The world of magnets is one filled with intrigue and mystery — at least to kids, it is! At a young age, they’re still prone to sit in wonder and fascination when watching something that’s magnetized because they have no explanation for what they’re seeing in front of them. Some things on this list explain magnetic attraction in fun and inventive ways, while others simply take magnets and turn them into a fun toy or game. As always, all the toys on our list are of the highest quality and are sure to bring a smile to your child’s face, whether they’re learning or just simply playing. All of the toys listed below would make a great addition to elementary and even middle school students who are just beginning to learn about earth science.
Even though magnet toys are not something that parents consider when looking for the perfect gift for their kids, they can be some of the most long-lasting and entertaining gifts you can find for them. The use of magnets eliminates many old-school methods that classic toys use — such as the exchanged of traditional wooden building blocks for magnetic geometric-shaped blocks. These advanced toys offer learning in a completely new way and encourage critical thinking, motor, and basic engineering skills. Other toys encourage learning and education in a fun way that makes sense and any of these would make an exceptional gift for the science lover in your life.
Our Top 3 Picks
- Geomag Black & White
- Visual-Spatial Skills
- Playmags Magnetic Tiles Set
- 100 Piece Super Set
- Magnetic Stick N Stack Junior Set
- Award Winning Game
Criteria Used to Evaluate The Best Magnetic Toys for Kids
After searching the internet through thousands of magnetic kits for kids, our team has found the top 20 best. Some sets are suitable for a broader range of ages and may be fun for both toddlers and adults. While others are more specialized for specific age groups. Our list includes magnetic toys that provide different types of stimulation and creative exercises with an eye towards education.
Some toys are great for the tiniest of tots. Magnetic toys like the fishing sets, the match rings set and the Magformers sets are wonderful starter kits that are well-built and safe to use. They don’t require much supervision and can spark their creativity while stimulating a child’s senses.
As kids grow they can move on to other sets or increase the number of pieces to their kits. Sets that have loose magnetic balls and small pieces are better for older kids who show that they are responsible. Especially since toddlers love to swallow items and shove things up their noses. Kits like the magnetic construction set, magnetic putty and the free play set are perfect examples of sets that are best for older kids to play with.
There are a few toys that young teens can understand the concept better than toddlers. Kits like the magnetic science kit and dart board are toys that kids of all ages can use. But kids as old as 8-years-old will understand the full concept of the toys they are playing with. Adults may even be tempted to take a turn at the dart set because of how similar it is to the real deal.
Children and Learning with Magnets
Because of the invisible nature of magnetic forces, playing with magnets can be magical to many young children. However, on the developmental side of things, magnetic toys can do more than just provide a source of wonder and awe among children. These toys can be in the form of construction and building toys, wooden puzzles, fishing toys, color and shape sorters, and even refrigerator magnets.
Magnetic toys help children develop and enhance their language skills as parents can emphasize the names, shapes, colors, and other characteristics of objects that contain magnets. Children are also able to manipulate the magnets enabling them to coordinate their muscle movements, especially the muscles of the hands and fingers. These can become the foundation for developing their writing and drawing abilities.
Magnetic toys also help stimulate children’s cognitive skills. Depending on the type of toy that contains magnets, children can further develop their convergent and divergent problem solving skills, their creative thinking skills, their logic and critical thinking skills, and their spatial intelligence as well as inferential reasoning skills. In some types of magnetic toys, children’s counterfactual reasoning can also be stimulated.
Creativity and imagination is best enhanced when magnetic building and construction toys are used. These provide open-ended opportunities for exploring their imaginative and creative potentials. They can come up with many different ways of designing, creating, coloring, and composing the various elements of the magnetic toy set.
Truly, magnetic toys can hold their own against other types of toys. That is why they make perfect gift suggestions to kids. We hope our list of the 20 top magnetic playthings for kids will help you narrow down your choices of the best presents or gifts for your precious ones.
Frequently Asked Questions
Q: Should I buy magnetic toys that distract kids for hours?
A: Toys should not be considered babysitters. It is recommended that parents spend time with their kids by sitting on the floor with them and engaging with them. Toys should also be educational and not so distracting that it seems like they can never put it down. When purchasing a magnetic toy, think about which set is age appropriate and if it is something parent and child can play with together while it stimulates their creativity.
Q: Is there a right place to buy the right toys?
A: Most big box stores have a toy aisle with a section of educational toys. Unfortunately, most of these toys are not very good at educating since they do all the thinking for them. Online retailers like Amazon.com have massive libraries of educational toys and the information on them is significantly more accessible. You can still support local and buy from a brick and mortar store if they have it but make sure to do your research online where reviews from actual customers are available.
Q: Are magnetic toys safe for kids?
A: Not all magnetic toys are dangerous for kids. The American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) puts restrictions on how strong magnetic toys can be. Some toys seem to have weak magnetism, but that is because if the magnets get swallowed the strong force can cause serious and life-threatening damage to the digestive system.
Q: Are magnetic toys only for kids?
A: No, plenty of adults can enjoy the fun of magnetic toys. There are adults that have them on their desk because it gives them something to fidget with at work. For those who work at a call center, seeing toys on desks is a normal sight. A magnetic toy is wonderful because it’s a quiet toy that adults can use while waiting for the next call.
Q: Can my child take magnets on the airplane?
A: Many kids are gifted with smartphones, computers and other electrical devices. But magnetic toys are better for long air flights. Magnetic toys don’t need to be checked by TSA like electronic devices do. They can spend time creating mess-free artwork and keep quiet while on a plane.
Q: Which types of magnetics toys are dangerous for kids?
A: Toys with strong magnetism that are not sealed in strong plastic are dangerous or little kids to play with. The magnetic toys on our list are safe for kids to use because they are sealed in plastic casings that are difficult to swallow. There are other toys on our list that have stand alone magnetic balls, that is why we recommend that older kids play with these types of toys and that they are supervised by adults.
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