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Product Review: The Best STEM Magnetic Tiles Building Sets for 2023

June 15 2023 CreateOn

When children play, they’re doing so much more than just entertaining themselves. Playing gives kids the formative experiences they need to succeed in school and beyond.

As a parent, you likely want to find toys for your children that are both fun and educational. STEM magna tile sets are a perfect choice. Your kids can build colorful geometric worlds with them while building a solid foundation for math and the sciences later on. Here’s our take on the best sets for learning and growth.

What Are STEM Magna Tile Sets?

There are plenty of brands offering magnetic tiles for kids. These engaging toys are commonly called “Magna-tiles,” but Magna-Tiles is one brand. (It’s a lot like how many of us call any small adhesive bandage a Band-Aid).

Magna tiles are plastic tiles with magnets all around the edges. They come in a range of geometric shapes: you can find squares and various types of triangles in any given shape. The magnets make the tiles stick to one another, and the magnetic bond is strong enough that kids can use the tiles to build 3D shapes.

How Do STEM Magna Tile Sets Help Kids Learn?

There’s nothing like hands-on learning experiences to help kids internalize new skills. These sets can help even very young children begin to understand the basics of geometry — starting with learning their shapes!

STEM magna tile sets can also help kids master visual-spatial reasoning, which is the ability to mentally picture 3D objects. Visual-spatial reasoning is important in many sciences, and playing with magna tiles can teach kids basic engineering skills.

So what age group are Magna tiles best for? Most brands recommend their tiles for ages three and up. However, some parents let younger kids play with them, too. If you do this, just supervise them closely and monitor the tiles for any cracks or chips.

The Two Best Brands of Magnetic Building Set STEM Toys Reviewed

If you set out to buy your child a set of Magna tiles, there are endless brands out there. However, not all brands are created equal. Very cheap off-brands may have weak magnets that don’t hold together well. They may also be made of flimsy plastic that can break and quickly become a serious choking hazard.

We recommend seeking out two of the best brands: Magna-Tiles and Picasso Tiles. Fortunately, these brands are compatible with one another, so you can always get some of each!


Magna-Tiles are the original in the world of magnetic tile sets, and many parents regard them as the best. Here’s a rundown of their features and how they compare to Picasso Tiles:

  • Held together with metal rivets for extreme durability
  • More expensive than most other options
  • Have weaker magnets than Picasso Tiles
  • Can be customizable — available in paintable and photo versions as well
  • Don’t include as many variations as some other brands

Magna-Tiles are generally regarded as the more durable of the two brands thanks to the metal rivets. If you want something long-lasting, they’re worth the price!

Picasso Tiles

Picasso Tiles offer plenty of advantages, too. The endless variety in their tile sets will really let your kids’ imaginations shine. Here’s how they stack up against Magna-Tiles:

  • Held together with glue, making it easier for them to come apart
  • More affordable than Magna-Tiles
  • Have stronger magnets than Magna-Tiles
  • Come in a range of shapes and sizes, including animal figurines, cranes, and more

If variety is the most important thing to you, Picasso Tiles are the way to go. You can always opt for the best of both worlds and get some of each!

Getting Your Kids Started with STEM Magna Tile Sets

Ultimately, you can’t go wrong with either Magna Tiles or Picasso Tiles. Both are great for helping children learn and have fun.

The best way to start your kids off is with a 100-piece set. Children love to build towers, houses, and more with their tiles, so you’ll want to make sure they have plenty!

If your kids like playing with the tiles (and they likely will!), you can expand your collection with more sets. You can even get photo tiles or tiles your kids can paint themselves.

At CreateOn, we’re proud to offer toys that support the growth of young minds. We carry a wide range of both Magna-Tiles and Picasso Tiles to start or expand your collection. Check out our wide selection and help your kids start creating today.