Magformers, a self-described intelligent magnetic construction set for brain development, are magnetic building toys available in several shapes–e.g., polygons such as squares, triangles of different sizes, pentagons, hexagons, etc.–and colors. Around our house, they are known as maggots. Though my daughter is starting to enunciate the n.
Magformers are but one of several magnetic building toys available on the market and are available in many different sets (see chart at end of this post for an overview) but we currently only have the basic set. Despite that limitation, child and daddy alike have fun building. Also, while building, CiCi has recently taken pride in being able to identify both shapes and colors. Though I have no evidence to support it, I believe being able to physically hold the object (e.g., yellow square) rather than only looking at her colors and shapes books helps facilitate her learning.
As mentioned before, CiCi is able to enjoy her Magformers set despite being only 3 years old, which is the manufacturer’s recommended minimum age on the newer sets. Though, she was able to enjoy the set even last year when it just involved connecting two pieces to hear the satisfactory clack of two magnetic pieces coming together. To be honest, I find it relaxing enough to keep several at work and use them similar to how one would use a stress ball.
I have personally recommended Magformers to several friends and encourage parents to consider purchasing them for their children, no matter the age. The following summarizes mine and others thoughts on the magnetic tiles.
- Storage and Portability:
Magformers are easy to store because of their compactness and magnetism. They can easily fit into resealable bags, and the magnets allow for easy cleanup and storage because they stick to each other. Also, being easy to connect and store makes them the perfect toy for long car rides where space and stress-free toys are at a premium!
Magformers’ durability can be reviewed based on its magnets and plastic. Magformers use Rare Earth Neodymium magnets, which they claim is the strongest of their kind and guarantees connectivity. In my experience, the magnets perform well and pieces connect without any problems. Overwhelmingly, other reviewers, for example on Amazon, reiterate the magnets’ connectivity. Though, it is not unanimous, as some people do not feel the Magformers connect well. Additionally, some people have expressed concerns about the the tiles splitting; but, I and many others have not experienced this problem. I have found them to hold up well through repeated play, including many drops from the kitchen table onto the floor.
- Skills Development:
Magformers are an excellent example of a toy that can help develop a child’s skills in several ways. The wide range of colors and shapes not only makes building fun, but also allows parents of young children to practice shape and color identification with a fun builiding toy.
Compared to many building toys and even other magnetic building toys, Magformers are more expensive. Even the largest standard set, which has the best $/piece price, is still a little over $1.60 per piece at the manufacturer’s suggested retail price (MRSP). Magna Tiles, a comparable product, is $1.56 at MRSP for their smallest (i.e., most expensive $/piece) standard set.
Some people have complained that Magformers are too difficulty to move once you have completed a project. For the most part, I have not not had this issue; nor has my daughter who just finished walking a project around the house. Moreover, Magformers are ultimately designed for a project to be completed, admired, and then demolished.
Magformers Product Chart
Note 1: Amazon links are affiliate-linked, meaning Learning to Stem receives a percentage of any sales purchased through the link.
9 different shapes
Here are two quick demonstrations. The first project demonstrates how easy some ideas are to “pull up” into shape; the second project demonstrates how sometimes they are not. Either way, Magformers are Cici’s favorite among the magnetic building toys we own.