As a primary school teacher, I love learning resources that are open ended and able to be utilised by children of different ages. Connetix tiles are a perfect example of this kind of resource. They are something I get to watch my 2-year-old enjoy playing and experimenting with, but something I could also very easily see students and children in the upper primary school years playing and learning with.
These magnetic tiles can be used to create both 2D and 3D shapes and promote curiosity, creativity whilst developing a child’s hand-eye coordination, spatial awareness and fine motor skills amongst other things.
How do Connetix tiles compare to budget magnetic tiles?
Connetix tiles do however come with a pretty hefty price tag. These magnetic tiles aren’t cheap, and you might be wondering if they are worth the money, or if there is a cheaper option available that would serve the same purpose.
Like most things, I was reluctant to spend the big dollars right away, and I too wanted to see if alternative, cheaper options were just as good. I purchased both a Kmart version of the magnetic tiles, as well as another cheap rip-off version from eBay. I can confidently say neither of these even came close to the quality of the Connetix tiles that I now own! They were significantly smaller, making them more fiddly for older children and far too difficult for my toddler to handle, and they simply just weren’t strong enough to build anything unless you had 8 hands to support your build as you were going. So when my daughter’s birthday was approaching, I decided to invest, and I purchased the ‘202 piece pastel megapack’ of Connetix tiles. I could barely wait for my daughter’s birthday because I was itching to open the box and play with them myself!
Are they worth the money?
I can safely say that after only just a few weeks of use, they have been well worth the money. The quality compared to the cheaper brands is fantastic. I can just tell they are a resource that we will be using in our house for years and years to come. In fact, my niece and nephew came over for a play one day (seven and nine years old) and went straight to the Connetix tiles. They spent ages playing with them and it was incredible to see how differently they both played with them. The seven year old wanted to create a beautiful 2D mandala, experimenting with colours and patterns. Whereas the nine year old was straight into a 3D build, creating a giant castle, and experimenting with spatial awareness and trial and error, only to be bitterly disappointed when my two year old came charging through to destroy his creation, finding herself absolutely hilarious. This sparked a great discussion about resilience and opportunities to adjust and improve elements of the previous build.
What can I use Connetix for?
Although the tiles came with an inspiration booklet, here are some things we have already tried, or could try in the future:
Building animal enclosures for toy animal figurines
Building roads and a garage for vehicles
Pom pom colour posting
Building a car/ball ramp
Building towers and castles