Magna-Tiles are not exactly new. In fact, they’ve been around for a while, and we’ve had them in the store since right before the holidays. But I’m starting to think they’re one of the best kept secrets in the world of toys. I’d heard rumblings about Magna-Tiles, but I wasn’t sure what the hoopla was all about. It’s a bunch of, well, magnetic tiles in various shapes. And they’re fairly expensive, to boot. Then, we gave a set to our kids during the holidays. Like so many gifts given during the deluge of the holidays, the Magna-Tiles ended up stashed on a shelf in the closet for a few weeks, until I discovered them while digging for something else. Instead of flipping on Dora the Explorer while I cooked dinner that evening, I opened up the Magna-Tiles and put them on the kitchen floor.
Now, I understand why there’s a small but growing chorus of parents singing their praises. They are such an open-ended toy with so many different functions. As a make believe prop, they inspire all kinds of creative assignments. My kids love putting a small triangle on top of a large one and serving ice cream cones. As an educational toy, they are pattern blocks with a sticky twist. As a construction toy, they can be used in either two or three dimensions to create an array of different structures. Today, my older daughter literally took my breath away when she designed a stunning rocket ship complete with fiery boosters and a door. Now, the Magna-Tiles are a steady favorite around here, and in the store, too. We’re trying to keep them in stock, but it’s been a challenge. The newest set for us is due in any day now, Working Trucks. It’s basically Magna-Tiles on wheels. Sounds like fun to me.
For more information, visit www.magnatiles.com.