STEM kits: Two Types of Magnetic Building Tiles – Magformers and Magnatiles!

May 21, 2021 | Educational Connections, Kids, News, STEAM Adventures

Hello, DeKalb Families! Miss Julie here to tell you that we have two new STEM kits available for circulation. Both of them are magnetic building sets, and both are super cool!

First off, we have our Magformers Kit. The Magformer pieces look like this:

What are Magformers? They are brightly colored plastic shapes with magnets in the edges. These magnets allow you to build in ways that regular blocks, or even Legos, do not allow. Believe me, these are a ton of fun to play with.

And as a neat bonus, we are including a book in the kit! We are a library, after all…we must send you home with something to read! All About Magnetism by Angela Royston is a nice little book that will help you learn more about magnets and magnetic fields. Read it out loud to your little one and they can learn while they play. Another book, Buildings in the City, by Eve Heidi Bine-Stock talks about many different kinds of buildings you might see in a city.

So what can you do with this kit? Why, build anything that you would like! The cool triangle and pentagon pieces allow you to get pretty creative. Here’s a slideshow of what my kids did at home, and then a video of a neat modular design that one of my boys did:

The next kit we have to show you is a Magnatile kit. Magnatiles look like this:

These building pieces do not have the empty center, like Magformers, but they are the same basic thing. There are two big differences between Magnatiles and Magformers; namely, the shapes and the strength of the magnetic hold. In this second set, there are three different types of triangles, and there are the lovely oversized pieces that can act as a baseplate, which is really nice. This set also does not have the same strong hold that Magformers has, so while it is still fun to build with, it is easier for smaller hands to manipulate.

We do include two books in this kit:
Cityscape : where science and art meet by April Pulley Sayre
Baby loves structural engineering! by Ruth Spiro
The first book is a great picture book that will hopefully inspire you little builder to make some really cool designs, and the second book is an absolutely adorable board book about a child constructing buildings with his own building set.

And here’s some pictures of the fun we had at our house with this set:

I hope you enjoy these kits as much as my family did! You can check them out on your library card for the normal loan time, so if you also come to the library for a big stack of books, you won’t have to worry about remembering two different return dates. Happy building, DeKalb!

If you have any questions, please send them to Laura at [email protected]



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