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By Katrina Oliver
Magnetic toys are hugely popular for young children.
Their use as fun, engaging science-based toys make them a hit with both kids and parents.
But with the aisles of toy stores overwhelmed with options, picking the right one for your child can be a challenge.
Follow these simple guidelines to find a toy that’s going to be the best for your little one.
The top priority for magnetic toys is to purchase with safety in mind.
A toy with magnetic pieces that can easily fall off or be broken is a huge hazard for young children.
Small magnetic pieces pose a serious health risk for toddlers, who may chew or swallow the magnetic pieces, which can cause life threatening health concerns.
To find a magnetic toy that’s safe and fun for your little one, look for toys where the magnetic elements are completely concealed behind hard plastic and can’t be broken apart.
Check safety warnings on toy packaging to ensure that the toy is safe for play by children of the age you are shopping for.
Toys that have small magnetic pieces adhered to the outside of the toy should be reserved for older children who don’t pose a risk of breaking their toys or swallowing small pieces.
Your child’s magnetic toys are going to get a lot of love!
Before committing to a purchase, look up the product’s reviews.
While it might be most tempting to go for the discount version of your desired magnetic toys, often the cheapest one on the shelf is also the most poorly constructed.
Before taking home your new magnetic toys for your little one, make sure they’re sturdily constructed and can safely stand up to hours and hours of joyful building and tearing down from your eager toddler.
Prefer Open-ended Toy Sets
There’s plenty of fun to be had with use-specific toys, but to get the most out of magnetic exploration, find something that’s open-ended.
Magnetic puzzles, fishing rods, or letters are fun, but their uses are limited and they are easy for a toddler to tire of quickly.
Building toys, like interconnecting tiles or construction elements, are great for ongoing play that can provide a novel and enriching experience after dozens and hundreds of uses.
One of the wonderful things about magnetic toys is how it can teach children through hands-on exploration about geometric concepts like symmetry, length, shape, and angles.
To get the most out of your child’s geometric learning, look for toys that have a wide variety of geometric shapes for your child to explore with.
A set that only offers squares, rectangles, and triangles isn’t going to teach your child much in the way of shape recognition.
Look for Expandable Sets
While being able to build with shapes is a great start to magnetic learning, there is always more to learn and experiment with!
That’s why it’s great to get a toy that has optional expandable elements to add to your magnet collection as your child’s skill grows.
Before purchasing your first magnet set, see what other types of sets are compatible with the same toys.
Look for add-on sets that might include more engineering elements, vehicle building options, or expansions that offer new ways to use and construct their existing toys.
Having that option to create new and interesting ways to play with the same toys will extend the life of the magnet toys and provide even more opportunity for your child to develop those STEM skills.
Finding the best magnetic toys for your family can be a challenge.
Balancing the needs of safety, educational value, and longevity can take time to sort through.
However, once your child has a chance to play with the perfect magnetic toys for them, it will provide them with endless hours of fun, learning, and imagination that you won’t regret for a moment!