I’m sure that nearly all of us can remember playing with magnets at some point. It may have involved specially designed magnetic toys or just two magnets; sticking them together or using one to push the other one around. At that point, we may or may not have realized that through that basic playing, we were learning about an important scientific concept.
There are many magnetic toys that introduce young scientists to magnetic science and encourage other skills and broader scientific exploration. The magnetic toys on this list use magnets to teach physics, biology, math, maker skills, and more, all through the powerful process of play.
Let’s Stick Together: 9 Cool Magnetic Toys
1. Magformers Magnetic Building Construction Set
The Magformers Magnetic Building Construction Set is just one of many Magformers magnetic building sets, the ultimate in magnetic toys for building. This particular set has a lot of pieces and is a good value for the price. An imaginative maker can use his or her imagination to build nearly endless structures and toys, all while learning about magnetic science. This set can provide hours of fun for many ages. Other great Magformers sets include the Magformers Carnival Set and the Magformers 112 Challenger Set. There are so many creative ways to use these magnetic toys. The magnetic pieces are durable and easy to store when they are not playing with them. Younger children can learn colors and shapes with them, as they also help with her hand coordination as well. Learning architectural design in creative play is another bonus.
2. Backyard Safari Magnetic Bug Habitat
Just add bugs! With the Backyard Safari Magnetic Bug Habitat, young scientists use a helpful magnet as they explore and learn about nature. With the included magnetic wand, children can move the habitat’s terrain from the outside. A neat combination of physics and biology. Foster a love of exploring the outdoors and gathering bugs. This is fun and easy to use.
3. Magic Penny Magnet Kit Fourth Edition
The Magic Penny Magnet Kit Fourth Edition lets children explore the science of magnets in a fun and interesting way. An activity book guides kids through their exploration and outlines facts about magnets. A creative minded child will enjoy playing with the magnets and coins well beyond just the structured activities. You could use it to teach various STEM concepts, but could be valuable in many other areas from measurement to geometry. The magnets are plenty strong for completing all the activities and the booklet that comes with the kit has some great information in it.
4. Geospace Math Spin Magnetic Spin Game, Travel Edition
A simple and educational travel toy; no internet connection or tablet/computer required! The Geospace Math Spin Magnetic Spin Game, Travel Edition includes a travel pouch and game book with multiple games for one, two, or more players. Use magnetic science to help teach children math. It’s not just the math puzzles, the magnet is fun as well.
5. Toysmith Magnetic Levitator
The Toysmith Magnetic Levitator uses the science of repelling magnets to make the levitator “float”. An inexpensive item, it’s a great example of fun magnetic toys that grab children’s attention and encourage them to explore the science behind the toy. Get this for a science project and experiment with putting different types of materials in place of where the glass is, etc. It’s small, simple to put together and the kids get a kick out of the levitation and spinning.
6. Dowling Magnets Simply Science Magnet Mania Kit
The Dowling Magnets Simply Science Magnet Mania Kit contains magnet wands and colorful chips and marbles to introduce young scientists to fun magnetic science. Kids can perform the easy to follow experiments in the activity book or simply play and learn on their own. Regardless of age, all my kids seem to love these, and there are countless ways of using them. It comes with magnetic marbles, 2 wands (super strong magnet), and even an idea booklet. It’s a great price and guaranteed kids will love it!
7. Thames & Kosmos Electricity and Magnetism
A fun and award-winning experiment kit, the Thames & Kosmos Electricity and Magnetism science kit guides young scientists through more than 60 activities that explore the close relationship between magnets and electricity. All necessary supplies are included, and children can build useful devices and magnetic toys. When you open the box everything is has its own little spot so it is easy to find everything and when your child is done everything goes back into the same little cubby. Nothing gets just thrown into a box and end up floating around. The directions are very clear and there are just enough pieces to offer a variety of things to do without having it be overwhelming, or on the flipside, too simple. If your child is at the age where they like to do things themselves with minimal assistance they’ll be able to do that with this activity.
8. Lauri – Fun with Magnets
“Explore the Magic of Magnets” with the Lauri – Fun with Magnets play and learn set. This inexpensive set teaches magnetic science in a fun and engaging way. The set includes everything needed to start learning, as well as 14 guided activities. This makes a great starter set for introducing kids to magnets! It has a lot of fun pieces to do lots of different experiments. It also comes with 14 experiment cards that give you a lot of fun ideas and really help bring the fun of magnets to life.
9. SmartMax Basic Stunt
The youngest scientists use the power of magnets in the SmartMax Basic Stunt toy kit to build ramps and structures to play with the included cars and accessories. Compatible with other SmartMax kits, the Basic Stunt kit encourages maker skills as well as introducing the scientific concept of magnetism. These toys are fantastic! Kids as young as three years old can put together so many combinations of vehicles which they can pair with other Smart Max sets of building pieces. It will keep them busy for a very long time!!
Magnetic toys are a great way to encourage learning through play. Does your child have a favorite toy that uses magnets? Tell us about it in the comments below!
Feature image courtesy of Flickr, SAN_DRINO.