We recently gave our toddlers, Olivia and Braxton, ages 3 and 4, a set of Picasso magnetic tiles as an early Christmas gift and they absolutely love playing with them. I enjoy watching them play and quickly noticed the many learning opportunities these building toys provide.
So, let me get right into it, here are 5 educational benefits of magnetic tiles:
Fine Motor Skills Development
Shapes and Colors Identification
Design Thinking Development
I Highly recommend the Picasso brand of magnetic tiles, which you can find HERE. Use the code AFF20%OFF to receive 20%off.
The first educational benefit of magnetic tiles is fine motor skills development. The action of pinching and grabbing the tiles to build various one, two and three dimensional structures with the magnetic tiles helps to strengthen fine motor skills. Also, children must practice a certain level of precision when aligning the tiles to make the magnets connect, which further develops fine motor skills. The second benefit is using the magnetic tiles is to practice identifying colors and shapes with your toddlers. The Picasso Tiles set that we have comes with 60 tiles in seven different colors: red, orange, yellow, green, blue, purple and pink. There are also different variations of squares and triangles (we'll talk more about the triangles in a minute).
Another educational benefit of magnetic tiles is the ability for your child to visualize their designs and get creative while they play. One way I create a little structure during creative play is by showing my toddlers a design and asking them to recreate it or remix it. We found some great flashcards that challenge toddlers to create letters and numbers using the magnetic tiles. Check out our Pinterest Board: Magnetic Tiles to get inspired, the resources we use are pinned to this board.
Creative play is pretty self explanatory, sometimes we just take the tiles out and let the kids build whatever their little hearts desire. If I pulled the blocks out with the intention for skill building, I'll typically start or end our learning activity with creative free play. I recommend introducing the magnetic tiles as toys and allowing your toddler(s) to explore how they work independently. You'll be surprised how quickly your toddler figures out how to build two and three dimensional designs unassisted. These magnetic tiles will spark your child's curiosity and keep their attention for a surprisingly long time (long for a toddler = 10+ minutes, lol).
Lastly, one of the first things I noticed when we opened the Picasso magnetic tiles set is the different types of triangles. The set we have includes three different types of triangles. Off the top of my head I could not recall what I learned in tenth grade geometry in order to remember the names of the different triangles, so I relied on my trusty Google Home Assistant to help me out! After a quick refresher, I was able to explain to my little people the difference between the equilateral, isosceles and right triangle. Now, keep in mind my toddlers are 3 and 4, so I do not expect them to be able to remember formulas to find the area of a triangle or anything like that, but introducing them to the vocabulary is important. I try to be intentional when asking them to hand me certain pieces, by saying things like, "Olivia, can you pass me that blue isosceles triangle?" We've been playing with these building toys for only a few weeks now, and both Braxton and Olivia can say isosceles with strong diction (insert proud momma gif)! So I say that to say, be intentional about introducing new vocabulary to your toddlers, even if you think it might be a bit advanced.
Check out the video below of Braxton, our 4 year old, showing off how he used the Picasso magnetic tiles to create a domino effect, also known as a chain reaction. The possibilities are truly endless with this toy, it provides some great ways to build foundations in STEM learning concepts, critical thinking and allows children to get away from the screen and get creative! I'm excited to learn different ways your children play with magnetic tiles, so let us know in the comments what your little people create with magnetic tiles.
I receive a small commission for purchases made through links in this post.