The 13 Best Magnetic Toys For All Ages | Kidadl


The 13 Best Magnetic Toys For All Ages

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Magnetic toys are a fantastic way of getting kids interested in science, and a great tool for fostering STEM learning.

Obviously, any good magnetic toy should be entertaining, but the best ones also help to develop critical skills and encourage active, hands-on play. The importance of play for kids has been proven time and time again in research, as it promotes more engaged children who are better equipped to handle the world around them in all its complexities.

Play with magnetic toys develops hand-eye coordination alongside construction and fine motor skills, making them an ideal teaching tool for kids to learn the basics of engineering and mathematics. They teach kids spatial awareness and get them using their hands. Magnetic toys are also fantastic for cognitive or problem solving - particularly when playing a matching game, for example. Giving your kids a task to solve (like building a structure, for example, from their magnetic tiles) will help them learn about cause and effect. Plus, when you talk to your kids as they're playing with their magnetic toys, they develop language skills. Ask them engaging questions - for younger kids, you could ask what the is colour or shape of the piece they're holding; for older kids, get them thinking critically about problem solving. Play with magnetic toys should also ignite children's' curiosity and imagination, unlocking their creative skills, and are great for kids who tend to get easily distracted or fidgety, as they are a unique way of focussing kids on the task at hand. They also get kids away from screens and working with their hands, which is absolutely worthwhile.

Before you purchase any magnetic toy for your kids, consider their quality, durability, and safety. Ideally, any magnetic toy should be built to last, so as to engage kids for years to come, and would be BPA-free. Magnetic tiles are a particularly popular type of magnetic toy - they're colourful and fun, enabling children's creativity and problem solving potential to blossom, as kids can combine them in 3D geometric shapes or puzzle solving. They're also a very safe type of magnetic toy, as they are specifically designed for kids and therefore are usually subject to rigorous safety checks. Steer clear of magnetic balls or cubes, which tend to be high powered magnet sets with over 100 pieces per set, and are very easily swallowed by younger kids, which can result in serious damage to the digestive system of growing bodies. Having your kids play with magnetic toys should be fun for them and an activity about which you don't need to worry, so bear this in mind when choosing your next magnetic toys for kids.

If your clan can't get enough of science toys, we at Kidadl have also selected the best STEM toys for kids from toddlers to tweens, and we've also rounded up the best robot toys, too.

Our Top Choice

Magformers Wow 707004 Magnetic Construction Set - Amazon‍

Most families have at least one member who is particularly keen on cars, and if you have children interested in all things four-wheeled, this may be the magnetic toy for them. Magformers is one of the bestselling brands for magnetic toys, too, so you know that the product is coming quality assured - all of the pieces are BPA free, made from touch ABS plastic, and the small neodymium magnets are safely incorporated into each piece. This is a super versatile set, containing enough magnetic blocks and wheels to make 20 different cars. The set also comes with shape recognition and puzzle cards, so is a fab learning tool, as well as special layout sheets that guide children through how to build each car. The sheets provide detailed illustrations and guidance on both 2D and 3D model making, so that kids can develop spatial skills and understand the difference between flat 2D plans (known as 'nets') and their corresponding 3D shapes. Plus, the magnetic shapes always attach to each other - because the magnets are free spinning, they will never repel each other, even when two of the same magnets are brought together. If your children have other Magformers sets, all of the pieces in this one are compatible - including the wheels - unlocking hours of potential play.

  • Price: £34.99
  • Age: Suitable for children ages 3 years plus

Best Magnetic Toy For Under 5s

LeapFrog Fridge Phonics Magnetic Letter Set - Amazon‍

It's hard to beat LeapFrog for the best toys for kids under 5, and this magnetic letter set is definitely up there with their high-quality products. There are 26 all-singing, all-dancing (well, okay, not quite) talking letters. Kids place each letter into the bus window and press it - Tad the frog will then sing a song about the letter's name and sound. If kids press it twice, Tad will then say a word that begins with the letter, and use that word in a sentence. This is a fantastic toy for teaching younger kids alphabet knowledge and phonics, which is a vital step in helping kids learn to read. Playing with the magnetic tiles (they're specifically designed for easy manipulation by small hands) also helps reinforce coordination and fine motor skills, which are important for learning to write. The fun doesn't stop there either: if kids press the music note, they can dance and sing along to three learning songs, including 'Wheels on the Bus'. The magnetic school bus and tiles stick to your fridge or any other magnetic surface and are a really interactive way of getting young kids to explore letter names, letter sounds, and early vocabulary.

  • Price: £40.42
  • Age: Suitable for children ages 2 plus

Best Magnetic Tiles

Magna-Tiles Translucent Colors 100 Pieces - Amazon‍

Believe it or not, but there is real contention over which brand of magnetic tiles offers the best experience for kids. Magna Tiles frequently ranks as the most high quality and popular, so we've gone for this set. There are 100 pieces, all of which are brightly coloured, made up of squares and triangles. The idea is that the toy sparks hours of imaginative play - whatever kids can dream, they can try to build, thereby strengthening their math, science, spatial, tactile, and motor skills. These are a tad on the expensive side for a toy, but they are durable, safe, and built to last: some of the cheaper sets are less sturdy, tending to break quicker. Plus, at 100 pieces, even if this is being played with by more than one child, there shouldn't be any shortages of Magna Tiles, meaning kids can build bigger and better structures.

  • Price: £99.99
  • Age: Suitable for children ages 3 plus

Best Sustainable Magnetic Wooden Toy

Tegu 24 Piece Magnetic Wooden Block Set, Sunset- Amazon

It's definitely true that many magnetic toys tend to be made of plastic - not so for this set. Comprised of 24 pieces, this is a simple but well-made product that will last for generations. There's no lead, no plastic, no small parts, and the pieces are coated in a non-toxic water-based lacquer, so smaller kids can chew on them without you worrying about the health repercussions. This toy is great for inspiring imaginative, open-ended, unscripted play that enhances fine motor skills, balance, problem solving, storytelling, and pattern recognition. The colours of the set are fabulously bright (hence its 'sunset' name), and the company Tegu is socially conscious. Based in Honduras, they manufacture the blocks in their independent toy factory, thereby providing jobs for the local people, in whom they further invest with growth and development training. A socially conscious, sustainable toy that provides hours of entertainment for kids - we are sold.

  • Price: £54.89
  • Age: Suitable for children ages 12 months plus

Best Arty Magnetic Toy

4M 4563AM Magnetic Mini Tile Art - Amazon‍

This is a fab toy where you make your own fridge magnets from scratch. The set comes with tiles, magnets, a strip of paint and paintbrush. Kids can let their imaginations run wild as they paint unique designs onto each tile, which measure 2 inches x 2 inches, so kids could even create a Cubist-inspired collage scene if they wanted to. Once the tile is painted, kids attach a magnet to the corresponding back, and the tiles then stick to the fridge door, or to any other magnetic surface. The set is ideal as a unique gift for children to give friends or family, too - where else are they likely to get a hand-painted magnet?

  • Price: £11.95
  • Age: Suitable for children ages 8 years plus

Best Magnetic Toy For Dinosaur Lovers

Melissa & Doug Wooden Dinosaur Magnets - Amazon‍

Melissa & Doug are an American toy brand totally dedicated to producing high quality, easy to use toys that stimulate childrens' development and encourage hands-on, creative play. This set promises to assist hand-eye coordination as well as motor skills, even as the twenty magnetic dinosaurs 'attracts' dino-loving kids of all ages. Each dinosaur magnet is beautifully painted in bright colours and made of durable wood - no plastic here - and they store away into their convenient wooden case. If your kids aren't quite so dinosaur mad, there are also sets of magnets shaped like princesses or farm animals, as well as numbers and letters, if you wanted a toy to complement children's' reading and writing.

  • Price: £10
  • Age: Suitable for children ages 24 months plus

Best Experiment Focussed Magnetic Toy

4M Magnet Science Kit - Amazon‍

We've selected another tool from 4M, a company that designs kits, sets, and toys to encourage kids' learning and creativity outside of the classroom. This science set teaches kids about magnetic effects by way of 10 experiments and games, all of which revolve around the two main components of a horseshoe magnet and magnetic wand. Kids can construct their own magnetic toys and create a number of structures including a magnet yacht and magnetic racer. This unlocks learning of key subjects like science and art and design, alongside developing knowledge of magnets and robotics. It's a great set for getting kids into science experiments and teaching them about the power of creativity combined with STEM learning.

  • Price: £13.31
  • Age: Suitable for children ages 8 years plus

Best Magnetic Drawing Board

Peradix Magnetic Drawing Doodle Board - Amazon‍

This is such a classic toy, and is bound to get kids away from screens. We love that there are plenty of alien details on this toy, including devil horns and a rotating eyeball at the top of the board, making it more appealing to children's' imaginations. The board also comes in three colours, too, either blue, pink, or purple, so is a great option for kids of any gender. The doodle board is exceptionally portable, thanks to how lightweight it is and the fact that it has a comfortable handle at one end. The drawable area of the doodle board has four different bright colours that kids can choose to use (blue, red, yellow, and green), and once they're done with their doodle, they can simply use the sliding eraser at its bottom in order to wipe the board clean and start anew. A great way of keeping younger children away from pens... particularly if your kids have developed a penchant for drawing on walls! Plus, if you're worrying that your kids might lose the magnetic pen, fear not: it's attached to the board via string.  There are also free stickers provided with the doodle board and a free magnetic pen so that parents can draw alongside kids; stickers can be used to adorn doodles or just for fun elsewhere. The toy is also made from non-toxic ABS plastic and is super sturdy and durable. We are huge fans of this educational toy, which will promote the creativity and imagination of children as they cultivate their artistic skill, but also enable them to practise their writing.

  • Price: £10.99
  • Age: Suitable for children ages 3 years plus

Best Magnetic Toy For Teaching Kids About Gravity

4M 403299 Anti Gravity Magnetic Levitation Kit - Amazon‍

This is another toy from popular science toy brand 4M, and this set gets kids curious about gravity. Kids can build a floating, rotating pencil as well as a screw that floats and rotate mid-air. They can also construct a magnet model that helps to explain how the fastest land vehicle on earth moves, as well as a floating UFO that appears to defy gravity...

  • Price: £16.99
  • Age: Suitable for children ages 8 years plus

Best Lego Magnetic Toy

Klutz: Lego Chain Reactions - Amazon‍

The appeal of Lego is enduring for kids, and this toy combines the wonders of magnets to the joy of Lego. The set includes more than 100 different Lego elements as well as a 50-page instruction booklet with clear details on how to build different moving machines with each of the magnetic blocks, including vehicles, launchers, noise-makers, and gadgets. If your children have loads of other Lego blocks, this set is also compatible with them, so they could branch away from the machines detailed in the set's booklet to imagine their own unique structure. This is a toy that's sure to get the creative juices flowing, and it comes Parents' Choice Award approved.

  • Price: £11.58
  • Age: Suitable for children ages 7 years plus

Best Magnetic Wooden Fishing Game

Melissa & Doug Magnetic Wooden Fishing Game - Amazon

This is another of the best magnetic toys offered by leading brand Melissa & Doug, and another great set for slightly younger children. A puzzle-game that encourages hand-eye coordination and the development of matching and fine motor skills, this wooden toy will have kids enjoying all things under the sea as they use the magnetic fishing pole to catch the ten colourful aquatic animals from the game board, before then returning them to their underwater depths. Don't be fooled - this actually requires quite a significant amount of coordination as you try to negotiate each creature back into its requisite home. Made from sturdy wooden pieces, this set won't break easily, and should therefore last for years to come. Plus, if your children are really taken by it, there's another set of the same from Melissa & Doug, but with bugs - time to get up close and personal with all things creepy crawly.

  • Price: £13.15
  • Age: Suitable for children ages 8 years plus

Best Multi Piece Magnetic Building Blocks

VATOS Magnetic Building Blocks For Kids X-Large 125PCS - Amazon‍

If you're looking at this toy thinking it resembles a more sci-fi version of a hamster's run, you're not the only one. This is one of the larger sets of magnetic building blocks, boasting 125 pieces that include a variety of shapes - think pipelines, colourful balls, lighted balls, and stickers, as well as the standard magnetic blocks. This unlocks infinite designs for kids to get building. All of the components of the set are made of BPA free, non-toxic plastic that conforms to international standards and have smooth edges to protect kids' hands. Boost your children's STEM awareness, independence, and creativity with this marvellous magnetic toy.

  • Price: £39.99
  • Age: Suitable for children ages 3 years plus

Best Magnetic Play Theatre

Detoa Magnetic Play Theatre Little Red Riding Hood - Amazon‍

There are a few magnetic theatres available, but we went for this set as it is made entirely of wood, whereas some competitors make their figurines out of cardboard with magnets attached, which makes the toy more liable to damage. This is a really unique magnetic toy for kids who are, perhaps, less motivated by science and all things STEM, but still keen to be creative and engage in storytelling, imagination, and expression. The set includes five wooden figures, all of whom are characters in the story of Little Red Riding Hood, so children can retell the fairy tale with their own creative flourish. They just have to move the wooden figures using the two provided magnetic wooden poles, which attract to each figure, allowing for kids to shuffle them around on the wooden base. There are also two backdrops - or scenes, if you will - that come with the set. Plus, if your children are really keen, you can always purchase extra magnetic figures from different sets.

Kidadl Best Buys selects the top parent-recommended products across the web for families of all ages. If you liked our suggestions for the best magnetic toys for kids, why not also check out our list of the best gender-neutral toys for kids of all ages and interests. We've also rounded up the best kids bookcases - because every child deserves a space to proudly display their new magnetic toy, right?

  • Price: £25.12
  • Age: Suitable for children ages 3 years plus
Alice Carlill
Written By
Alice Carlill

<p>With a Bachelor’s degree in English from the University of Cambridge, Alice is passionate about all things art, literature, and culture. She has written a short collection of poems and continues to edit scripts for theater, TV, and film. Alice grew up in London and now resides there, but her favorite places are by the sea or somewhere cozy with her five dogs. She also has two younger sisters who keep her on her toes.</p>

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