These Magna-Tiles Are the Most-Used Gift I've Ever Bought My Kids

POPSUGAR Photography | Angela Elias
POPSUGAR Photography | Angela Elias
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Every holiday season and birthday month, the scramble to find a riveting toy or intentional gift for your kids can feel stressful, especially if family members are also nudging you for suggestions. When my now-7-year-old was a toddler, I purchased the Magna-Tiles Classic 100-Piece Magnetic Set ($120), hoping it would provide hours of open-ended play. Today, the set is still being dragged out by his 4-year-old brother almost every day. It's definitely earned its title as the best toy purchase I've made by a landslide.

What I Like About the Magna-Tiles Classic 100-Piece Magnetic Set

Since young children learn through playing, having toys that require them to be creative, explore, and use their imagination instead of playing with toys that have a fixed outcome can help them develop all sorts of skills, including strong communication and language, mathematical concepts, motor skills, self-control, and even concentration. The Magna-Tiles are perfect for encouraging this because they can be used a zillion ways, from building castles to elaborate marble runs. Depending on his mood, my 4-year-old might surround his wooden barn with a Magna-Tiles gate filled with farm animals or line up Hot Wheels cars on a Magna-Tiles ramp he's built — the possibilities really are endless.

It's so cool to see his own wheels turning as he realizes he can create more of the square shapes he might need by sticking two triangles together or construct a bridge that seems to defy gravity, as long as he builds in beam supports. He recently placed a yellow tile over a blue tile, gleefully discovering that it gave him more green tiles for the dinosaur he was constructing.

POPSUGAR Photography | Angela Elias

What's Worth Noting About the Magna-Tiles Classic 100-Piece Magnetic Set

Magna-Tiles aren't cheap. While it might seem steep to shell out more than $100 for a set, the product's 10,000-plus reviews and 4.9 average rating on Amazon speak volumes. Prominent experts like child psychologist Dr. Becky Kennedy have talked about the benefits of introducing these toys to kids. In an excerpt from Amazon's Magna-Tiles page, she writes, "When children engage in open-ended play, like building with Magna-Tiles, they learn how to cope with frustration, how to bounce back from difficulties, how to access their creativity, and how to turn ideas into reality."

Amazon also offers less-expensive Magna-Tiles sets with fewer tiles, like this 32-Piece Magna-Tiles Set ($50). You can even buy themed Magna-Tiles sets, like this Magna-Tiles 48-Piece Magnetic Construction Set ($75). After purchasing the 100-piece set, I'm glad we went with an option that offers tons of tiles. Stragglers get misplaced now and then, and the kids tend to use almost all of the tiles when they're playing.

Who's the Magna-Tiles Classic 100-Piece Magnetic Set Best For?

This set is perfect for kids ages 3 and up. If you're looking to invest in a versatile STEAM toy that will grow with them, Magna-Tiles are definitely worth considering. Even if you have limited toy storage, they can be placed in an under-bed storage container for easy cleanup.

Additional Details

  • Pieces included: 100 translucent geometric shapes in six different colors, including squares (four large, 50 small) and triangles (20 equilateral, 11 right, 15 isosceles).
  • This is a certified STEAM toy, supporting the development of fine motor skills, bilateral coordination, cognitive skills, executive functioning, creativity, and more.
  • They're intended for ages 3 and older.
  • Material: Magna-Tiles are made from food-grade, nontoxic MABS plastic that's free from BPAs, phthalates, and latex.