A review of the Connetix Magnetic Tile 120 piece pastel creative pack. For full disclaimer please see the end of this post.
Construction toys are always a hit in our household and the youngest was thrilled to get her hands on the Connetix set that we were sent to review. Until it arrived and I got it out to test I hadn’t realised that she was already familiar with Connetix. It seems that when they have wet play at school (which has happened a lot recently!) they go to one of the other Reception classrooms where they have a set of Connetix and it’s one of the most popular things for everyone to play with. What a great way of testing out a toy’s durability and popularity – see how well it fares in a school environment with a bunch of 4 and 5 year olds!
A lot of tiles!
The first thing that hits you about the 120 piece pastel set of Connetix that we were sent to review is the sheer size of the set. 120 pieces gives you a lot of building material. It’s also a heavy box full of all the tiles and their contained magnets. This is definitely a large set with endless building and creative possibilities in it.
What are Connetix tiles?
Connetix tiles are made from sturdy plastic with magnets embedded into each side of the shape. These magnets enable you to connect tiles together – either side by side or at 90 degrees to each other. You can create flat patterns or build impressive structures. Children quickly learn how to arrange the tiles to make them “stick” together and in doing so subconsciously learn all about magnets and attraction.
The tiles come in a variety of square and triangular shapes and they also start to experiment with how shapes fit together and what new shapes they make when you combine them. This problem solving and experimentation is a great way of getting their brains to work in a scientific way through play.
Developing motor skills through play
Not only do children get to be as creative as they want, but at the same time they are also putting their motor stills to good use. Fine motor skills in manipulating the tiles, but as they start to build bigger and bigger structures with the Connetix they’re also starting to physically move around their play space and arrange their creations as their imagination dictates.
Pages of Connetix Inspiration
For those children who find their imagination needs a bit of a nudge sometimes to get the creative juices flowing the “Inspiration Book” that comes with the set is wonderful. Through a combination of product pictures and real world ones shared by people on Instagram there are so many inspirational ideas for exploring, playing and creating with Connetix tiles. Some of the creative artwork created with the tiles is simply amazing; I was particularly blown away by the stained glass window and witches hat.
The particular pastel pack that we were sent to review was a lovely alternative to the bright primary colours that most construction toys bring. It’s lovely to see a more muted colour palette for a change. The pastel section of the Inspiration Book contained some particularly nice patterns that my daughter was very keen to replicate at home.
Taking inspiration from the large castle on the front of the box, my daughter was particularly keen to build houses from the tiles. The three different triangles helped her create a variety of roof shapes, and she loved the fact that some of the square tiles were like windows whilst others looked like open doors.
What we thought
I’ve hardly had a look in on the tiles when she’s been home playing with them, but from the small bit that I have been allowed to do I like how tactile they are and the slight dimple in the centre of the shapes which makes them sit nicely between your fingers as you build with them. I’m also really impressed at just how many different ways you can use them in play. Joining them up to make flat lay patterns together is a wonderful way of being creative with your little one without having to get all the craft materials out. When she’s been a bit more tired after school my daughter has really enjoyed following some of the patterns in the imagination book and creating them herself before then branching out into creating her own patterns with them.
The 120 piece pack is a monster sized selection, but really does enable children to let their imagination run wild and not run out of building materials. Realistically though it would still work well if you were looking for a slightly higher priced product to buy for a couple of siblings to share. The beauty of Connetix is that they can work for almost any age and it’s wonderful seeing my 11 year old son sitting down with his five your old sister to build with them.
How much are they and where can you buy Connetix?
The 120 piece pastel pack that were were sent does retail at £115 direct from Connetix which is expensive, but at the same time I do believe that this is a quality product that will last for years and years, and see a lot of play in those years. I believe the simple fact that they are being used in a school setting demonstrates value for money. Connetix products are also available from Amazon in the UK, but Connetix’s prices were slightly cheaper when I was writing this post.
Other construction toys
Want to see what other construction toys the kids have played with? Why not take a look here.
Disclaimer: We were sent the Connetix Magnetic Tiles 120 piece pastel creative pack for the purposes of this review. All opinions remain my own. Some of the links in this post are Amazon affiliate links. If you click through to Amazon from any of these links and make a purchase it will cost you no more than if you went there yourself, but I will receive a small amount of commission. Thank you for any purchases you do make.