The Top 10 Best Magnetic Toys For Kids Of 2020
Kids are drawn to magnetic toys – and it’s easy to see why. Magnetism is invisible, but it’s also science you can watch in action. Magnets can be used to make versatile blocks and other elaborate constructions. They help teach kids about science, design, architecture and more while also improving fine motor skills and hand-eye coordination.
There’s not just one type of magnetic toy. Instead, there’s a huge variety, and finding the right one for your child can certainly seem confusing. But we’re here to help. The seven best magnet toys for 2020 are listed below. Plus, we’ve included a completely free guide to finding the best magnetic toys for your child:
- Magformers 30-Piece Basic Set
- Melissa & Doug 20 Animal Magnets in a Box
- PlayMonster Create-a-Scene Magnetic Train Playset
- Guidecraft Better Builders 30
- Picasso Tiles 60 Piece 3D Building Blocks
- Lewo Wooden Kids Easel and Dry Erase Board
- Melissa & Doug Magnetic Wooden Fishing Game
- MIBOTE Magnet Blocks
- PicassoTiles Magnet Building Tiles
- DreambuilderToy 120 PCS Creative Magnetic Construction Set
- PlayMonster Lauri Foam Magnets: Numbers
- Tegu Original Magnetic Wooden Block Set
- TOMY Toomies Gearation Magnets
- Frequently Asked Questions about Magnetic Toys
- What Types of Magnetic Toys Are Available?
- What are the Benefits of Magnetic Toys?
- Are Magnetic Toys Dangerous?
- How Do I Find the Best Magnetic Toy?
- What Do I Do if My Fridge isn’t Magnetic and the Toy Doesn’t Come with a Magnet Board?
- Final Thoughts
Magformers 30-Piece Basic Set
This thirty-piece magnetic building block set is a great introduction to the entire Magformers toy line.
- Fun and educational
- Colorful set includes 30 pieces
- Easy to carry, store and travel with
- 30 pieces limits what can be built
- Magnets don’t have satisfying stick of Lego or similar blocks
Easy to use, educational and colorful, the Magformers are a great choice for just about every kid ages three and up. The multi-colored shapes can be combined in practically unlimited ways to build 3D and 2D structures. Each magnet attracts and never repels, so building with them is frustration-free.
Regular use helps stimulate creativity, spatial reasoning, STEM skills and much more. The set includes everything needed (including instructions) to make a magic ball, house, rocket, building and more. Of course, kids are also encouraged to use their imagination to build original creations, too. Upgrading the set is easy because all Magformer toys work together.
This basic set includes 18 squares and 12 triangles in every color of the rainbow. All pieces are durable but soft and easy for little hands to grip. Plus, clean-up is a snap – simply stack and store!
Melissa & Doug 20 Animal Magnets in a Box
Twenty highly-detailed, top quality and durable animal magnets and a wooden storage case.
- High-quality, detailed illustrations
- Wide variety of common and exotic animals
- Easy storage and travel with included wooden box
- Does not include magnetic board
Melissa & Doug is a popular and well-respected toy company known for extremely high-quality toys – and this 20-piece box of animal-shaped magnets is certainly no exception. Each magnet is incredibly detailed but also durable enough for use by kids ages two and up. Includes a variety of familiar and exotic favorites such as a dog, sheep, pig, lion, giraffe, elephant and more.
The magnets all fit into the included wooden box. With a snap-closed top, the box allows for easy carrying and storage. Magnets can be used on any magnetic surface or even any flat tabletop.
PlayMonster Create-a-Scene Magnetic Train Playset
This magnetic playset lets kids place fun train characters on a backdrop of tracks and stations.
- Fun train characters which can be moved around the magnetic board
- Easy to transport and store because all pieces stick together
- Perfect for kids who love trains
- Upper part of the board has weaker magnetic strength than lower section
Magnetic playsets are very popular and this Create-a-Scene Train Playset from PlayMonster is perfect for kids who love trains. Features seven thin train magnets – each a different color and with a unique face – and a variety of accessories. Magnets can be placed anywhere on the magnetic board, which features a scene of tracks, small train stations and more.
This is a quiet, solitary activity which provides fun for kids in restaurants, during road trips and other times when a distraction is needed. Because all the separate pieces fit securely on the backdrop, storage and transportation is simple. The board is 18 inches by 14 inches but folds in half when not in use. All magnets are made from soft, waterproof vinyl.
Guidecraft Better Builders 30
A 30-piece ball and rod construction set which helps develop fine motor control and basic knowledge of STEM concepts.
- Safe and simple magnet construction kit for younger kids
- 30 different pieces, each one of four primary colors
- Helps develop muscle, movement and vision skills
- Provides introduction to magnetism and other scientific concepts
- Not designed for building large, complex structures
- Ball pieces are mobile and can roll under furniture, etc.
Introduce pre-school aged children to the fun of magnetic construction with this 30-piece set. Cones and balls in four different primary colors are included. This is an introductory kit designed for little kids to build very simple structures, stack magnets on top of another and otherwise learn the basics. Consistent use over time can help develop hand-eye coordination and fine motor skills.
Also includes a 13-page activity guide with plenty of fun play ideas. An included bin makes storage a snap, and the magnets naturally attract for easy clean-up. All magnets are securely placed inside oversized and child-safe rods. Designed for children ages two and up. This toy is an Oppenheim Platinum Best Toy award winner.
Picasso Tiles 60 Piece 3D Building Blocks
This large set of 60 magnetic building blocks lets kids create elaborate structures with ease.
- Large set of colorful magnetic tiles
- Helps foster creativity and spatial awareness
- Suitable for kids ages two and up
- Multiple kids can play together
- Building large structures can be complicated for younger kids
Let your child’s imagination soar with this 60-piece set of clear, magnetic building blocks. Helps kids learn about shapes, basic design principles and magnetic polarities. While perhaps a bit too complicated for younger kids, those in elementary school and older will be able to easily build complex towers and structures.
Set includes two squares and three triangles of different sizes. Each piece is available in a few different primary colors. Sixty pieces are enough for a few young kids to play with together cooperatively.
Lewo Wooden Kids Easel and Dry Erase Board
Bring out your child’s artistic side with this easel and dry erase board which also includes 70 colorful farm-themed magnets.
- Combination chalkboard, dry erase board and magnet board
- Includes 70 fun farm-related magnets
- Portable and easy to travel with
- Easel can stand on its own
- Relatively small size
- Plentiful puzzle pieces can be easily lost
This double-sided art board is perfect for budding young artists. Seventy farm-themed magnets (animals, tractors and more) stick to the board. But you can also write and draw with dry erase markers, too. Create detailed scenes to place the magnets into!
At 11.8 inches by 9.4 inches by 1.5 inches, the easel is small and portable. Perfect for car trips and airplane rides. With no small parts, this toy is safe for children ages three and up.
Melissa & Doug Magnetic Wooden Fishing Game
Another classic from Melissa & Doug, this two-in-one magnetic puzzle games has a fishing side and a bug-catching side
- Two-in-one magnetic fishing game
- 20 different animals to catch include fish, sharks and bugs
- Magnetic capture game helps develop hand-eye coordination
- Wood pieces can splinter and warp over long periods of time
Two “catch and release” magnetic puzzle games in one. Both use magnetic fishing poles to catch a variety of creatures. In the fishing game, you can catch a shark, dolphin, octopus, squid and more. On the bug-side, you can catch dragonflies, beetles and others.
The board, pieces and fishin’ rod are all made from high-quality wood. Underneath each piece is an illustration of the animal or bug which belongs in that spot. Kids match up the magnetic “hook” with the metal tab as they attempt to catch every animal.
MIBOTE Magnet Blocks
The MIBOTE Magnet blocks are an excellent magnetic toy for young children thanks to their cheerful aesthetic and easy-snap magnetism.
- Great for constructing play sets
- Perfect for young children
- May be too simple for older children
With the MIBOTE magnet blocks, your young builder will be able to make an endless number of structures and vehicles. Every structure is easy to assemble thanks to the magnet within each piece of the set.
The only issue with these magnetic frames is that there isn’t much complexity to explore. More experienced builders will find the format to be limiting, but the youngest children probably won’t have any problems.
PicassoTiles Magnet Building Tiles
The PicassoTiles Magnetic Tiles are stackable and interchangeable magnets which your child can use to safely explore abstract constructions.
- Great for artists who like to build
- Long-lasting magnets
- Plastic may chip if abused
The main draw of these PicassoTiles Magnetic tiles is that they’re great for producing magnetic works of art. Snapping together each of the pieces is quick and easy, and you’ll find that your young artist will make creations you couldn’t have predicted.
As with many other magnetic sets which combine plastic and magnetic tiles, the plastic portion of the set isn’t nearly as durable as the magnets themselves. The plastic will chip after being dropped on a hard surface, though the magnets have a very long lifetime.
DreambuilderToy 120 PCS Creative Magnetic Construction Set
For children who love to create vehicles with their magnetic construction set, the Dreambuilder set is a dream come true.
- Great for building ground vehicles
- More than 120 pieces of magnetic snapping fun
- Numerous different types of wheels
- Triangular pieces are awkward to combine with others
The Dreambuilder set is great for vehicle engineers because it contains a handful of different wheels and connectors which your child can use to make the race cars or other land vehicles that they have always envisioned.
Thanks to the set’s emphasis on making living creations, it’s possible for your child to use it to create toys that they’ll use for years to come. The only issue is that when they try to produce structures or sculptures using the magnetic pieces, the triangular pieces tend to be harder to place.
PlayMonster Lauri Foam Magnets: Numbers
For youngsters just learning their numbers or older kids who want a unique twist on their typical math problems, these foam magnets are versatile and fun.
- Perfect for math or learning numbers and decimals
- 110 pieces including numbers, circles, and operational signs
- Foam pieces are durable and will even float in the tub
- Might bore kids as they get older and want to build or spell instead
PlayMonster is known for their long-lasting and educational toys, and these numbers are no exception. The fact that this set goes beyond numbers to include circles for decimal places and operational math signs is a major bonus. It allows kids to play with the set for longer than most number sets.
The multi-colored design of the set creates excitement for kids who are still developing. The plastic storage tub that the letters come with is a nice accessory for parents to keep the toy organized. These toys are incredibly safe, which is another bonus for parents.
Tegu Original Magnetic Wooden Block Set
Hours of open-ended and imaginative play are on deck with this unique, magnetic wooden block set from Tegu.
- Compatible with all other Tegu Magnetic Wooden Block sets
- 52 piece set comes in three colors (tints, jungle, and natural)
- Durable wood product
- Non-toxic paint that’s safe for kids to chew on
- Although billed for kids aged three and up, these may be too small and difficult to use for toddlers
The multitude of sizes and styles that these wooden blocks come in makes them ideal for building and creating. The blocks offer an open-ended play experience for kiddos. There is an instruction book in the box, but that doesn’t limit what your child can build with them.
The magnets in the longer pieces are only on the ends, which does limit building possibilities a bit. Overall these blocks may be a bit too advanced for toddlers, but with a patient child or some adult help, these blocks could become a family favorite that grows with your child and teach STEM skills.
TOMY Toomies Gearation Magnets
The magnetic gears in this set give children the opportunity to develop early engineering, mechanics, and creative thinking skills.
- Kids can control the speed and setup of the gears
- Bright colors to help with brain development in youngsters
- Gears interlock in variety of patterns and styles
- Great for younger kids, but might be boring as they grow
- Only five magnetic gears total
These magnetic gears are fun for younger kids and toddlers as they learn about cause and effect. They can help kids to develop early engineering and mechanics skills as well. TOMY is a fantastic brand for young kids who are still learning about hand eye coordination.
Your child is the engineer with these gears, and they can control the speed and movements easily. Hang the gears on a refrigerator, washer, dryer, or magnetic board and let your child’s imagination take it from there.
Frequently Asked Questions about Magnetic Toys
Tons of toys use magnets in some significant way. That’s both good news and bad news. Good because lots of options mean you can likely find a toy for your child which he or she is sure to love. Bad because with so many options, knowing where to start can be confusing.
Here are the answers to common questions about finding the best magnetic toys:
What Types of Magnetic Toys Are Available?
There are two main types of magnetic types: Those with pieces which stick together and those where the pieces stick to a larger magnetic surface. (Of course, magnets can stick anywhere. These are just general categories of toy types.)
Magnetic construction kits include a variety of pieces which can be used to construct towers and other structures. They range from very simple magnet blocks for toddlers to complicated kits which older kits can use to build castles, houses, etc.
The other types of magnetic toys stick to a different surface. These can be magnetic letter sets which you place on your refrigerator, characters you can stick to a scene and so on. Simple magnetic animals and letters can also often be used on a flat, non-magnetic table.
Children interested in architecture, design and hands-on play often prefer magnet blocks and similar toys. Kids who prefer reading and writing might prefer magnetic letter sets.
What are the Benefits of Magnetic Toys?
For both children and adults, magnets are often incredibly fascinating. Magnetic forces are invisible, but their effects can easily be seen and felt. This is a great way to introduce a child to other important concepts we can’t directly view, like gravity and air.
Magnets are often a compelling gateway into other science subjects, but they’re also much more. Magnetic construction kits help children learn basic principles of design, architecture, balance and more. Unlike wooden blocks, which become fragile in large stacks, magnet blocks stick together more securely, which allows children more freedom to experiment.
For babies and toddlers, magnetic toys have a variety of physical benefits, too. Gripping and playing with magnet blocks helps improve hand-eye coordination and fine motor skills. Note that brightly colored blocks are most easily seen by this age group.
Finally, clean-up is a snap with magnetic toys. They naturally stick together. Most toys which have many pieces will include some type of carrying case.
Are Magnetic Toys Dangerous?
All of the toys on our list are safe as long as the recommended age guidelines are followed. As with any toy, you can want make sure it can’t be swallowed by the child. But beyond that standard risk, magnet toys have no extra risks.
However, there are different novelty gadgets on the market which can be dangerous for both children and adults. These devices use high-powered magnets, which is a very strong magnet used mainly for commercial and industrial purposes. They’re sold to adults as a fun novelty where a bunch of tiny magnetic spheres can be manipulated to make little designs and sculptures.
If any of these high-intensity magnetized balls are swallowed, they can cause serious damage to the digestive system. Fortunately, if you’re just searching for magnetic toys for kids, you’re unlikely to find any of these novelties. But never give any products containing high-powered magnets to a child.
How Do I Find the Best Magnetic Toy?
First, you want to focus on their interests. Are they interested in building and creating physical structures? Or are they more interested in writing and drawing?
If the child is a baby or toddler, they don’t have sophisticated interests. Instead, you want to choose a magnetic toy which is colorful and easy to use (and age-appropriate).
What Do I Do if My Fridge isn’t Magnetic and the Toy Doesn’t Come with a Magnet Board?
With the rise of the stainless steel appliances came the fall of refrigerator magnets, and with them, a natural childhood playscape. Luckily there are other options that you probably have around the house if you need a magnetic surface for your child’s toy.
One type of surface you can use is a large baking pan or skillet. These pans are often forged from magnetic materials, which makes them an excellent mobile tray option for your child. If you have an easel in your home, that is another option for a magnetic surface. You can also create your own magnetic wall using a few simple items from your local hardware store.
Magnetic toys are hours of fun for children of practically all ages. Babies and toddlers can play with simple magnetic blocks to help develop motor skills and other basic muscle movements. Older kids can create elaborate structures with magnetic construction kits. Plus, kids of all ages can use magnets to personalize the refrigerator at home or their locker at school.
Magnetic toys have remained popular for decades because they’re simple, educational and fun. Using our guide, you’ll be able to find the perfect magnetic toy for your child.