When I’m asked about my favourite toys for kids, I keep coming back to our magnetic tiles every single time. They continue to be a favourite among all three of our children who are aged 1, 3 and 5 years old. It’s not often we find toys that engage each of our children so it’s no surprise that our magnetic tiles are at the top of our list for essential toys!
Today I’d like to share why we love magnetic tiles and why we consider them to be one of our favourite toys for our little learners! I’ll also compare PlayMags and Connetix to help you with your decision making process!
So why are magnetic tiles worth the investment?
Before we get into the reviews, I wanted to talk about why magnetic tiles are such a worthwhile investment.
In the past, I have been quick to purchase the latest and greatest toys and while they are all amazing quality, they haven’t all been winners with our children. When I make a toy purchase now, I am very careful in my selection. I want our toys to encourage creative, independent play. I want them to have multiple uses by multiple ages by multiple developmental stages. I want them to be good quality and last for many years.
Magnetic tiles are open-ended meaning there isn’t a right or wrong way to play with them. The only limit is your imagination! An open-ended toy allows the child to take the lead as they play – the toy or resource can become anything the child wants! All three of our children love our magnetic and use them in many different ways.
Not only are they encouraging loads of creative play, they’re also amazing for developing SO MANY SKILLS including fine motor skills, hand-eye coordination, cause and effect and problem-solving skills. And best of all? While our children play, they are also exploring early measurement understandings and concepts through play.
Toys like this truly stand the test of time. While they can be quite an investment up front, they are generally loved for many many years and outlast any other toy. If that’s not a combination for an absolute winner of a toy, I don’t know what is!
How do you play with magnetic tiles?
We mostly just place our magnetic tiles in a big basket for our little learners to use however they please. They often build big towers, structures and buildings. Sometimes Elliot makes ramps for his Monster Trucks or tunnels for his cars to drive through. Using them as a material for building is definitely their favourite way to play.
We also have a whiteboard in our living room and the kids love to stick the magnetic tiles onto it to build and create. We’ve also experimented using it as a base to build a marble run but ours didn’t work very well. We need some more practise!
Audrey is 1 year old and she loves to stack the square tiles on top of each other. This is a really wonderful way for her to develop her hand-eye coordination, visual discrimination skills and problem solving skills. It’s amazing to sit and watch her compare tiles to decide which ones will stack perfectly on top of each other. It’s her favourite way to play with our magnetic tiles!
Okay, I’m sold! But which brand is your favourite, Casey?
We’ve tried a few different brands now and the Connetix brand are BY FAR my favourite for magnetic tiles! They feature very strong magnets and beautiful clear frames. They’re also more affordable than the PlayMags brand!
We started with the PlayMags brand a few years ago. We loved them so much that they never actually left our toy rotation shelves. All of the kids have loved building structures with them over the years.
Last year, the Australian company Connetix launched their own magnetic tiles. I was so excited to be gifted a box to try out and it was love at first sight. I wondered if anything would compare in quality to our PlayMags but the Connetix tiles are fantastic.
The magnets in the Connetix are nice and strong allowing the kids to build really big towers. We have a 100 pack of the Connetix tiles and a 62 pack of the PlayMags and they’re actually compatible too meaning that the kids can mix the brands together very easily.
But my favourite feature of the Connetix tiles is that there isn’t any visible bracing. This makes them perfect for light table play and for reflecting light through the tiles! We often add a basket of magnetic tiles to our light table area and the kids just love building with the light panel underneath!
Below you’ll see some photos comparing the two brands – you can see that the Connetix are much clearer but they are the same size and very similar in design as well. Each magnet is housed in its own case as well which makes them safer to play with. Last year, one of our PlayMags broke (due to some very rough play) and just one magnet came loose. So I would definitely recommend inspecting your tiles from time to time to make sure there are no cracks.
Ready to grab some magnetic tiles?
Browse the Connetix range at The Creative Toy Shop*
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