Children these days have a vast number of toys that offer them fun times and a chance to learn. An excellent example of such toys is the various options that encourage STEM-inspired play. With this review, you’ll get a chance to learn about PicassoTiles vs Magna-Tiles, what they are, how to use them, as well as which option your child would benefit from.
What Picasso Tiles and Magna-Tiles are and why you should buy them
Magnetic building tiles are a fun way to bring ordinary building blocks to life. They are colorful pieces that come with small magnets embedded along their edges. These enable you to join different parts together. Basic sets come in various geometrical shapes, including squares and triangles. Specialty kits come with even more shape options so that you can build Ferris wheels, houses, car tracks, and more. As a parent, finding fun toys that also teach your child is always a plus. That’s what these tilesets do as your young ones will get to incorporate STEM ideas into their play sessions.
Differences and similarities between PicassoTiles and Magna-Tiles
Both come in colorful, see-through plastic with adequate magnets to make building shapes easy. They also come in different sizes to make it possible to come up with different layouts.
Based on our experience with these magnetic sets, the PicassoTiles have stronger magnets than the Magna-Tiles’. That makes it possible to create sturdier structures. Magna-Tiles can still connect, though they may sometimes not hold for too long with elaborate arrangements.
Magnets can prove harmful to children if swallowed. Since these toys come with small magnets, they need a securely made frame to keep the magnet pieces well hidden. Magna-Tiles have riveted their tiles together, making the appearance of cracks and breaks less likely. PicassoTiles are held together using glue, making them more prone to opening up after falls. Therefore we can claim that Magna-Tiles are safer in the long run.
You’ll notice that the Magna-Tiles cost nearly twice as much as the PicassoTiles. That’s the case despite the fact that they have the same number of pieces. Therefore, you need to think carefully about what you’d like these tiles to do for your kids. Once you make up your mind, save to buy the boxes with more pieces, as they’re cheaper in the long run. If that’s not an option for you, you can always grow your collection by slowly purchasing the packs with fewer pieces.
The better the cut of the tiles, the better your structures will come out. Both the Magna-Tiles and PicassoTiles have straight edges, so joining them is easy. It way your creations can stay together during the construction process. Here’s a great instructional video showing what your child can make with the Magna and Picasso tiles and the quality you should expect from the tiles.
Lightweight magnetic tiles make it easier to create fabulous creations. Both Magna-Tiles and PicassoTiles are light, weighing under 7 pounds each for the entire set of 100 pieces.
Having uniquely designed blocks mean that your child’s inventions can be even more creative. Magna-Tiles and PicassoTiles all come with different shape options to make the models more challenging to build, and also more appealing.
The magnets in PicassoTiles and Magna-Tiles are identical in appearance, shape, and size. What’s surprising is that the PicassoTiles have much better magnets than the Magna-Tiles’. However, this doesn’t explain the price difference as the PicassoTiles are the cheaper option out of the two.
PicassoTiles and Magna-Tiles Compatibility
People often get confused and think that they are both the same. They consider them precisely the same in size and design. But they are not the same at all. Each brand has unique dimensions for their tiles. That, however, doesn’t stop your children from creating inventions using a combination of Magna-Tiles and PicassoTiles. They still connect seamlessly to each other.
Which One to Choose?
The significant difference between the two types of magnetic tiles is their price, durability, and safety. Magna-Tiles have a secure build with rivets to keep the magnets in place. So, you don’t have to worry whenever your child’s magnetic structure comes crashing down, as they don’t crack easily. However, their price point is on the higher side. That will set you back quite a bit, especially if you need enough pieces for more than one child to use.
On the flipside, PicassoTiles use non-toxic materials and are cheaper. However, the tiles aren’t as durable since they’ve been stuck together with an adhesive. That means that whenever they fall, you have to be extra vigilant with checking for cracks. Cracks may cause the tile to chip or break apart, exposing the magnets that younger children may get tempted to eat.
These comparisons create a baseline for you to work with when making your choice. You could opt for the stronger built Magna-Tiles, which come with the downside of less powerful magnets. But these will last you quite a bit since they won’t break easily. On the other hand, if you need more pieces to get your kids started with their STEM-guided play, the PicassoTiles will not disappoint.
The Bottom Line
Every child loves to play with blocks. The Magna-Tiles and PicassoTiles are a great alternative to traditional LEGO blocks, as even a few pieces can build amazing creations. That’s because the magnets enable them to stick together at a variety of angles. Getting PicassoTiles or Magna-Tiles can be a worthwhile purchase since even bigger kids can use them. And, unlike other toys that lose their appeal with age, these would still challenge the user’s creative thinking, regardless of how they are.
My Top Picks
PicassoTiles 100 Piece Set
The PicassoTiles in this package come in five shape sets. A big and small square, two types of isosceles triangles, and an equilateral triangle. This way your child can create different layouts, depending on how you join them. You’ll notice that the magnets are quite strong, which makes them better suited for building 3D structures as they’ll hold their form with ease. Different STEM-inspired principles get integrated into playtime sessions. Therefore, you can get a glimpse into how creative your child can be, as well as how quickly they can come up with solutions to guide their building process. These tiles create lots of fun for any age group, including grownups. However, keep an eye on younger toddlers to make sure they don’t swallow any of the smaller sized pieces. The tiles are made up of strong plastics. So, if you take care of them well, they can even last you a few years, making their cost a worthwhile investment. This is how such tiles look like in an image and a video.
- Dimensions: 2.6x11x18.9 inches
- Weight: 5.51 pounds
- Tile shapes included: Square, Equilateral Triangle, Isosceles Triangle
- Squares come in two sizes
- Isosceles triangles come in two variants
- Can be used alongside other magnetic tile brands
- Has strong magnets
- Perfect for promoting creative thinking and problem-solving skills
- Can make towering creations
- Ideal for children above three years
- Can crack or even break quickly if they fall so check for cracks after some falls
Magna-Tiles Clear Colors 100 Piece Set
For this set of magnetic tiles, you receive five types of pieces. There are square ones in two sizes, as well as three variations of triangles. The manufacturer uses food-grade ABS to create the tiles. So your child won’t get exposed to harmful latex and phthalates while they play. Each piece is held together with steel rivets, making them sturdier. You can join your younger child in making flat creations on the ground. For older kids, you can join them in creating towering formations with their Magna-Tiles. The package has an age restriction of 3 years. However, with a parent’s involvement, even younger toddlers can enjoy the fun. These provide an excellent way to help them start learning about different shapes and colors. They also help them improve their motor skills. They’re compatible with other magnetic building tiles. Growing your collection is easy as you can add any brand’s pieces. Below you see a great example for a structure they can create and also you can check out a video, too to get a feel how these blocks are.
- Dimensions: 12.2×3.1×8.7 inches
- Weight: 6.17 pounds
- Tile shapes included: Square, Equilateral Triangle, Isosceles Triangle, Right-angled Triangle
- Durable design with steel rivets
- Comes with different sized shapes
- Has appealing colors
- Can create flat 2D designs
- Can make high standing 3D structures
- Enough pieces for more than one child
- Excellent for enhancing developmental skills
- Material made from food-grade plastics
- Magnets aren’t powerful
- They cost more than Picasso Tiles
Children require different ways to enhance the development of different skills. Magnetic tiles such as Picasso Tiles and Magna-Tiles offer them pretty-looking toys to help them get creative. The best part about these is that you can also join your children while they play. Younger toddlers also get to start learning about different colors, as the tiles come in various color options. Another advantage of them is that younger children can build flat designs on level surfaces like the floor. Older children can opt to construct 3D innovations, such as rockets.
In case you need ideas on what to do with these magnetic tiles, both companies have suggestions for you online. Magna-Tiles has lesson plans on their website. These can help you create STEM lessons for your child, especially younger ones, through play. PicassoTiles have gone a step further and created a YouTube channel that features videos with plenty of creations. The possibilities with Magna-Tiles and PicassoTiles are endless!