Magna-Tiles is the undisputed OG magnetic toy tile creator. Before they were introduced in the U.S. in 1997, they had already made their way into the hands of kids in Japan — under a different name. And long before that, they lived in the creative mind of a Japanese math professor who had a vision for making learning about math and geometry fun for kids. Magna-Tiles are considered by many to be the best magnetic tiles for toddlers, but they’re certainly not the only game in town. Toy makers have been iterating on the theme for a while now and there are dozens of variations to choose from. If you’re wondering if you should splurge on the OG or go with one of the popular alternatives like Picasso Tiles or Magformers, read on!
Are Magnetic Tiles Good For Kids?
From geometry to engineering and beyond, these magnetic play tiles are STEM-learning powerhouses that even toddlers can benefit from. In fact, they’re great for teaching hand-eye coordination and shape recognition. And because they provide an uninhibited learning opportunity, kids get tons of creative playtime when building with magnetic tiles.
What To Look For When Shopping For The Best Magnetic Tiles For Toddlers
- Construction: While the tiles may look similar, not all brands are constructed the same way. Magna-Tiles, Connetix, and Play-Mags are sealed with metal rivets, which means they’re ultra-strong and durable. Picasso Tiles are sealed with glue, making them a less durable option, although they’re much more affordable. Magformers are sonically sealed but do not have rivets. While the aforementioned brands are by far the most well-known, you’ll find others on the market too, and it’s worth checking how they’re constructed before making a buying decision.
- Compatibility: Most tile systems are compatible with each other, though Magformers are not due to the placement of their magnets. That said, Magformers are lightweight which may make them easier for small toddler hands to play with.
- Age Appropriate: Because this list of our favorite magnetic play tiles is geared towards toddlers, we made sure that each option below is age-appropriate and offers something for every kid’s learning needs and creative style.
Ahead you’ll find eight of the best magnetic tiles for toddlers — and you’ll likely be having just as much fun building alongside them.
Important Safety Note: Since swallowing a magnet can be extremely dangerous, it’s always best to supervise play with magnetic tiles and make sure to discard any damaged pieces.
1. The Fan-Favorite: These OG Magnetic Tiles With A Near-Perfect Amazon Rating
Magna-Tiles are the OG for a reason. Anybody who’s played with or owned this 32-piece starter set of Magna-Tiles can vouch for their quality construction, featuring 100% nontoxic, BPA- and phthalate-free plastic, with a riveted closure to keep magnets away from little mouths. The bright rainbow colors make building extra fun. Not surprisingly, this set has earned a 4.9-star rating after 10,000+ reviews.
Helpful Review: “This is my son's favorite toy. His school has this toy and his teachers suggested I get him a set for home because he plays with it all the time. He builds towers and they are stable enough that a bump or nudge won't knock them over and frustrate him, but they are not so strong that he can't take them apart himself. There are no pieces small enough for him to swallow and the pieces look to be high quality and not at risk of breaking under normal toddler abuse.”
Recommended Age: 3+ | Number of Tiles: 32 | Shapes Included: Squares, various triangle shapes
2. A Large Magnetic Tile Set For A Great Price
This huge magnetic tile set includes 120 pieces. That’s a lot of building! And if you’re wondering how BMAG matches up in comparison to Magna-Tiles, the answer is they’re similar in the construction. They’re both sealed with rivets and made of durable ABS plastic, and the larger pieces even have the criss-cross design that Magna-Tiles is known for. At $55, they’re a steal! There’s also a smaller 36-piece set available in the listing.
Helpful Review: “My toddlers (ages 3 & 4) have spent countless hours playing with these since we bought them. They build castles, shapes, tents for their Little People, houses, cars, and lots of other random things. Definitely a worthy purchase!!”
Recommended Age: 3+ | Number of Tiles: 120 | Shapes Included: Squares, various triangles, rectangles, two cars
3. A Magformers Set For Construction-Loving Toddlers
Construction-obsessed toddlers will love this 50-piece magnetic tile set from Magformers that will allow them to build their own construction site, complete with crane and Bobcat! And the The lightweight tiles are perfect for little ones and the rounded edges are safe design detail.
Helpful Review: “This set was a huge hit with my grandsons, ages 3 and 4. They played with it tirelessly. The quality of the magformers is excellent. The size of the building tiles is perfect for little hands, the ease with which the tiles fit together and the various ways to assemble pieces inspires their imaginations.”
Recommended Age: 3+ | Number of Tiles: 50 | Shapes Included: Triangles, squares, rectangles, 2 sets of wheels, plus 2 figures and 25 construction accessories
4. A Magnetic Tile Set With Tons Of Shapes + ABC’s
This popular magnetic tile set comes with pieces for each letter of the alphabet, helping toddlers learn their ABC’s while building everything from a Ferris wheel to cars — thanks to the 120 included pieces that make them possible. The ultrasonic welded pieces and handy storage box make these a parent favorite, too! Choose from sets of 120 (featured), 102, or 52.
Helpful Review: “These are awesome for my daycare children they came in a reusable plastic storage tub and most important they are a non choking size!”
Recommended Age: 3+ | Number of Tiles: 120 | Shapes Included: Squares, various triangles, pentagons, hexagons, semi-circles, wheels, plastic letter cards, Ferris wheel bracket
5. These Magna-Tiles That Glow In The Dark
This 16-piece glow-in-the-dark Magna-Tiles set comes to life in the dark. They’re made with the same quality construction as the original set above, and the glowing element makes for more play options. Kids can even draw on them or place toys over them, turn off the lights, and watch the outlines glow.
Helpful Review: “This set comes with a small led light that I tie to a long string so it’s easier to find. You use the light to make the tiles glow. The glow doesn’t last too long (about 5 minutes) which is fine because my 3 yearold likes to make different designs once the glow is gone.It’s a fun set to add to magnatiles collection.”
Recommended Age: 3+ | Number of Tiles: 16 | Shapes Included: Squares, various triangle shapes
6. A Magnetic Tile Set With A Ball Run
This ball run Magblock set is sure to keep kids entertained as they watch the large plastic “marbles” roll up and down the colorful, clear pipes in their creations. Fun surface patterns, letter stickers, and an included kaleidoscope windmill add a unique touch. The tiles feature a riveted construction with rounded corners. You can choose from sets of 176 (featured), 120, or 66 — but you only get an included storage case with the 176-size set.
Helpful Review: “My 3-year old and I have played with these for countless hours. They work well for so many games, we build castles, roads, fences, hotels, cars. They are strong and stay together well. They are far, far better than the more expensive versions we've purchased which are small with weaker magnets.”
Recommended Age: 3+ | Number of Tiles: 176 | Shapes Included: Semi-circles, pipes, squares, octagons, slides, and more.
7. These Picasso Tiles With A Race Track & Cars
With this magnetic tile set, you get all the fun of building with magnets but with cars added to the mix! Two LED light-up cars race on a multi-layer track, challenging kids to use their intuition and imagination to build a track that will keep their cars racing in a loop. This is a a great set for older toddlers! Just note that four AA batteries (not included) are required for the cars.
Helpful Review: “My 3 year old granddaughter absolutely loves this! Easy to put together, the cars are delightful and speedy. I had no idea it would be as much fun (for her and for me) as it is. I purchased 3 more cars, and she runs three at a time on her course.”
Recommended Age: 3+ | Number of Tiles: 50 | Shapes Included: Squares, triangles, rectangles, semi-circles, plus 2 light-up cars
8. An Investment-Worthy Mega-Pack From Connetix
Connetix is known for making high-quality tiles and this mega-pack includes 212 pieces of all shapes and sizes that your little one will love. They’re made of BPA- and phthalate-free ABS plastic and are riveted and sonically sealed for safety. The slight beveling on the vibrant tiles makes them the most attractive set around.
Helpful Review: “By far my favourite brand of magnetic tiles here. This brand has much stronger magnets than others and is on par with magna-tiles and play mags. However appearance wise connetix win hands down! Hope to eventually replace other brands with connetix too!”
Recommended Age: 3+ | Number of Tiles: 212 | Shapes Included: Squares, various triangle shapes, rectangles, and hexagons