The 7 Best Magnetic Toys For Kids – Our Top Choices for 2019
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 building 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 magnetic toys for 2019 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
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 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.
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 building kits include a variety of pieces which can be used to construct towers and other structures. They range from very simple magnetic 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 letters 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 magnetic building blocks and similar toys. Kids who prefer reading and writing might prefer magnetic letters.
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 building kits help children learn basic principles of design, architecture, balance and more. Unlike wooden blocks, which become fragile in large stacks, magnetic 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 magnetic 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 hold (and age-appropriate).
Magnetic toys are fun for children of practically all ages. Babies and toddlers can play with simple magnetic building blocks to help develop motor skills and other basic muscle movements. Older kids can create elaborate structures with magnetic building 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.