When I first enrolled my son for daycare, the childcare worker kept sending me photos of my son building stuff with Magna Tiles.

He seemed to really enjoy playing with these pieces.

I decided to get him a set to play with at home.

So, I started shopping around, and let me tell you…

By Lilian.

The search ended in shock. A single set with less than 50 pieces was a whopping $50 while a set with 100 pieces was over $100!

There’s no way I was going to buy this.

So, I embarked on a journey to identify alternatives to Magna Tiles.

Let me share with you a few of these.

6 Affordable Magna Tiles Alternatives


Magblocks are plastic magnetic blocks that keep children entertained for hours on end.

Each Magblocks set is equipped with large magnets that keep a strong hold so that your little one’s structure does not topple over.

All the pieces have a smooth surface with integrated lines to prevent scratching in the building process.

Because they’re affordable, you can buy them in huge numbers to boost your child’s creativity and fun!

They can make trains, cars, houses, bridges – just about anything!


If your child is a gentle builder, then this is a good option. Even much better if you’re on a very tight budget.

They come in both open and closed shapes, and can be stacked and turned and remain connected because of the magnets.

However, I noted that Playmags are relatively weaker than Magna Tiles so it’s likely you might keep replacing them more often and the structures will collapse more often than with Magna Tiles.

Fortunately, they’re compatible with Magna Tiles, in case you want to supplement.

Picasso Tiles

These ones are perhaps the cheapest alternatives – less than half the price of Magna Tiles, but a little more expensive than Playmags.

They’re just like Magna Tiles but they do not have the metal rivets on the edges like Magna Tiles.

I love that they’re compatible with Playmags and Magna Tiles!


If you’re looking for wooden magnetic blocks, you can’t afford to ignore Tegu blocks.

They come with ingenious hidden magnets.

The icing on the cake is that they’re made from natural material – wood – so, unlike other plastic magnetic blocks, these ones have zero-risk of toxicity.

The only disclaimer is that Tegus are a little more expensive than other Magna Tiles alternatives.

Magformers and Super Magformers

If you’re shopping for a younger child – around 18 months – Magformers are a perfect alternative to Magna Tiles!

These ones are just like Magna Tiles but they have open centers and they’re not really solid.

They can actually fit in a diaper bag so you can carry them along for your little one’s entertainment as you travel by air, rail or road, or even in a restaurant.

Unfortunately, I realized that some Magformers are not compatible with other brands of magnetic blocks/tiles.


Before you bash me, let me clarify that not all Legos are magnetic blocks.

However, some Lego sets come with magnetic pieces.

For instance, train sets, some star war sets, city sets, monster truck sets and police helicopter chase sets.

The basic idea of Magna Tiles is construction play, which is what Legos – with or without magnets – are all about.

So, there’s no harm in getting Legos as an alternative to Magna Tiles.

Picasso Tiles vs Magnatiles

Picasso tiles and Magna Tiles are similar in that they’re both magnetic blocks.

However, their differences are so clear, the most fundamental one being the price.

The price of a single Picasso tile is almost half the price of a single Magna Tile!

Second, Picasso Tiles has more specific pieces than Magna Tiles.

For instance, Picasso Tiles has an accessory set with spaces for doors and windows as well as a vehicle set, while Magna Tiles have none of these.

Third, Picasso Tiles are a bit heavier, although some people find the difference insignificant.

Magnetic Tiles for Toddlers

When shopping for kids’ toys, the first priority in every parent’s mind is safety.

So, if you’re shopping for magnetic tiles for your toddler, let me first assure you that Magna Tiles have been found to be safe for kids 3 years and above.

Adult supervision is advised for younger kids.

These creative toys are very important for toddlers, serving to limit their screen time and develop fine motor skills.

Playing with magnetic tiles is also a toddler’s early lesson on magnetic forces.

It teaches them how to match and sort shapes, recognize patterns and letters, and much more.

Don’t forget that while kids play with Magnetic tiles, they’re doing simple math.

They’re learning how to count, add and subtract!

Photo by Ksenia Chernaia.

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