Remember when blocks were either one of two things: plain wooden squares with the ABCs painted on in primary colors or jumbo cardboard rectangles you’d typically find in preschool classrooms? Well, in case you didn’t know, these classic toys have transformed over the years. No, the toy industry isn’t ridding your child of the same simple pleasures you once experienced as a kid (translation: you can still buy wooden blocks if that’s what you’re into), but evidently magnetic block sets are a thing, and we’re convinced every child needs to try them out before they get over that must-stack-all-the-things stage.
Think of magnetic block sets as the happy medium between technology-free toys and the tablet your tot’s constantly grabbing for: You might know the magnetic force is an act of science, but your little one will be awe-struck by the magic of it all. Let’s face it: Electronics are taking over the world, but they don’t have to take over your playroom and the best magnetic block sets are sure to keep little ones entertained, amazed and totally immersed in creative play sans phones and other technological gadgets.
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1. PicassoTiles 100 Piece Set Magnet Building Tiles
PicassoTiles knows your little creative can’t resist vibrant colors and building shapes, and so the brand’s magnetic block set came to be. It’s no wonder this innovative toy brand’s motto is “dream big and build big” — with 100 super colorful, 3D geometrical shapes to construct, the architectural design possibilities are pretty much endless. From tall towers, ramps for their race cars and life-size castles toddlers can crawl into, this is the set for little ones that love hands-on projects.
2. Magna-Tiles The Original Magnetic Building Tiles
You can thank Magna-Tiles for your child’s new obsession — after all, it’s the brand that introduced magnetic block sets to the market. This set might not be as massive as our PicassoTiles pick, but it features a diverse collection of 32 translucent, colorful squares and triangles of all sizes. And aside from enticing your child’s creative side, the toy acts as an educational tool as well by combining concepts of math, science, spatial and tactile skills into their play.
3. ORRENTE Magnetic Blocks
Toddlers love building (or, you know, banging) blocks just as much as the next child. Toddlers also like putting toys in their mouth. Luckily ORRENTE magnetic blocks are made from a premium ABS material (aka they’re incredibly sturdy, so your little one can rough house all they want without making a dent), and have received their Children’s Product Certificate (CPC). In other words, the product meets all necessary safety standards. The set features a compilation of 60 geometric pieces in total, all of which feature smooth edges for extra child’s safety. Watch in amazement as your little one brings their imagination to life via 3D creations of castles, animals, houses and whatever else they envision.
4. Limmys Magnetic Building Blocks
Limmys magnetic block set was designed for both the novice and advanced builders, which makes this our top pick for family fun. Meeting all US and European safety standards and regulations, the unique travel series was inspired by and meant to inspire the construction of cars, helicopters, aircrafts, air balloons, rockets and more. But these magnetic blocks weren’t solely meant to design modes of transportation: With 74 pieces to play with, your child can create anything and everything that comes to mind.
5. dreambuilderToy Magnetic Tiles
Where fun meets functional, there lies this dreambuilderToy magnetic block set. Each piece was designed to provide a teachable opportunity: The hands-on experience instills STEM concepts, while insertable letter and digital cards can be used as visual aids to enhance your child’s spelling and simple math skills. What’s more, an idea book teaches kids how to follow instructions and create specific models, though it’s highly encouraged that builders create masterpieces of their own design.