Hubby took Bear to the playground when I was in the hospital one afternoon getting some tests run. While they were there they started chatting it up with an Air force Dad and his two young boys. The boys took Bear in and asked him to play Magna Tiles with them. He loved playing with the kids and even more so the toy. A few days later we forgot all about it.
During a trip to target we walked down the aisle that had them, but we didn't even notice the Magna Tiles until Bear started asking for them. We decided we needed to do some research on them before dropping money on this one toy. There were several brands and price ranges on the shelves so I needed to know what was worth it and what wasn't.
I talked to a bunch a friends that had these and asked around online. I even watched some comparison videos on YouTube. All of which said the knockoff brands were good, but they didn't beat the originals. I mulled it over for a bit and after an email back from an old coworker, I was sold on spending the money on the MagnaTile brand.
The email showed me a bunch of pictures of the Magnatiles and knockoff brands that she had in her classroom. She had the MagnaTiles for about 5 years and they still work perfectly. There are a few scratches on them, but for the most part are in great shape. The two knock off brands she had are just over 2 years. She showed how there are magnets that have fallen out and deep cracks in the plastic. Several of the pieces had to be thrown out. This alone sold me on the MagnaTiles!
Thankfully, we had a coupon which saved us some money on these, but I think they are well worth the price!
For the most part I just let Bear do whatever he wants with the tiles. He builds race tracks and garages for his cars. He makes large towers to knock over. He even likes to sort them by shape or color. I simply try to add in the word(s) he's trying to say when he points to something. I keep it simple by saying things like "square, Please". He often mimics which is the point of this all. Bear also loves to count so we incorporate that as well. I prefer to play off things I know he likes and enjoys to keep the learning aspect fun for him.
When he gets older we can use the tiles to make letters or numbers. I'm excited for when Bear can build bigger or more complex structures. Or even just add more shapes as we acquire more sets of MagnaTiles. This is clearly not going to be a single purchase for us.
Do you have MagnaTiles or one of the knockoff brands? How do like them?