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What are the best building toys for kids?
We love to build and create all day long using a variety of materials around our house. Sometimes we even make our own building materials (like sponge blocks).
Block play is really important for all sorts of intellectual, physical, social-emotional, and language development. It can also help kids later in life as they are learning math and numbers.
Toddlers like to explore blocks with their hands, eyes, and sometimes their mouthes. They love to carry them around, test them out, bang them, drop them, and see all of the different things they can do with them. Preschoolers are a little bit more savvy in how they use blocks and will begin to build structures and they will also begin more turn-taking within block play... versus solely parallel play.
Here is a list of 10+ of our favorite building toys for kids.
Some are for older kids and some are for younger kids in the 0-6 age range. All toys that we share on our site require adult supervision. Click on the name of the blocks to get the direct link.
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10+ Building Toys for Kids
1. Snap Cubes
These are fun to build with, easy to stash in your purse and bring along with you in the car or on a plane, and they are great for using with learning activities!
My kids love Magna-Tiles. I especially like putting them on a light table and seeing how the light comes through them. These are great for building different structures and vehicles.
Magformers are played with every single day at our house. I am always finding them in unique places because they are used in so many ways. Right now my kids love to make giant balls out of Magformers. They also love building cubes and rockets. I loved the curved edges on Magformers and how well the magnets stick to other surfaces.
4. Wooden Blocks
Wooden blocks are a "must have" item in all houses. My kids use blocks to create tunnels, houses for toys, furniture, etc. I love watching them build mini cities and even using the blocks to help re-enact scenarios. The Melissa and Doug wood blocks are very well made with smooth, rounded edges.
We also love these colorful building blocks from Melissa & Doug.
5. LEGO & DUPLO
No house should be without LEGO and DUPLO sets or containers of bricks. We love breaking out a bucket of LEGO and building together. LEGO challenges are one of our favorite activities for kids as well. I love how LEGO bricks encourage kids to be creative as well as hard-working and focused. Our kids will spend hours building together, especially when the grown up join in too!
6. Cardboard blocks
We received a set of cardboard blocks over 6 years ago and our set is still in great condition and used almost daily. The kids love to build walls, create giant couches, make cities for their Hexbugs, and use them in a number of other ways.
7. Bristle Blocks
The texture on Bristle Blocks is why I love them. They are fun to stick together and press on and feel with your fingers. The blocks come in a variety of shapes and sizes which makes building fun!
8. Tinker Toys
One set of Tinker Toys is not enough! They are so cool. My kids especially love to build really tall towers with them.
9. Mega Blocks
The Mega Blocks first builder set is perfect for little ones that are just learning how to build. I especially love that the blocks come inside a bag so that they can easily be carried around!
10. Lincoln Logs
We inherited a set of Lincoln Logs from my sister-in-law recently. My kids like to build log houses and train stations and other pathways. They are a bit different from the other blocks we typically use so they get our imaginations working and the kids come up with really neat ways to use them!
K'Nex building sets are great for kids who love building things! This K'nex intro building set is great for kids who are new to K'nex.
For kids who are ready for a challenge, the larger 3-in-1 building sets, like this K'nex Amusement Park set are so much fun!
12. Chain Reactions
Have your kids ever explored chain reactions? Klutz has a great Chain Reactions building kit that teaches kids about chain reactions.
Domino Rally is also a neat challenge for kids who really love chain reactions. It's a racing game and a cool building experience all rolled into one.
13. Marble Run
Marble runs allow kids to build and create and then problem solve too! We love our Hape Quadrilla Marble Run because there are so many different ways to construct the marble run.
14. Connetix Tiles
Connetix magnetic tiles and creations are unique and colorful and durable! My kids love creating with these on a daily basis.
So fun to build for the older crowd (ages 8+). It's a marble run and a super cool STEM toy that kids will love.
Already have the starter kit, try the GraviTrax Pro. It's SO COOL.
Which one is your favorite? What are some other building toys you use at your house? Do you see one that we missed?
Need more gift ideas? Check out this list of awesome gifts for preschoolers and toddlers!
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