“Where math, science, and creativity meet.” So says the website. When we were first gifted a starter set of Magna-Tiles, I was a little miffed. We had a few good systems of toys going and small house, so we didn’t need any extraneous toys. I found building with them challenging. My creations tend to fall apart too easily, and the magnets don’t always hold as strongly as I think they should.
But I’ve been won over.
We don’t have many, but what we have is often used and in so many imaginative ways I’ve lost count. Buildings for DUPLO people, garages for Hot Wheels cars, launch pads for space shuttles, rockets, submarines, and more.
And they make a great geometry tool! Just today we spent a few minutes chatting about the difference between the flat square and the 3-D cube. Then proceeded to make a triangle into a pyramid and a rectangle into a rectangular prism. Different kinds of triangles are part of the set, just waiting to be identified as equilateral or isosceles. Two right triangles make a square; hook 6 equilateral together and you’ve got a hexagon.
Then comes the fun part! They’re zoomed around like sci-fi vehicles complete with sound effects. They’re made into elaborate architectures and inhabited by all kids of creatures. The snap of the magnetic connection entertains the little guy as he discovers the power (and fun!) of science just by stacking up a few squares, pulling them apart, snapping them together again. Just visit the idea gallery to see all the fun! The sky’s the limit (and the number of tiles you have, hah!).
Says the know-it-all 4-year-old in their favor, “They stick! And they can make anything!”
Well, not anything. I’m here to tell you, the magnets in the outside edges of the shapes make for just the right amount of constraint, demanding a little trial and error. But remember what I said about constrains boosting creativity? Magna-Tiles are a great example! Happy geometric building!