Magnatiles

Each time I think I’ve exhausted the possibilities of the set of magnetic tiles we have at home, something new comes along.

Made this while playing with my daughter today:

Two factors seem to contribute to the large variety of forms here:

  1. The fact that the tiles are magnetic (at some medium strength level … I wonder what magnets just a bit stronger would do)
  2. The angles available

Of these, (2) is really under-rated.

Sometimes I wish they sold more squares, but only I appreciate the possibilities when I try to use the different kinds of triangles together.

The triangles come together not only in a variety of planar angles, but also solid angles, allowing for interesting three-dimensional structures that “regular stacking” would never create.

It is very therapeutic to “doodle in 3-d” with these: the “stacking process” can be very fast, and you can go back-and-forth with your kid, or just make your own thing.

I always feel happier at the end than when I began, regardless of what I made. It is like any other creative exercise, with a very low bar to getting started and easy to clean up.

I recommend keeping a set of Magnatiles around the house; of all the sets of toys (except for Lego, which is a totally different case) that we got many years ago, this is still seeing use, and I’m even thinking of getting more 🙂

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