Construction Toys for Kids :: 7 Ways My Kids Use Magnetic Tiles

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Construction Toys for Kids - 7 Ways my Kids Use Magnetic Tiles


Building Brilliance Magnetic Shapes
are a set of construction toys that my kids have been using and loving  for the past month and a half.

And brilliant is right. These magnetic tiles are an awesome kids construction toy with sturdy, brightly colored translucent plastic that beautifully catches and filters both sunlight as well as artificial light. We especially like to use ours on our simple DIY light table.

They are brilliant in more sense than just that one, though.

Any toy, construction or otherwise, that captures my kids’ imagination day after day after day for over a month is brilliant. (I know many parents would agree with that assessment.) And it’s not just my kids, but every kid who comes to our house.

These magnetic tiles are so open-ended that they get used in all kinds of ways–not just for building castles and towers. With magnets along each of the edges, kids can construct any number of interesting shapes and the magnets help hold the tiles together. Brilliant!

Here are 7 Ways My Kids Use Their Magnetic Tiles:

  1. Construction
  2. Pretend Play
  3. Light Table Play
  4. 2-D and 3-D Design
  5. Color Mixing
  6. Exploring Magnetic Properties
  7. Building and Learning about Shapes

I want to go through this list one by one and share pictures of each in action…

Construction Toys for Kids Magnetic Tiles

#1 – Construction with Magnetic Tiles

This is the biggie, and obviously what the magnetic tiles were made for. I love how the variety of shapes plus the magnetic aspect of the tiles allow the kids to really get creative with their building.

Construction Toys for Kids Magnetic Tiles

#2 – Pretend Play with Magnetic Tiles

I wasn’t expecting this at all, but the magnetic tiles have been used nonstop for a variety of pretend play scenarios. Besides buildings and castles that are then incorporated into pretend play, they’ve been used for roads, slides, animal carousels, barns, fences, and, as you can see in the photo above, food stalls.

Construction Toys for Kids Magnetic Tiles

#3 – Light Table Play and Exploration with Magnetic Tiles

Yes, a lot of the play and building with the tiles have been on the light table, just because they are just so lovely in the light.

Construction Toys for Kids Magnetic Tiles

#4 – 2-D and 3-D Design with Magnetic Tiles

While a lot of the designing with the magnetic tiles has been three-dimensional, there’s been a fair amount of two-dimensional designing done as well.

Construction Toys for Kids Magnetic Tiles

#5 Color Mixing and Color Sorting with Magnetic Tiles

Pretty self explanatory, right?

Construction Toys for Kids Magnetic Tiles

#6 Exploring Magnetic Properties with Magnetic Tiles

How close can you get the magnets before they attract each other and click together?

Construction Toys for Kids Magnetic Tiles

#7 – Learning about Shapes with Magnetic Tiles

Love this! The 2-dimensional shapes of the tiles–triangles, squares, rectangles, and trapezoids–can be combined to form 3-dimensional shapes, including pyramids, cubes, and prisms.

Construction Toys for Kids Magnetic Tiles

I initially thought the price tag on these Building Brilliance Magnetic Tiles was a little steep. But I’m a convert. These are completely worth it!

Construction Toys for Kids Magnetic Tiles

My kids even combine them with legos and other construction toys!

You may have seen similar magnetic tile building products with different names, such as Magna-Tiles. I haven’t tried them myself, so don’t know how they compare, but can say that these particular Building Brilliance Magnetic Tiles are well made and seriously awesome. Plus their price tag is lower than the others I’ve seen (thanks, Discount School Supply!).

Discount School Supply, is one of my blog sponsors, and sent me a box of the Building Brilliance Magnetic Tiles for free to try out and review (at my request). But as always, all opinions expressed are my own.

Update: We’ve since found 3 fun NEW ways to use these magnetic tiles!

GIVEAWAY :: Building Brilliance Magnetic Tiles 48-Piece Set

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Discount School Supply is giving away a 48-Piece Set of their Building Brilliance Magnetic Shapes to one lucky winner. To enter, leave a comment to this post by Monday, February 24th at 11:59pm EST then come back up to this rafflecopter widget and tell it that you are entering the giveaway and that you left a blog comment. This giveaway is open to readers in the United States. Winner will be chosen randomly by rafflecopter and announced here on Tuesday, the 25th. Good luck!

This giveaway is now closed.

This post contains affiliate links.

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Comments

  1. Jenn says

    I love these ideas! I particularly live the light table. I will be making one of these from the Christmas lights that only half work! Thank you!

  2. Risa says

    Magnetic tiles are fantastic. My son plays with them at school all the time. We’d love to have them at home. Thanks for all the great ideas.

  3. Joy Weiss says

    I’ve looked at magna tiles for years and have been scared off by the price. Great to know there is an alternative.

  4. tifani says

    I first saw these at my daughters preschool about 5 years ago and at the Chattanooga Children’s Museum around the same time. It took me 4 years to convince myself to spend the money on them and I wish I had bought them sooner. A great durable multi-age toy.

  5. Astrid says

    I have a confession – I am entering this contest because I love these magnetic tiles as much as my daughter does! Thanks for the giveaway! :)

  6. Jen says

    My kids will get a kick out of these. They love the really small magnetic sets and they have been eyeing these larger ones. Thanks!

  7. says

    I keep wanting to buy the MagnaTiles for my children and hesistate at the price. With 8 children I need a large set, or even TWO large sets, so here’s hoping I win the giveaway to get our collection started!

  8. christine smith says

    I’ve been looking at magnet tiles for my daughter, and this post came right in time! These look like so much fun!

  9. Aftin Eich says

    I have never seen anything like this, love the amount of exploration they allow children…. I love to watch the imagination work.

  10. Deana says

    We have some very popular Magna Tiles in our house. I’d love to try some of these though; I love the way they are solid inside, and it looks like there is a nice variety of shapes.

  11. Tanya Chilluffo says

    My 3 girls and I have wanted to get magnet bricks for some time. We just received a light table at xmas from my dad so to win these would be amazing!

  12. Alisa Sutherland says

    I always loved these tiles as a kid, and played with them whenever I could. We didn’t own any, though. My 4 year old daughter would be over the moon for them! (As would I!) They’re just so cool!

  13. Andrea says

    These look like so much fun. My kids love building things so we have so many different types of blocks but I love watching them. I’m sure they would adore these. I’ll have to get to making a light table, too, now because that looks like fun! :)

  14. Nicole O. says

    These are magnificent! I think I’d like to play with them as much as my daughter would. Thanks for such a great giveaway.

  15. Diane says

    I’ve always thought that these tiles look like so much fun! Out of my price point, though, to get a set. My DD would be thrilled if we won!

  16. melissa everet says

    this is so beautiful! Our wooden tanagram mosaic pieces are well loved but these look like the perfect way to add interest and to go 3-d with the concept… esp on the magic of the light table! love!

  17. Tiffany Meyer says

    Our local library put a set of magnetic tiles out for exploration a couple of months ago and they have been super popular. You’re right – it doesn’t take long to figure out a variety of uses for these fun shapes. We’d love to have a set at home!

  18. says

    These magnetic tiles are amazing. My son loves them but does not have a set. Would be great for OT. They initiate creativity and help with eye hand coordination.

  19. says

    These look SO neat. I love the creativity your kids have had with these. I especially loved the 3-D sculpture designs, and the light table ‘stained glass windows’. I definitely think a month, in the life of a toy, shows it’s a keeper!
    Sarah M

  20. Charlene W. says

    My sister-in-law has a large set of magna-tiles at her house and our kids play with them every single time we go there. They are mesmerizing and even adults like to play with them. These look more interesting because of the variety of shapes! My kids would love them.

  21. Theresa B says

    I’ve always wanted to get a set of these for our kids but haven’t been able to justify the cost. Winning a set would be awesome!

    • says

      Thanks, Melissa! The light table is simply a transparent plastic storage box from Target with a set of white Christmas lights inside (the cord is thin enough to stick out of the lid without problem). SO easty to make and yet it adds so much to the creative play and artful exploration in our home! :) -Jean

  22. Amy D says

    Our children use the magnetic tiles on our easel and our classroom mirror, both of which are magnetic (and they actually discovered this on their own!). I love your homemade light table — that will be a new addition to our 2s class next week! Thanks for the great idea!

  23. Laura C says

    I’m loving these magnetic tiles! I’ve been looking for new building materials that are creative and different…these fit the bill perfectly! Thanks for showing us all the great ways to use them! Awesome giveaway!!

  24. Kristin says

    Love these! Would be a very fun addition to our home. I’m not sure who would play with them more- the Bigs for the Littles!

  25. says

    We have these in my toddler classroom! I can’t wait to get them for my 14 month old. I am thinking he will be ready for them soon. I have used MagnaTiles as well at work. I like the MagnaTiles a teensy bit better — they are just slightly larger and feel a little sturdier.

  26. Lisa says

    I put these on our Christmas wish list, but Santa didn’t deliver them yet. I’d love to get a set for my daughter’s birthday!

  27. Lisa says

    We love these. We’ve played with them at the library. If we get them, I’ll have to figure out how to make a light table, because that looks so fun!

  28. Kim says

    Oh, I would love a set of these for my boys! I’ve been admiring magnetic tile sets for awhile but have been hesitating to buy because of the cost.

  29. Tamara Barrientos says

    We would LOVE to win these!! My son loves playing with them during therapy and would really like to be able to play with them at home. :)

  30. Kim says

    I love the light table idea – my nephew is enjoying his set (another maker) and we have built the shapes and colors, but thank you for the additional ideas. These are the types of toys that grow with kids and their imaginations!

  31. Miriam says

    These tiles look incredibly fun for so many projects and adventures. We’d love to have some at home. Thanks for sharing!

  32. Julie Baker says

    I love these! I’ve been wanting to get them for my son for a long time now, but the price has been an obstacle. Love the light table idea too!

  33. Emily says

    These would be perfect for my son, just in the last week he has gone from only building towers for knocking down to building houses and towers and such for pretend play.

  34. AH Workman says

    I love the idea of using the magnetic tiles with the light table or an overhead projector. This lets the child discover on many levels.

  35. Heather says

    Magnetic Tiles have been on my wish list for a long time for my boys! They’re so versatile and engaging. I would love to win a set! Thank you!

  36. Lorie Vance-Castaneda says

    Would love to win these for our homeschool! My boys love to build with all types of construction toys – Legos, playmobil, K-Nex…anything they can get their hands on! They recently got a small magnet set of rods from a friend and they wanted more and more to build something big! ;-) Ever since reading your blog about your light table, I’ve been wanting to make and try! Thanks for all the useful ideas!

  37. Jessica says

    My kids, and every other child who visits, love these tiles…I’ve been wanting to add more to our small collection!

  38. says

    We were looking at getting the Magna Tiles for Christmas, but they’re just so expensive! It’s good to know there’s another great option out there!

  39. Stephanie says

    These would make a wonderful addition to our open-ended building items in the playroom (and around the house!) So beautiful in front of the window in the picture above!

  40. Leah says

    I purchased a light table for the art museum where I work, and it is hands-down the best purchase I’ve ever made. Kids are drawn to it and LOVE exploring and playing there. I’ve tried Magna-tiles, but love the window affect, these tiles create. They look fabulous!

  41. Tandy says

    I love this! My 5 yr son has a 14 piece set of magnetic squares like this. We bought them about two moths ago and he has not stopped playing with them since. Can’t wait to get more for him!!

  42. Tanya Gordon says

    Thanks for the post and all the ideas!
    We have been playing with one of the similar sets at our friend’s and I think I was even more excited to play with them than my 2 year old daughter :) One more use that she has discovered for the tiles is painting with them on the magnetic doodle board (like this one http://www.amazon.com/Fisher-Price-Travel-Doodler-Pro-Green/dp/B0060JVU72/ref=pd_sim_t_1?ie=UTF8&refRID=16262517R0Y5JNGK85EF) It is really amazing to see how kids use different materials!
    I was thinking on buying a set, but was not sure about the brand… thank you for the recommendation!

  43. says

    We have Magnatiles and they are one of the favorite play toys around here. We have some of those little mice with magnets in their feet (not sure what they are exactly – we got them at a garage sale) and the kids love playing with them together. I’ve also seen Magformers but I haven’t seen these that they have at Discount School Supply. I like the trapezoid shapes, Magnatiles don’t have those!

  44. DrSaneknitter says

    My oldest loves to play with these at the Children’s Museum. Best toy ever. And now I know what I’ll be doing with the extra Christmas lights. :) Thanks for the ideas.

  45. Eliza says

    I have a 7 1/2 year old boy and a 5 year old boy, and they would LOVE this set, For all the manipulatives we have in the house, these magnetic tiles are something I never purchased but always wanted for them. I love that there are so many ways to use them and interact with them. Plus, they are just plain pretty!!! Thanks for this giveaway–fingers crossed!!

  46. Liz says

    Oh gosh I’ve ALWAYS wanted to get a magnetic tile set for my girl but they’re out of my price range. Would looooove this!

  47. Dava says

    I think magnets inspire great play and this set of magnet tiles looks like the best one by far. I’m sure it would inspire hours of fun, creative play at my house! Thanks for all your great ideas, too!

  48. Diana Cote says

    I have been dying to get some of these for my daughter but have not had the funds, would love to win them. Thank you for the chance! :)

  49. Susan Norborg says

    I may not be a frequent commenter but I check your website almost daily for ideas of projects to do with my 6 grandchildren ages 2-15. Thanks for all of your help.!

  50. Ina says

    Wow! I have been looking for something like that for a while but I didn’t know what they were called or where to find them.

  51. Chantal Contorines says

    I would absolutely love to get these for my children, who both love to explore, create, and recreate. My eldest, is really into architecture at the moment, and would love to manipulate these any which way. What a great give away! Thank you.

  52. Amy says

    They have these at one of the libraries we frequent (along with a light table). I didn’t think about all the different ways to use them and now that I will be making a light table I really want the tiles to go with it!

  53. Geni says

    The PTO at my sons’ preschool purchased these for each class and the children enjoy exploring. Would be great to have this set!

  54. Megan says

    What a brilliant toy! I’m using your tutorial to put a light table together for my boys tonight – I just know they’ll love it. It’d be so great to win the blocks and add them into our day!

  55. says

    I love these! We are in the process of collecting things for our own DIY light table, inspired by your idea. I ordered a piece of frosted plexiglass to fit into my boys’ Lego/train table with lights underneath. These magnetic tiles would be a perfect addition…my five year old is enthralled with building AND magnets right now! Thank you for all of your wonderful ideas. I incorporate a lot of them into our homeschool art program!

  56. Amy says

    I love these. My kiddos get to play with them at their Nana and Papa’s house, but I love all the creative ways your kids use them too. You’re light table idea is awesome. My kiddos would love that. I’m going to gather a clear tote and string lights for when they get home today!

  57. Lori Cundiff says

    My daughter LOVES to play with these at school, but I haven’t been able to bite the bullet and invest in a set for home. We would be SO HAPPY to have a set!!! Thank you!

  58. Lucy says

    This are wonderful! I have only seen magnatiles so I am thrilled to see there are cheaper options out there. Thank you for the opportunity to win!

  59. Becki W says

    these look awesome! i think the children in my preschool class would love exploring/building with them! a great item for any child to use!

  60. says

    We seriously thought about getting these for my toddler for Christmas, but the box said 3+ so we decided to wait. Now I’m thinking it would have been fine and probably a much better idea that we thought! Here’s hoping our mistake can be fixed with this giveaway. :) Thank you for the chance.

  61. says

    I kids would LOVE these!!! I’ve never seen them before and we MUST have them. They would have such a blast with them. So cool! Thank you for this offer to win them. =) <3

  62. Nicole Warren says

    I am an occupational therapist and the kiddos I work with would absolutely love and benefit from these tiles not only on the floor but also on my homemade lightbox. Great product!!!

  63. Sue from Vermont says

    There’s so much to learn from these! We use these at the children’s museum where I volunteer, and kids get really creative with them!

  64. Cathleen says

    I’ve been looking at these for a month deciding whether to buy them for my twins’ birthday in March. Winning them would be awesome!

  65. says

    I just love these! They remind me of the Tegu blocks but better! I think we may put lights in the sensory table but the clear cover on tops and turn it into a light table! Thank you for sharing!

  66. Angie says

    So glad to see your review! I’ve been thinking about getting some magnetic tiles for a while, and this sealed the deal.

  67. Amy Italiano says

    So many fun ways to play and learn with these wonderful magnetic shapes! My boys would love to get their hands on these!

  68. Crystal says

    I’d love to compare these to the magnet tiles we have at home. If the quality is good, I have several family members’ children who would love a set. It would be nice to save some money over the more expensive tiles.

  69. Joy says

    My kiddos would love to have these at home! Their preschool has magnetic tiles and they are a favorite! Thanks for the opportunity to win.

  70. kary says

    Thanks for sharing pictures of the tiles in action. I bought my kids a small set of these for Christmas but with four kids I am woefully short of enough for them to do what they’d like. Another set would go a long way towards peace in our home lol

  71. Nupur Johri says

    The only way my daughter plays with her various construction toys – legos, wooden blocks, geo magnets, etc – is to mix em up and have one big pretend play scenario after she has built whatever it is she is building! And cardboard – there is always some cardboard involved. I have to confess that sometimes I do wish there wasn’t such a big mess to clear up but I really enjoy fostering her inventive nature and creativity. These magnets look great – we haven’t tried this kind at all.

  72. Charlotte Wensley says

    I first saw these tiles a couple of weeks ago at a playdate and my three year old daughter was captivated by them. They are seriously brilliant.

  73. Heather says

    My kids and I get so excited whenever we visit a please-touch museum that has these tiles. We would love to have a set at home.

  74. Elizabeth Young says

    I teach preschool and my kiddos LOVE the Magna-Tiles and these would be a great addition! It looks like there are trapezoids in this set, which we don’t have, and the kids would love to use that with our existing collection!

  75. Katie says

    Thank you for sharing. The DIY light table works so beautifully with these blocks. That is something I will definitely have to try.

  76. Suzanna Mayhugh says

    So fun! They have these at the local children’s museum – so popular that sometimes my kids have to wait in line to play with them!

  77. mary says

    Such a great giveaway….we have magnatiles but would love to try these…we don’t have trapezoids! Thanks for the chance!

  78. kaytee says

    Oh man, my boys would have such a blast with these! We would love to win! Either way I’ll have to put them on the wishlist though!

  79. RobinS. says

    I love your blog. So full of great ideas. I have been eyeing these tiles for quite a while and would love to win a set!

  80. Tanya says

    My daughter loves both magnets (‘anhg-mets’ to her) and building bridges so I think she would love these. Thanks for the opportunity!

  81. Michelle says

    My Nephews have some and we LOVE them! Would love to add to their collection when we come over, or we could keep this set at our house. ;-) Thanks for having this awesome giveaway!

  82. Heather N says

    My daughter would love this toy. She is always building something…burrows out of blankets so she can pretend she is an animal, huge marble runs, elaborate streets and paths out of blocks, etc. Thanks for the giveaway!

  83. Jeanne Larson says

    These are absolutely beautiful. I am thrilled to see DSS is selling them. They would be great to have for my daycare children!

  84. Stephanie says

    I love building activities! My daughter doesn’t seem quite as interested yet, but she’s a little young still… she has been enjoying stacking objects. I’m going to keep these in mind for when she’s older.

  85. stacey says

    my super builder son would love these! and i know his sister (his partner in crime) would be thrilled to join in. they are always building–legos, contraptions/keva planks, blocks, barbie sets, paper dolls and more. thanks for sponsoring the giveaway!

  86. says

    Luminous magnatiles! I am a preschool teacher and would love to bring them into the classroom — they are always a hit! AP, thank you for the opportunity.

  87. Kate says

    Your pics and suggestions for how to play with these tiles are great! My kids play with these at an indoor play cafe we go to often…we’d love to have a set of our own!

  88. Peggy says

    Thank you for the opportunity to come by what is obviously a coveted toy/art medium for children and children-loving adults. I would love to offer these to my grandson and his playmates and observe/join in the pleasure of discovery and creativity they inspire.

  89. brandy dominy says

    My son would love to build with these :) I love that there are so many different things you can do with these!

  90. Sarah says

    I have wanted these for a while but the cost and inability to explore them before I buy has made me hesitant. I would totally had this to our vision therapy!

  91. Cassandra Caffee says

    I love these magnetic builders! I have used them in my classroom before, but I don’t currently own a set. They are great for learning math skills and sparking creativity in students.

  92. Stephanie B. says

    I’d love to win a set for my daughter. She’s very curious about how things go together and are constructed.

  93. Jennifer says

    I would LOVE to win these for my classroom…we have some older ones, but these new ones would be a great addition!

  94. JessL. says

    I’ve been wanting some magnetic tiles like these for my preschool room, but I really can’t rationalize the expense at this time! But I have heard so many good things and know my kids would love them!

  95. Sarah says

    These look great! My boys love anything magnetic. In fact, we just got a rock collection project that contained both hematite and magnetic hematite. Pure heaven. Many games have been devised with magnets and any metal/other magnets they will attract, and I imagine this set would add to the fun :)

  96. says

    As an art teacher and a momma to two boys I would love to give my children, my students, and *myself* the opportunity to play around with these! They look so neat!

  97. Peggy says

    Thank you for giving the opportunity to come by an obviously coveted/much loved toy/art medium for children and children-loving adults. I would LOVE for my grandson and his playmates to discover the pleasure and creativity these slices of color invite. Actually I would like to play with them too.

  98. Angela says

    I love these tiles and the light table. If we get these tiles, I’ll have the kids draw shapes on index cards and see if their friends can copy/make the shapes with the tiles. Fun toy for all kids.

  99. Kathleen says

    Would they be compatible with the magna tiles we have? They Love love love playing with those… Love the light source you put under it!

  100. Erika says

    I’ve been wanting a set of these. We’ve seen them at the local children’s museum, and my son loved playing with them.

  101. Allison S. says

    I love the way you made a light table to use with these blocks! I never thought to do that…will have to try that soon! :)

  102. Laura says

    I first saw these tiles at the Children’s Creativity museum in SF when my son was 3 ½ years old and we played with them for a loooong time. The museum had metal walls around the playspace where the tiles could stick (like a refrigerator and you could build 2D-3D creations which came out of the wall so it was a great idea. I also saw how collaborative it was as many kids could work together. Great product would love to own one!

  103. Catherine says

    These photos of the tiles & all the possibilities get my imagination spinning. Would love to see what they do for my child.

  104. Karen Morris says

    Bought these for my 2 year old grand daughter. She has not stopped playing with them yet and that was 2 weeks ago. Love toys that have so many applications. Theses are def worth every penny. Need another set for my grandson.

  105. kate says

    My twins would LOVE this! Thank you for posting amazing and creative things, it makes my job a bit easier to find fun and creative ways to play.

  106. Lindsay says

    Our next play project is to create the DIY light table you’ve posted about. Winning these would be an awesome addition to it!

  107. Jen says

    I have been longing to make a light table like yours for my boys. Thank you for sharing your design! These magnetic tiles would be a great toy for both my 2 and 5 year olds to play with, whether on a light table or on any other surface of the house.

  108. Ashley Stewart says

    We’ve played with these at our friends house!! So fun! We love all the creative ideas you suggested. Thanks!

  109. Shir says

    My playgroup kids love these!!! They are simply mesmerized! Some say they don’t break easily (a tower, not the tiles) but they do!!! Always fun!

  110. Astrid says

    My almost 3 year old boy LOVES magnetic tiles! He plays with them for hours. We got a set from the toy library and it is the best one we have borrowed by far!
    Astrid, Alice Springs.

  111. Grandmama says

    This product is pure genius. Perfect for imaginative play and builds dexterity and a child’s thought process. This grandmama would get pure joy out of watching my granchildren play with these. Well, to be honest, I would enjoy playing with them as well!

  112. Heather says

    I saw these at a play group a week ago and had no idea they were so versatile! Would be fun for the kids! Great post!

  113. Michelle says

    If we could only have one toy in this house it would be magna tiles! Would love to win these for a friend!

  114. says

    I have seen these tiles in my daughter’s daycare but now that I have read your post I am really wanting to purchase a set for our house. What a fantastic rainy day activity! Thanks!

  115. says

    Hello! I know this is somewhat off topic but I was wondering if you knew where I could get a captcha
    plugin for my comment form? I’m using the same blog platform as yours and I’m having
    difficulty finding one? Thanks a lot!

  116. says

    I really like your blog.. very nice colors & theme.
    Did you make this website yourself or did you hire someone to do it for you?
    Plz reply as I’m looking to create my own blog and would
    like to find out where u got this from. kudos

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