6 Fun Ways to Extend Play With Magnet Tiles

Magnet tiles are more than just colorful building blocks; they’re gateways to endless creativity and learning opportunities. If your family enjoys these as much as mine does (we’re mildly obsessed) try these six inventive ways to elevate your magnet tile play. From educational STEM activities to fun family projects, here’s how to expand the playtime with items you likely already have at home.

First, let’s quickly cover our favorite magnet tiles. We own Picasso Tiles, Connectix Tiles, and MagnaTile sets. They all work together which is nice. I love Picasso Tiles because they are the most affordable option and a great place to start with your collection. Next, we added some Connetix Tiles because they are a little more durable with slightly stronger magnets, allowing you to build slightly bigger structures. I find the Connetix Tiles and MagnaTiles equal in strength, so I usually just turn to MagnaTiles for add-ons like their animals, etc.

1. Balls or Marbles: Creating Dynamic Ball Runs 

Girl playing with magnet tiles and ball on table.

A simple addition of balls or marbles can transform your magnet tile structures into dynamic ball runs and mazes. We opt for foam balls or ping pong balls, which are safer for our crawling baby. This setup isn’t just entertaining; it encourages problem-solving as children determine how to construct paths that keep the balls moving smoothly. Watching your kids experiment with gravity and physics without even realizing they’re learning is so fun!

2. Nano Bugs

Small toy bug that moves automatically.

Nano Bugs are fun, little battery-operated bugs that skitter and jitter in unpredictable ways. These are perfect for magnet tile mazes! You can create intricate paths and watch the Nano Bugs navigate through them. It’s a huge hit for both younger children and older kids. My 3-year-old particularly loves them.

3. Animal and People Figurines 

Incorporating animal or people figurines can bring a whole new dimension to magnet tile play. While specific figures are made for magnet tiles, small figurines work just as well (we love Safari Ltd Toobs). For instance, my kids once created an elaborate ‘iceberg’ scene for their Toobs animals, and it was the hit of their playtime that whole day.

4. Small Cars and Hot Wheels 

Boy playing with magnet tiles on table with toy car.

Using small cars like Hot Wheels can turn a simple play session into an engineering challenge. My son spends hours designing and refining ramps for his cars, tweaking angles. This activity is a fantastic STEM exercise, helping kids understand basic principles of engineering and mechanics, plus it’s pretty fun for adults, too (I have spent quite a few hours myself trying to craft fun ramps!)

5. Magnetic Surfaces: Expanding Play Beyond the Floor 

Don’t limit your magnet tile adventures to the floor. Any magnetic surface—like refrigerators, ovens, garage doors, or even baking sheets—can become a vertical playground. For example, you can construct a vertical ball run on the fridge door.

6. Flashlights 

Finally, introduce flashlights into the playtime mix! Magnet tiles are translucent, and light can travel through them, creating beautiful, colorful shadows. After your kids build their structures, dim the lights and let them explore with flashlights. This magical experience isn’t just fun but also teaches children about light, shadows, and colors.

Products mentioned:


Nano bugs

Animal Toobs

MagnaTile Animals

Picasso Tiles



Mom and kids playing in playroom with magnetic tiles.

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