Magnetic Building Toys for STEM Play and Making

Magnetic building toys are among the most popular STEM construction options for a number of simple reasons. They are robust and affordable. There are no batteries required—magnets are always ‘on’! Plus, they straddle a number of important engineering concepts such as design, structure, geometry and are an excellent stepping stone to more complex conversations around physics and electronics. You know we like STEM subscription reviews here at Fractus Learning!

While magnets alone, or the ones stuck to the fridge door, can provide hours of fun, the nine magnetic building toys below have all been created especially for children who have that engineering streak. Take a look and see how magnets can motivate learning in your children!

Magnetic Building Toys

Magformers Rainbow Set
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Gearation Refrigerator Magnets
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Tegu Magnetic Wooden Block Set
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Magformers Car Set
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Tumble Trax Magnetic Marble Run
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Magz-Bricks Magnetic Building Set
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Goobi Master Magnet Construction Set
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1. Magformers Rainbow Set

Magformers Rainbow Set

Start building gorgeously colored structures and shapes with Magformers Rainbow Set. Each brightly colored shape contains special magnets that always attract and never repel, allowing pieces to snap together like magic.

Top Features:

  • Compatible with all other Magformers
  • Strong magnets to ensure ease of play and building
  • Loads of bright colors!
  • Fun for a large range of ages

Ages: 3+

2. Gearation Refrigerator Magnets

Gearation Refrigerator Magnets

The TOMY Gearation Refrigerator Magnets is one of my favorites! Combining magnetic attraction and mechanics, each of these colorful gears connect and spin to create a fully functional system. The colorful magnetic discs interlock easily, giving little hands an opportunity to learn about cogs, gears, and magnets simultaneously. Perfect for kids who like action and color, as well as those budding mechanics.

Top Features:

  • Improves dexterity in young children
  • Works on magnetic surfaces, such as fridges, dishwashers, etc.!
  • Encourages logical and mechanical thinking
  • Strong magnet grip and durable construction—perfect for demanding little hands!

Ages: 3+

3. Picasso Tiles

Picasso Tiles

Picasso Tiles encourage imagination while they help your child learn about magnetism, colors, shapes and STEM construction concepts. Whether playing alone or with friends, these colorful tiles offer an educational insight into basic geometry and how different shapes can be used to create new ones. They come in sets of 60 or 100 tiles.

Top Features:

  • Depending on how many pieces you have, objects can be built as little or large as imaginations stretch!
  • Perfect for solo or group play
  • Easy to store when not in use (which hopefully won’t be very often!)
  • Encourage and develop creativity and architecture skills

Ages: 3+

4. Magz Building Kit

Magz Building Kit

One of the most popular magnetic building toys for kids, Magz Building Kit really leaves everything to your child’s imagination. With an endless combination of geometric structures this an excellent kit for developing construction and STEM skills. It’s a really popular hands-on building toy in the science discipline for youngsters. Kids can play and experiment with the pieces creating interesting shapes and designs. As they work in partners or teams, beneficial conversation and problem-solving occur.

Top Features:

  • The sets contains enough individual pieces to create a range of shapes and designs
  • They are a timeless item which will appeal to a number of kids of all ages
  • The pieces are sturdy and durable
  • Both 2D and 3D shapes and objects are easy and engaging to make

Ages: 5+

5. Tegu Magnetic Wooden Block Set

Magnetic Building Toys - Tegu Magnetic Wooden Block Set

A slightly different approach to magnetic building toys, Tegu Magnetic Wooden Blocks are as beautiful as they are educational. Packed in a gorgeous little box these attractive magnetic blocks are perfect for classrooms, homes, and travel. It’s great to see imaginations at work as children build anything and everything out of these blocks. Check out their YouTube for hints and tips on how to build loads of unusual objects!

Top Features:

  • They’re aesthetically pleasing, so make great holiday gifts for kids
  • The different shapes make it easy to create loads of shapes (see Tegu’s YouTube channel)
  • Naturally safe: no lead, no plastic, non-toxic, water-based lacquer finish, no small parts
  • Supporting and developing motor skills, imaginative and creative play, sense of scale.

Ages: 1+

6. Magformers Car Set

Magformers XL Cruisers Car Set

Magnets and cars! Need I say more? The Magformers Car Set combines two exciting elements of engineering and fun. Kids can snap together their own vehicles using magnetic shapes and then play with their new creation. It’s a toy that just keeps on giving!

Top Features:

  • They inspire creativity, unlike most modern toys
  • Will connect with other Magformer pieces
  • Kids can make loads of different types of cars
  • NO batteries needed!

Ages: 6+

7. Tumble Trax Magnetic Marble Run

Tumble Trax™ Magnetic Marble Run

Tumble Trax is a really interesting and imaginative use of magnetic building toys. Each foam piece attaches magnetically to any metal surface (fridge or whiteboard) and can be used to create an exciting track for marbles to traverse. With ten activity cards to give kids design guidance, there is no end to the creativity and ideas that can take place!

Top Features:

  • Really unusual toy
  • Will provide fridge-door fun for years
  • Simple design and premise
  • The set has endless combinations for multiple levels of learning

Ages: 3+

8. Magz-Bricks Magnetic Building Set

Magz-Bricks 60 piece Magnetic Building Set

The Magz-Bricks Magnetic Building Set uses vivid colors and magnetic pads to create the ultimate in magnetic construction. Building high, wide, individually or together, there are an infinite number of creations possible with the set. Simple to build with and easy to take apart, the blocks are designed to be safe, durable and fun.

Top Features:

  • Simple form
  • Bright bold colours
  • Tough and durable plastic with strong magnets
  • Because they’re magnetic and stick together, they clear away easily—you won’t be finding pieces all over your home!

Ages: 3+

9. Goobi Master Magnet Construction Set

Goobi Master Magnet Construction Set

Of the highest build quality and design, Goobi Master Magnets are one of the best magnetic building toys for older children. Excellent for a wide range of subjects, these magnets are even used by occupational therapists in the rehabilitation of people with motor skill challenges.

Top Features:

  • Stores away easily in its own durable carrier case
  • Rainbow color selection
  • The snap on corner supports provide extra strength for tall or large structures
  • Ergonomic design of Goobi bars ensure easy grip for little hands

Ages: 14+

10. DIY Options

 

  • Changeable Magnetic Marble Run

A Changeable Magnetic Marble Run

Make your own marble run with some old pipes, tubing, glue, suckers and, of course, magnets. Check out the original post from frugalfun4boys here.

  • Paper Plate Magnet Race

magnet paper plate raceAll you need are some paper plates, markers, magnets and a little imagination! Find the instructions from Cakies.

  • Magnetic Slime

magnetic slimeThis one requires a few more specialized ingredients to make, but is well worth it! If your little ones love playing with the wacky and wonderful, what could be better than slime and magnets—two crazy elements! Get the recipe and instructions on how to make from frugalfun4boys, an awesome site with loads of cool ideas for play!

 

What magnetic building toys do your children, students and families get the most out of? Share your best recommendations in the comments below!

 

Feature image adapted from image courtesy of Flickr, rok1966.

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