Cutting to the chase, toys with magnets pose some very real dangers to toddlers that other toys don’t, particularly when ingested. Reports of youngsters being sent to hospitals and undergoing emergency surgeries is a nightmarish thought for any parent.
Yes, it is true to an extent. Even so, it is likely that several other factors contributed to these incidents than these playthings’ magnets. Do the risks of magnetic toys outweigh their benefits? In light of recent safety issues surrounding magnetic tiles, let’s go back to why we let our kids play with them in the first place.
How Can Toddlers Benefit From Magnetic Tiles?
With proper safety supervision, you can let your toddler play with any age-appropriate toy, especially ones as educational as magnetic tiles. Here are what your little ones can gain from playing with these types of toys:
1. Boosts STEM Skills
Introducing magnetic tiles into your toddlers’ play routines could get them started on science, technology, engineering, and mathematics on the best note. Magnetic tiles encourage your youngsters to ask questions, be creative, be curious, and work as a team to solve problems. Plus, it does these through several levels of play, so your kids are never bored and are constantly challenged.
In building a simple structure using magnetic tiles, your children are already applying what they unconsciously know about gravity. Deciding whether or not extra tiles are needed to make the structure stronger or figuring out why it collapsed tests out their engineering skills. This could take several more tries of putting the tiles together, which builds both resilience and critical thinking skills.
Magnetic tiles encourage curiosity in a way other educational toys don’t, at least concerning toys for early age groups. They almost always keep a child asking questions. Which color goes where? What happens if I mix this color with that? To find out the answers, kids resort to experimenting until they get the results they want.
2. Improves Hand-Eye Coordination
At two years old, kids aren’t expected to have impressive hand-eye coordination. However, this skill is something parents can start honing in their children as early as toddler age. They can do this by relying on innovative toys, such as magnetic tiles. That way, by the time kids start learning to write, button their shirts up, or tie their shoes, they won’t have such a hard time with the process.
Magnetic tiles can help develop a child’s hand-eye coordination. As children piece the tiles together, they improve the relationship between their hands and eyes. Then, as they continue to build and take apart tile structures, their skills in this department will only become more complex. In turn, they’d be able to take on even more challenging constructs.
3. Encourages Creative and Imaginative Play
Magnetic tiles are the perfect tools for helping kids explore their creative and imaginative sides. Through imaginative play, children develop a better understanding of themselves and the world around them. Also, it helps them improve their language and social skills through role-playing.
Facing the challenging stretches of tile building helps toddlers better manage their emotions and develop patience. It teaches them how to express themselves better, including their likes, dislikes, and the things that inspire them. As a parent, this gives you an idea of where your child’s interests lie.
You’d be surprised what your child’s mind conjures into reality through their magnetic tiles. The opportunities to build and create using magnetic tiles are practically endless. It even ties into bookish play with ease, allowing your kids to alternate between both styles of imaginative play effortlessly.
4. Develops Motor Skills
Magnetic-tile building influences both a child’s gross and fine motor skills. This activity helps develop movements in large body parts used for more physically demanding activities, like jumping and running around. It also serves as an obstacle course for developing movements and motions necessary for throwing, building objects, and stepping over tiles.
Working on magnetic tiles also benefits fine motor skills, which focuses on the smaller muscles responsible for more precise movements. It can encourage your kids’ penchant for the arts with how it improves drawing, painting, and writing skills.
5. Improves Literacy and Numerical Skills
Magnetic tiles could be part of the recipe for your child’s academic success. It opens the door for literacy and numerical development in your youngsters.
They can use tiles to build numbers, patterns, and shapes, improving recognition of these figures. They also help improve a child’s understanding of positional mathematics through the placement of tiles behind, in front of, next to, or at the back of an object.
Magnetic Tiles Are for Kids of All Ages
Magnetic tiles are cost-effective educational toys kids can enjoy through the different stages of early childhood. They might not be the safest toys to have around genuinely curious toddlers, but they shouldn’t pose a danger to them with the right supervision.
Even so, if you can’t be proactive in prioritizing safety in these “riskier” toys, opt for safer options that are age-appropriate and are just as educational instead.