Both children and adults have always been fascinated by magnets. They arouse our curiosity and can seem almost magical. Magnetic toys can feed their imaginations and stimulate their creativity.
We’ve put together a list of the best magnetic toys that your kids, whether toddlers, preschoolers, or older, will find innovative, fun, and truly engaging.
Benefits of Building Toys
Magnetic building toys are a fun way to introduce your children to the concepts of art, architecture, construction, and engineering.
As they stack the blocks or tiles, your children can:
- Start to understand magnetic principles.
- Improve their motor skills.
- Learn organizational skills through sorting and stacking.
- Begin to grasp STEM (science, technology, engineering, and mathematics) principles as they build simple or intricate designs.
- Experience improved concentration levels and problem-solving.
Remember being a kid and playing with fridge magnets and the simple pleasure of arranging and rearranging them? Nowadays, though, children have way more options for magnetic toys and games. There are some hyper-popular magnetic toys out there, ones that are great for building endless creations, others that teach kiddos important science lessons, and many that are just plain fun. Of course, there’s reason to be cautious about which magnetic toys we hand over to our littles, so we’ve done some research to recommend to you the best magnetic toys for you, your child, and your budget.
How We Evaluated
As a writer, I’ve covered parenting, including toys and products, for over five years—slightly shorter than I’ve been a parent. My work has appeared in outlets, including Romper, Parents, Mommyish, and now Popular Mechanics. To recommend the best magnetic toys, I thought about the ones I’ve used and ones my own son has played with. I also reached out to other parents for their recommendations on magnetic toys that their children have enjoyed and that withstood the test of time. I made sure to keep safety in mind when it came to recommendations and only included one product with rare-earth magnets (for teens and adults). Amazon’s list of the best-selling magnetic toys and online customer reviews informed my research, though I made sure to account for whether they were paid reviews, which have greater potential for bias, or independent ones. Finally, I sought out various types of magnetic toys for different age groups and made sure to include ones that would work for a variety of budgets. The 10 toys below are the very best ones that made the cut.
How to Choose Magnetic Toys
Finding the right magnetic toy for your kid is not as easy as it sounds. There are several considerations you need to keep in mind.
At one point or another, a younger child will put a toy in their mouth. You want to make sure that the materials used to build the magnetic toy are safe.
Steer clear from kids’ magnetic toys that are made using lower-grade plastics, since they can contain phthalates, lead, and BPA (1). These toxins are dangerous and could harm your children.
Additionally, toys made from cheap materials aren’t durable, and you’ll find yourself shopping for new toys too often.
Admittedly, most of us buy toys to keep our kids occupied while we work or try to relax. While some of us get away with it, not everyone is as lucky. Young children are known to chew or swallow small toys while distracted parents aren’t looking.
Magnetic toys usually contain tiny but powerful magnets that attract to one another, or to other metallic surfaces. If swallowed, these magnets will try to do the same internally. This, in turn, can cause serious damage to the digestive system
You can keep your children safe by:
- Talking to your older children about the dangers of chewing or swallowing magnetic toys or using magnets as fake piercings.
- Not purchasing magnetic toy sets that contain small pieces. This is particularly important if you have babies or toddlers around.
- Storing away all magnetic toys when they’re not in use.
If your child happens to swallow a magnetic toy, contact your nearest healthcare provider or, better yet, take them directly to an emergency center you trust.
When it comes to magnetic toys, safety is paramount. Although you can purchase and use magnetic toys safely, you need to consider things such as the age of your child (and their likelihood of swallowing items like magnets). According to the American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP), high-powered or “rare-earth” magnets are among the strongest (and thus most dangerous) types of magnets—and should be avoided in toys at all costs for children. Companies typically advertise the use of this type of magnet on a toy’s packaging or product info. Some teens and adults should be able to use such toys, but always proceed with caution.
The AAP also recommends keeping any small or loose magnets away from young children, supervising young children around magnets, as well as checking magnetic toys for cracks in which the internal magnets could come loose. The Consumer Product Safety Commission also has a list of magnetic toy companies that have violated mandatory safety standards, which is useful for referring to prior to making a purchase.
Once you’ve considered safety concerns, next think about your child’s interests. One child might prefer colorful magnet tiles, whereas another might be a fan of magnets shaped like dinosaurs. Consider your kid’s dexterity and how sturdy the toys are (in the case of magnetic tiles, the more easily they fall could result in more tantrums). And of course, keep your budget in mind as there are great magnetic toys at all price points.
Look for a magnetic toy that allows your child to build multiple constructions, shapes, and even geometric designs. Versatility is key, whether you’re buying stacking blocks or other types of magnetic toys. This will ensure that your child doesn’t get bored too soon.
The Best Kids Magnetic Toys of 2022
Wondering which magnetic toys your child will enjoy? Let’s check out some great ones in different age groups.
1. Magna-Tiles Clear Colors Set
Expandable Magnet Set
As far as high-quality toys are concerned, this takes the gold medal in my eyes. Every tile in the set contains metal rivets that keep the magnets in place. Furthermore, the brand makes it easy to add to your collection, as this set is compatible with other sets.
Recommended for ages 3 and above, this 3D magnetic set is easy to use and offers tons of fun.
It provides educational opportunities and engages your child’s mind, by fusing creativity, science, and math. Since all the tile edges are magnetized, your child has unlimited opportunities to build any design they can think of.
2. PicassoTiles Magnet Building Tiles
Best Magnetic Toy for Creativity
Introduce your child to a world of endless fun with this product. PicassoTiles specializes in providing award-winning, STEM-based toys, enabling you to introduce your child to these concepts early on.
Perfect for children ages 3 and above, this toy helps children understand geometrical shapes, including those in 3D forms. With limitless designs, your child will enjoy creating them.
3. Magformers Challenger Magnetic Building Blocks
Coming from a brand of well-known toy sets, this BPA-free 112-piece magnet set provides so many building challenges and possibilities.
It’s suitable for children ages 3 and above. It engages their young minds as they build vehicles, houses, animals, and more.
Your child will explore magnetic possibilities and architectural ideas as they build different designs and shapes. Additionally, the Magformers Challenger set is made using high-quality materials to ensure your child’s safety.
4. Melissa & Doug Fishing Game
Magnetic Fishing Game and Puzzle
Preschoolers who adore sea life will love this. This magnetic catch-and-release toy enhances motor skills as your child “catches” wooden fish using the magnetic fishing pole.
By learning how to “fish” by lining up magnets with targets, their concentration levels could be improved. After they catch the fish, they get to fit the piece into the puzzle.
Your child becomes a critical thinker while having fun. It’s suitable for age 3 and up.
5. Playmags 100 Piece Super Set
Highly recommended by professionals, this super set is great for preschool games as well as group activities.
Suitable for children ages 3 and above, this toy set contains 100 pieces in eight diverse shapes, designed to stretch your child’s imagination. The lattice-work design of the tiles ensures a sturdy build while minimizing frustration.
This set is versatile and can be used with other tiles. As your children play, they’re also introduced to the basics in geometry, spatial reasoning, physics, and architecture.
6. LeapFrog Magnetic Letter Set
Learn the Alphabet With Magnets
Most toddlers enjoy songs and singing. Recommended for children ages 2 and above, this letter set is a fun way to teach your child the alphabet. It includes a colorful magnetic tile reader as well as all 26 letters found in the alphabet.
Each of the magnetic tiles sings when pressed. When pressed once, your child will hear the letter’s name, plus its sound. Press it twice and listen as the letter is used in a word.
This doesn’t just help your child grasp words but also improves their fine motor skills.
7. 4M Magnetic Tile Art
Great Choice for Young Crafters
For ages 8 and up, this tile kit combines your traditional fridge magnets with precious artwork from your kids. Everything your child needs for creating a personalized gift for friends and relatives is included.
It includes 12 tiles, a paintbrush, a paint strip including colored paints, plus rubber magnets and adhesive tape to finish. For those who enjoy crafting projects, this provides a special opportunity to show off their work in a unique way.
8. Melissa & Doug Magnetic Dinosaurs
For Dinosaur Loving Toddlers
Ideal for children aged 2 and above, these 20 brightly-colored wooden dinosaurs are perfect for any dinosaur-loving kid. They are a good size so you don’t run the risk of choking. The back of the packaging identifies all the dinosaurs by name.
This set is great for shape recognition and enhances your child’s sorting skills. The box is not resealable once opened, so you’ll need to have a storage box handy — unless they’re going to be permanently displayed on the fridge door, that is!
9. Dowling Penny Magnetic Kit
Great Option for Coin Collectors
Dowling magnet pennies are a fantastic option for children ages 8 and above to explore magnetic forces, stability, and motion. It’s a fun way to introduce and discuss scientific concepts, geometry, and symmetry, among other things.
Kids get to learn about penny history and magnetic facts as they engage in the 44 listed fun activities. They can build gravity-defying sculptures, pyramids, and more.
Looking for a creative way to pull your teens away from their tablets or Playstations? These 12 magnetic pentagons are a perfect way to engage any 14-year-old’s imagination.
Their ability to assemble things becomes heightened as they come up with all sorts of shapes and designs. They can create magnetic buildings or uniquely-shaped decorations for their rooms. The pentagons aren’t suitable for children under 14.
11. Magz Magnetic Building Set
Strong Design for Little Builders
These 40 colorful bottle-shaped blocks are built to keep any preschooler busy. They are ideal for enhancing your child’s motor skills and learning simple building skills. The magnets are secured within welded plastic, making them safe for use.
The magnets are quite strong and will keep the blocks from scattering should the tower topple over. No age is specified, but as the pieces are around 2 inches high, we recommend a minimum age of 3 years old.
12. Little World Fridge Magnets
Cute Farm-Inspired Magnet Set
These colorful farm animal magnets will fascinate your preschooler. For children aged 3 to 5, this set enhances fine motor skills, recognition abilities, and memory.
Made from high-quality materials, they are soft so they won’t leave scratch marks on your fridge or other metal surfaces. However, the magnets consist of laminated cards attached to foam on a rubber magnet base, so they will be damaged if they get wet.
13. Magnetic Poetry Kids Kit
Great Choice for Little Wordsmiths
Magnetic poetry was all the rage a few years back, but until now, I thought it only existed for adults. But no. This creative company has expanded to include sets for kids; this one is for ages 5 and up.
Whether on the fridge or a magnetic board, your child can practice their writing and storytelling by combining words. With over 360 tiles, you may want to set a Tupperware aside to avoid losing any along the way.
14. Magnetic U.S. Map Puzzle
Learn Geography With Magnets
What better way for your child to learn about the U.S. than with this 44-piece magnetic puzzle? This beautifully colored toy is a great introduction to geography lessons for children ages 4 and above.
Each magnet contains the name of a state, plus a visual representation of each state. When complete, the puzzle takes the shape of the United States of America.
15. Tegu Wooden Blocks
A New Slant on Classic Wooden Blocks
Wooden toys have been around for years. But this brand has reinvented these blocks and made them super fun for kids by adding magnets. Twenty-four pieces are included with this set, offering hours of entertainment as your child creates a multitude of objects.
The manufacturers have taken safety precautions to ensure this toy is safe for use by children 3 years and above.
16. Doinkit Darts - Magnetic Dart Board
Family Game Time
Are you looking for a toy that will engage your six-year-old, older kids and even adults in your family? Doinkit darts just might do it for you. Made from magnets, these darts are lightweight and safe.
The 16-inch magnetic dartboard is sturdy and durable and has a hook to hang it onto a wall or door. Doinkit darts help improve your child’s coordination, focus, and concentration. They also encourage sportsmanship as your child engages with others.
17. Lauri Foam Magnets - Numbers
Great Choice for Learning Numbers
This toy is a fun way to teach children ages 4 and above simple math. You will have 110 colorful and strong magnets to do the job. It comes with a storage tub, making it easy to put away the toys.
It’s ideal for homeschooling, classroom setup, or even fun times at home. Each number is 1.75 inches long — just the right size for your child’s little hands.
18. TrueBalance Educational STEM Toy
STEM-Friendly Balance Magnets
Looking to work on balance and concentration through magnets? Assembling this award-winning toy is no easy task. It offers fun while challenging your kids to think critically, from age 8 through to adults.
Occupational and physiotherapists helped develop this toy to improve their patients’ coordination and fine motor skills. Children with autism and ADHD can benefit tremendously from playing with this as it encourages focus.
19. Magnetic Levitation Science Kit
Best Magnetic Levitation Toy
Science-loving kids will find this toy both educational and entertaining. Your child gets to enjoy different experiments such as levitating a screw, floating a pencil, building a maglev, and so much more.
Suitable for children ages 8 and above, this toy comes with detailed assembly instructions that support up to seven projects.
20. Kid O Free Play Magnatab
Great Magnetic Drawing Fun for All Ages
Recommended for children ages 3 and above, the Magnatab is an excellent learning tool. It help nurtures creativity in your child as they use the stylus to create their own unique designs.
Your child will use the magnetized stylus pen to trace whatever shape they want. They will see beads pop up to the surface, revealing the creation they have made. It isn’t just art; this toy helps them practice letters, numbers, and shapes.