squares, triangles, and more specialized pieces like large squares or isosceles triangles can significantly enhance a child’s ability to be creative. 

A diverse set allows for the construction of more complex and interesting structures, promoting problem-solving and critical thinking. 

Finally, take the age of the child into account. 

For younger children, opting for sets with larger pieces and stronger magnets can be beneficial. 

These features make the tiles easier to handle and connect, which is better for developing fine motor skills. 

Meanwhile, older children might appreciate sets that offer more complex shapes and expansion packs, catering to their advanced skills and interests. 

Choosing a magnetic tile set that matches these criteria will not only provide hours of fun but also support your child’s educational development in a meaningful way. 

Educational Value of Magnetic Building Tiles

Magnetic building tiles offer a unique blend of fun and learning. 

They engage children in a playful manner while enhancing their educational development. 

One of the key benefits is the improvement of fine motor skills. 

As kids manipulate these tiles, they refine their hand-eye coordination and dexterity. 

This prepares them for more complex tasks like writing and cutting. 

These toys excel in teaching shape recognition. 

Children learn to identify and differentiate between various shapes and colors. 

This early exposure to geometry lays the groundwork for more advanced mathematical concepts. 

It’s a playful introduction to the visual-spatial aspect of STEM education. 

Additionally, magnetic tiles embody the essence of STEM learning. 

They propel children into a world of science, technology, engineering, and mathematics without them even realizing they’re learning. 

By building structures, they explore basic engineering principles. 

Experimenting with how the tiles stick together introduces them to the science of magnets. 

Most importantly, it cultivates a sense of creativity and problem-solving. 

Children hypothesize, experiment, and iterate—core skills in any STEM field. 

In essence, these toys are not just play things; they are tools that encourage a lifelong love for learning. 

Safety Considerations and Quality Standards

Safety and high quality stand as fundamental pillars in the selection of magnetic building tiles for kids. 

These toys must pass rigorous standards to ensure they are safe for young learners. 

Utilizing phthalate-free plastic is non-negotiable. 

This material guarantees that the tiles are non-toxic, making them safe for children to handle and play with extensively. 

The inclusion of strong magnets is another essential feature. 

These ensure that the tiles hold together well during play, fostering a frustration-free building experience for kids. 

Moreover, strong magnets contribute to the durability and longevity of the set, offering countless hours of creative construction. 

Adhering to toy testing regulations further underscores the commitment to safety. 

By meeting strict standards, manufacturers demonstrate that their magnetic tiles are not only innovative and educational but also secure for children of all ages. 

This adherence signals to parents and educators alike that the toys they provide offer both learning opportunities and a safeguarded environment. 

Age-Appropriate Considerations

Magnetic building tiles offer a unique blend of educational and playful opportunities for kids across various age groups. 

For younger children, these tiles can serve as an introduction to basic concepts of geometry, color recognition, and fine motor skill development. 

The simplicity of connecting tiles with magnets allows even toddlers to engage in building activities, laying a foundation for spatial awareness and coordination. 

Smaller sets are often more suitable for this age group, providing enough pieces to explore without overwhelming them. 

As children grow, their ability to engage in more complex constructions increases. 

Older kids benefit from sets with a greater variety of shapes and expansion options. 

These sets challenge them to think critically about structural integrity, balance, and aesthetic design. 

Engaging with these tiles can sharpen problem-solving skills and encourage perseverance. 

For this age group, sets that offer more intricate pieces and the potential for larger builds can keep them engaged for hours. 

The long-term use of magnetic building tiles extends into later childhood and beyond. 

The versatility of these toys allows them to remain relevant as a child’s cognitive and creative abilities mature. 

Teens and even adults can find satisfaction in the challenges posed by sophisticated design possibilities. 

The enduring appeal of magnetic tiles lies in their ability to adapt to the developmental stage of the user, making them a worthwhile investment for families seeking toys that grow with their children. 

The Role of Magnetic Tiles in Child Development

Magnetic building tiles play a pivotal role in child development, touching on key areas such as cognitive abilities, hand-eye coordination, and imaginative play. 

These tiles, one of the best open-ended toys available, present children with the opportunity to explore and understand geometric shapes and the principles of magnetism through hands-on experience. 

This direct interaction fosters critical thinking and problem-solving skills, as kids figure out how to build and balance structures. 

The act of picking up, positioning, and connecting these tiles helps refine hand-eye coordination. 

This skill is crucial in the early years as it underpins a host of other activities, from writing to sports. 

By engaging with magnetic tiles, young children practice precision and delicate movements, inadvertently polishing their motor skills. 

Perhaps most importantly, these toys unlock a world of imaginative play. 

Children can invent limitless scenarios and structures, from castles to space stations, pushing the boundaries of creativity. 

Such open-ended play not only entertains but also encourages expressive language development and nurtures social skills as children play together, share ideas, and resolve conflicts. 

Creating larger buildings encourages the development of gross motor skills as small children use the large muscle groups in the arms to reach to add tiles. 

Through these interactions, magnetic tiles reveal their impressive capacity to support a holistic developmental journey for young learners. 

Exploring Alternative Open-Ended Toys

Magnetic tiles captivate young minds with their simplicity and endless possibilities. 

Besides these versatile toys, numerous other open-ended play options stimulate creativity and enhance problem-solving skills. 

Wooden blocks stand as a classic choice, offering durability and a tactile experience that encourages spatial reasoning and fine motor skills development. 

Construction sets, like LEGO, engage children in following instructions and manifesting their imaginative worlds, teaching patience and attention to detail. 

Creative art supplies, including crayons, markers, and clay, allow for the expression of ideas and emotions through different mediums, fostering artistic skills from an early age. 

Lastly, pretend play sets, such as doctor’s kits and kitchen playsets, nurture social skills and empathy by allowing children to explore roles and scenarios from the world around them. 

Each of these toys complements magnetic tiles by broadening the scope of open-ended play and learning. 

Maximizing Learning and Engagement

To maximize learning and engagement with magnetic building tiles, consider the following strategies:

  • Integrate Stories: Encourage kids to build scenes from their favorite stories or create their own narratives. This boosts comprehension and narrative skills. 
  • Combine with Other Toys: Incorporating figures, cars, or animals with magnetic tiles challenges kids to construct relevant habitats or vehicles, enhancing problem-solving skills. 
  • Set Challenges: Pose specific building challenges, such as creating the tallest tower or a structure that can hold a book. This fosters critical thinking and perseverance. 
  • Introduce Math Concepts: Use tiles for hands-on math lessons in geometry, counting, and fractions. Kids learn best through play, making educational concepts more accessible. 
  • Encourage Teamwork: Promoting cooperative builds teaches negotiation, planning, and social skills. Group projects can be as simple as a shared tower or complex as a miniature city. 
  • Explore Physics: Simple experiments with ramps or bridges introduce basic physics principles. Encourage kids to test their builds, adjusting for stability and function. 
  • Focus on Creativity: Allow for free play sessions where kids can build whatever they imagine. This unstructured play time is key for fostering creativity and innovation. 

Harnessing the Versatility of Magnetic Tiles

Magnetic building tiles offer a multitude of ways to engage and educate kids. 

These sets encourage children to think outside the box, crafting structures that range from simple shapes to complex architectural marvels. 

The versatility of magnetic tiles lies not only in the ease with which they can snap together but also in the endless possibilities they present for imaginative play and learning. 

One of the key strengths of magnetic tiles is the introduction of geometric concepts in a hands-on manner. 

Kids can explore different shapes, sizes, and configurations, understanding spatial relationships and geometry in a tangible way. 

This type of play promotes critical thinking and problem-solving skills as children figure out how to balance and build their creations. 

Beyond individual play, magnetic tiles are a fantastic tool for cooperative learning. 

Working together on a shared project, children learn to communicate, share ideas, and collaborate to bring a vision to life. 

This fosters important social skills and can help in building friendships. 

Whether constructing a tall tower, a sprawling castle, or a futuristic vehicle, magnetic tiles bring kids together, providing a platform for them to learn, grow, and have fun in various ways. 

Unleashing Creative Potential with Magnetic Tiles

Magnetic building tiles offer kids a unique platform for unleashing their creative potential through open-ended play. 

The seamless integration of science, technology, engineering, arts, and mathematics (STEAM) concepts with these toys encourages young minds to explore, create, and learn in a fun way. 

By engaging with magnetic tiles, children develop an intuitive understanding of geometric shapes and design principles, while nurturing their inventiveness and problem-solving skills. 

Starting with magnetic tiles

I recommend starting with a smaller set and gradually expanding your collection. 

Begin with a basic set to get a feel for the possibilities. 

As you watch your child engage, consider adding more specialized sets or accessories. 

This strategy keeps the play experience fresh and continuously challenging. 

Unique shapes and expansion packs can introduce new construction challenges and inspire more complex creations. 

Challenge your kids to think outside the box by setting up specific building tasks. 

For example, ask them to construct a bridge that can support a certain weight or a tower that reaches a certain height. 

Such challenges not only make playtime more engaging but also deepen their understanding of structural integrity and balance. 

Encourage cooperative play by integrating magnetic tiles with other toys. 

Combining magnetic tiles with action figures, cars, or dolls opens up a whole new world of narrative play. 

This not only enhances social skills through shared activities but also enriches the storytelling experience, allowing children to construct detailed scenarios and settings. 

Finally, don’t overlook the simple joy of free exploration. 

Sometimes, the best creations come from unstructured play, where the only guideline is the imagination. 

This fosters a sense of innovation and can lead to surprising and delightful results. 

Learn & Grow Square pack
Learn & Grow Square Pack

Great things can come from simply providing the correct materials. 

Magnetic building tiles stand as an excellent tool for kids to express their ideas and discover new ways of thinking, making each play session a journey of discovery. 

So which magnetic building sets are the best option for your family? Providing you are choosing a quality, safe brand, there are no wrong choices. 

Whatever you choose is going to bring value to your child’s construction play, and build magical childhood memories through play.

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Post Written by

Dani is a busy mum, pre-service teacher and and founder of Play Inspired Mum. Her goal is to inspire creative play ideas, encourage the love of reading, offer tips to make your household eco friendly and remind you that you are not alone on this wild rollercoaster of a journey known as parenting! She loves houseplants, giant chunky cookies and all things play based, incorporating learning experiences into every day!