Magnetic play has always been enticing to children of all ages. Over the last several years sets of magnetic tiles from brands like Magna Tile, NeoPuzzle, and MagSnaps have become very popular for home use, as well as classroom and therapeutic learning. Magnetic play encourages experimentation and imagination but also brings a host of other benefits for the child.
For younger children these colourful, magnetic tiles can help with learning about colours and sorting, as well as recognising shapes and sizes. As the child gets older, the magnetic tiles can help them add depth to their creativity, critical thinking, and problem-solving skills. Building tall structures helps with hand-eye coordination and actually helps to prepare a child for reading by teaching their eyes to track the pieces as they build, as they would words on a page.
These tiles also come in useful in learning and therapeutic environments. These magnetic tiles have been shown to be especially useful for children with sensory disorders by helping to calm sensory overload and allowing them something tactile to manipulate in moments of overwhelm. Magnetic play also feeds into STEM learning which has become a huge focus in education due to the growth of STEM-related jobs.
STEM encompasses Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics and these magnetic tile sets allow for interaction with each of the STEM points. In Science, the magnetic tiles help children learn about how a magnet works and can also be manipulated into Life Sciences and Biology by allowing children to build various cells, flowers, and insects out of the tiles. For Technology, magnetic play opens the discussion topics of what kinds of technological devices use magnets and what kinds of devices can be damaged by magnets. For engineering, the magnetic tiles obviously offer a host of opportunities to build a number of structures, enabling learning as they create. In Mathematics, the magnetic tiles can be used as a manipulative to learn addition and subtraction. Aside from STEM learning magnetic tiles also feed the arts by allowing many artistic opportunities for children to create anything they can imagine.
Obviously, magnetic play and magnetic tile sets bring a variety of learning benefits to the table and are a toy that your child can grow with and use on an ongoing basis, but there are a ton of different brands now due to their increased popularity. So which one is the best? Let's look at a few comparison points between three major brands - Magna Tile, NeoPuzzle, and MagSnaps.
Magna Tile is the original magnetic tile set and has been used for longer by a wider audience, so it carries a slight edge in the durability and performance category. However, NeoPuzzle and MagSnaps are both very durable and hold up well to extended use and play.
All three brands offer an equal amount of creative opportunities. NeoPuzzle does carry a 155 piece set which offers more shapes than the other two brands in comparison.
All of the magnetic tile brands play well together and can connect to each other. This is great news when building a larger set, knowing that no matter which brand you choose it can connect with any other magnetic tile set. Mixing and matching magnetic tile sets can also open more creative avenues!
While magnetic tile sets are very popular, they can also be very pricey. All three brands fall in approximately the same $100 - $200 price range depending on the size of the set you purchase, but NeoPuzzle comes out on top when it comes to getting the most bang for your buck, coming in slightly cheaper than the other two brands.
Magnetic tile sets and magnetic play can give your child an abundance of creative opportunities while allowing them to build their fine motor and problem-solving skills. These magnetic tile sets also feed well into classroom and therapeutic learning environments as manipulative for STEM learning or focal objects for sensory therapy. While they may not be the cheapest toy on the market, they have an unlimited amount of uses and applications and they are a toy that will grow with your child and be used for years to come.
Kidzinc was one of the first stores in Australia to sell Magna Tiles and offers all three of the discussed brands of magnetic tiles, along with a couple of other options. Take a look and order your set today!
Kidzinc is dedicated to the development of young minds, and assisting you to develop your kids to their fullest potential, through books, toys, games, puzzles and interactive play! Our purpose is to provide you with the best educational and developmental products, sourced from all corners of the world.