Intraoperative magnetic resonance imaging (iMRI) has emerged as an important tool in guiding the surgical management of children with brain tumors. Recent advances have allowed utilization of high field strength systems, including 3-tesla MRI, resulting in diagnostic-quality scans that can be performed while the child is on the operating table. By providing information about the possible presence of residual tumor, it allows the neurosurgeon to both identify and resect any remaining tumor that is thought to be safely accessible. By fusing the newly obtained images with the surgical guidance software, the images have the added value of aiding in navigation to any residual tumor. This is important because parenchyma often shifts during surgery. It also gives the neurosurgeon insight into whether any immediate postoperative complications have occurred. If any complications have occurred, the child is already in the operating room and precious minutes lost in transport and communications are saved. In this article we review the three main approaches to an iMRI system design. We discuss the possible roles for iMRI during intraoperative planning and provide guidance to help radiologists and neurosurgeons alike in the collaborative management of these children.