Looking for new Magna Tiles designs to try? Here are our favourite Magna Tile ideas to build, with printable cards for inspiration.
No matter how exciting and desirable at first, even the best of toys tend to fall out of favour. Take LEGO for example! A great toy, creative and full of possibilities. My son will often play with it for hours at a time. But then, there will also be days and even weeks when he will studiously ignore the bins, filled to the brim with colourful bricks.
What to do about that?
In many cases, interest comes back after a break. But other times, you can give children a prompt or a challenge that will give them a new way to look at an old toy. It can be something like, “Let’s build a sign for your door from bricks!” Or, “Can you design a catapult that works?”
There are a fair number of books and sites that feature simple LEGO tutorials, but, unfortunately, the same cannot be said for Magna Tiles, which have also been a firm favourite in our house, ever since we bought the first box, when my son was just a toddler.
Back then, there were a few designs printed in a booklet that came in the box. And even though he was good at making his own creations, my son really liked looking at the booklet and trying those designs. He treated them like tangram puzzles and delighted at figuring them out.
That booklet is now long gone, but my son and I would like to share some of our favourite Magna Tiles designs, in hopes of inspiring other children with them!
2D Magna Tiles Designs
All the great potential for building three-dimensional constructions quickly whisks your attention away from the potential for two-dimensional building with Magna Tiles. And that’s just a little too bad, for it really is worth exploring!
But we have also built a lot of other, creative designs! You can get our printable cards and use them as prompts.
When children look at cards and try to recreate the designs, they are basically solving puzzles that involve matching, counting, patterning, and general critical thinking skills.
The pack of 2D creative designs also introduces children to the combinations that different tiles can create. That will help them with three-dimensional constructions as well.
The pack includes designs for a heart, a Ferris wheel, a butterfly, a rocket, a hot air balloon, a mandala, and many more!
The cards come in two scales – one design per sheet (bigger scale), as shown below, and four designs per sheet (smaller scale), as shown above.
By the way, did you know that working on vertical surfaces is beneficial for children’s development? Children can build two-dimensional designs with Magna Tiles on fridges, doors, and white boards!
3D Magna Tiles Designs
Of course, three-dimensional designs are where Magna Tiles really shine! After all, you can build some very intricate architectural structures and even incorporate other toys into the structures.
For my son, the combination of Magna Tiles and cars was always among his favourites. He likes building garages, bridges, and overpasses.
My daughter, on the other hand, prefers to include little animals and dolls into her games, so it’s mostly houses, castles, and barns.
Did you know that you can build furniture for dolls from Magna Tiles as well?
This is just an example of a bed, but when children look at it, they start generating more ideas, “Could I also build a chair? A table? Maybe, a bunk bed? Can I build a whole room for my doll?”
And this was the premise behind creating the pack of printable 3D designs for building from Magna Tiles. It is not just a collection of 3D puzzles to build (though there are plenty of those), but also a collection of ideas of for using Magna Tiles to generate play ideas.
Besides all the creative ideas, the pack also includes a selection of common 3D geometrical forms children can build with Magna Tiles. It teaches children their proper geometric names and also introduces the idea for how they can be built. After all, once you can build a cube from Magna Tiles, you can easily make a box from paper or wood.
You can also laminate the cards for longer use!
Other STEM Projects
Build birds from pattern blocks!
Build Lego Duplo animals!