The 13 Best Building Toys For Kids

If you’re looking for a toy that’ll provide endless hours of entertainment and enrichment, the best building toys for kids are a great choice. These toys can be used to help you. “create the foundations that children need for school-based engagement, imaginary play, social play, gross motor play, speech/language development, literacy, mathematics, and more,”Kavita Naikchery, MS OTR/L. In order to choose the best building toys for your kids though, you’ll want to take your child’s age and skill level into account, as well as their specific interests.

The Experts

Hope Caracci, OTR/L, OTDShe has more 20 years experience as an occupational therapist. Additionally, she’s the American Occupational Therapy Association’sProgram manager for the Approved provider program.

Kavita Naik Cherry, MS OTR/LShe is a private pediatric occupational therapist and serves children ages 2 to 20 years old. Additionally, she’s a member of the clinical team for Pathfinder Health, a tracker application for child development. She received her master’s degree in Occupational Therapy from Thomas Jefferson University.

Anne Szmergalski, MHS, OTR/L, has been an occupational therapist at Ann & Robert H. Lurie Children’s Hospital of Chicago for more than 10 years. She has her bachelor’s degree in Occupational Therapy from Western Michigan University and her Master of Health Science in Occupational Therapy from the University of Indianapolis.

What to look for in choosing the best building toys.

Building toys is actually a pretty broad category with many different options within it — essentially any toy that requires your child to stack, construct, or assemble pieces could be classified as one. To narrow down all of the choices, consider your child’s age and skills, as well as their specific interests.

Your Child’s Age & Skills

When Choose a toy, first look at the manufacturer’s recommended age for the product — this will give you a good idea about whether or not the product is a safe and suitable option for your child. “Avoid toys that are not recommended for the child’s age because they may have parts that are deemed a hazard (e.g., choking, suffocation),” explains Hope Caracci, OTR/L, OTD.

Beyond the recommended age for the product though, Anne Szmergalski, MHS, OTR/L also stresses the importance of taking your child’s specific skills and development into account. “If a toy or activity feels too challenging, it may lead to frustration and giving up prematurely,”She elaborates. “However, if we look for an activity that is just slightly more challenging than your child’s current skill level, they are likely to feel successful while also challenging their skills towards the next level.”

Your Child’s Interests

At the end of the day, it’s important to choose a toy that your child will In fact want to play with — because Toys should be enjoyable! To help encourage this, take your child’s specific interest areas into account when selecting a toy. “I would always consider what is motivating to your child to begin with,” explains Szmergalski. “For example, if your child is more interested in cars than dinosaurs, that should also guide your toy/activity choice.”

Find the Best Building Toys for Kids

Are you in a rush? These are the most popular building toys for children:

  1. Writer’s Pick: This Set Of Magnetic Building Tiles For Kids: PicassoTiles Magnet Building tiles
  2. This set of plastic blocks is a fan favorite: MEGA BLOKS Big Building Bag
  3. A Colorful Wooden Block Set: Melissa & Doug Solid-Wood Building Blocks
  4. This stacking toy is for babies as young as 6 months. Fat Brain Toys Tobbles Neo
  5. A Kit for Building Epic Forts Obuby Kids Fort Building kit
  6. A Starter LEGO set with 400+ pieces LEGO Classic Creative Brick Box
  7. This classic building toy has retro charm. Lincoln Logs Wood Logs
  8. Toy that resembles a flower and is suitable for little gardeners CENOVE Flower Garden Building Toy
  9. Toy Building Sets for the Bath Boon PIPES Building Toddler Bath Tub Toy
  10. A Construction-themed Set of Building Toys Melissa & Doug Wooden Construction Building Set
  11. A Building Set With 40 Design Ideas K’nex Beginner Model Building Set
  12. A set of See-Through Marble Runs Marble Genius Marble Run Starter Set
  13. Solar-Powered Robot Construction Kit For Older Kids Sillbird STEM Solar Robot Toy

These are some of our absolute favourites Best building toys for kids — with a variety of picks for different ages and interests, you’ll surely find your child’s new favorite toy in the bunch.

1

Writer’s Pick: This Set Of Magnetic Building Tiles For Kids

Pros:

  • Author-approved with more than 27,000 5-star Amazon ratings
  • Features strong magnets to hold your child’s creation together
  • This set is rated 4.9 stars with almost 30,000 reviews. PicassoTiles is the best for building tilesIt is very popular on Amazon. And it just so happens to be one of my three-year-old daughter’s AbsoluteThese are some of my favourite toys. This set includes 100 magnetic tiles in different sizes, which my daughter can use for some very creative creations. “furniture”Her favorite toys are her stuffed animals and tall towers (she often sits on a stool to complete them). She pushes her vehicles on bridges. It provides hours of entertainment — and she loves it so much that she asked for a second set.

    One reviewer wrote, “Best toy I have ever received for my 4 year old. He plays with these blocks more than any other toy. Literally everyday he is coming up with some new and impressive creation. So proud of him. Love these magnet blocks!”

    Ages:3+ Years| Number of pieces 100 | Made from:Plastic

    2

    A fan-favorite set plastic blocks

    Pros:

  • Prices below $20
  • These sets have more than 100,000 Amazon reviews
  • Amazon has rated this product as a 4.8 star star after reading tens of thousands of reviews. Blocks from MEGA BOLOKS are worthy of the hype — and best yet, this set costs less than $20. There are three options available, but this set includes 80 large and colorful blocks in a variety of sizes and shapes. The blocks can be stored in a zippered bag. This bag is perfect for toddlers and older kids. It is easy to hold the large blocks. Scoop up a set for your own kids, and heck, even one to give as a gift — you can’t go wrong.

    One reviewer wrote, “Big colorful blocks for baby to practice building! My daughter is only one and she’s already able to connect a few blocks together. She loves the colors and hasn’t gotten tired of these after having them awhile now. I’d recommend to other parents of new toddlers!”

    Ages:1+ years| Number of pieces 80 | Made from:Plastic

    3

    A Colorful Wooden Block Set

    Pros:

  • The pieces are made out of lightweight, solid hardwood
  • Blocks come in bright colors with rounded edges.
  • A set of wooden blocks is basically a staple of childhood — and this One from Melissa & DougThis is one of our top picks. You can build a variety of structures for your child with this set of 100 blocks. There are nine shapes available, including cubes, half circles, triangles, and rectangles. There are also four painted colors. The lightweight blocks range in size from about 1 inch to 2.25 inches long, and they have a super-smooth finish that won’t splinter. You can also add other toys to your set. Melissa & Doug is a cult-favorite brand that won’t disappoint — as evidenced by the 21,000-plus reviews and 4.8-star rating overall this product has on the site.

    Although they are more expensive than painted items, they are still very accessible. Melissa & Doug blocksThese are also possible options:

    One reviewer wrote, “Durable. Sturdy. My toddler loves these blocks! So many different shapes that he uses to build tall towers! Hours of fun!”

    Ages:| Number of pieces 100 | Made from: Wood

    4

    This Stacking Toy can be used by babies as young as 6 months old

    Pros:

  • Appropriate for young children
  • Bright and colorful to catch your child’s attention
  • This product is suitable for babies as young as six months old. Fat Brain Toys – Toy is the perfect first building set — your child will enjoy the challenge of balancing and stacking the six different-sized sphere pieces on top of the sturdy base. Each sphere is dual-colored to catch your child’s eye, and they’re made from high-quality plastic to last the long haul.

    One reviewer wrote: “My 8 month old daughter received this as a gift, and I have to say I’ve never seen anything like it! […] The weighted balls make for some really interesting and fun towers, and it’s all easy for my daughter to handle.”

    Ages:| Number of pieces 7 | Made from:Plastic

    5

    A Kit to Build Epic Forts

    Pros:

  • Multiple children can enjoy it together
  • Use indoors or outdoors
  • This fort building kitIt is the most original. It comes with 85 pieces, including green and blue ball connectors and sticks that your child can use to build their own fort-like structures. (Call it a tent, igloo, princess castle, cave … it’s up to your child’s imagination!) Amazon parents shared with us that they gave their child a blanket and/or sheet to go along with the pick to create a hideaway. It’s a great product for multiple children to enjoy together — and don’t be surprised if you end up joining in on the fun, too. You can use this set indoors and out, and you can store the pieces in the bag provided when it’s over.

    One reviewer wrote, “This was a great purchase to teach teamwork, creativity, and problem solving. My kids range in age (elementary school) but everyone was able to have a part in building it and then playing in the fort once completed. It also gave them an activity to do together that took up a lot of time which is nice–less screen time! There are so many combinations they can make so each time they play with it they can try something different.”

    Ages:| Number of pieces 85 | Made from:Plastic

    6

    A Starter LEGO set with 400+ pieces

    Pros:

  • You will find a wide range of pieces in many sizes, shapes, colors and styles.
  • The baseplate is included, which your child can use to construct.
  • If you haven’t introduced your child to the wonderful world of LEGO, now is the time to do so. This particular LEGO setThis is the best choice for beginners, as it includes hundreds in different sizes, colors and shapes (including unique pieces like windows, eyes or wheel rims). The baseplate can be used to build your child’s masterpieces. There are endless possibilities!

    This set includes a storage container as well as an instruction booklet with building ideas. If your child requires additional pieces, the set comes with them. Set with almost 800 LEGO pieces. And if you have a younger child that’s interested in building, consider this DUPLO setLarger pieces that are safe for children aged 18 months and older.

    One reviewer wrote, “My 9yo daughter has spent days building and building and building. It comes with a book of different things she can build from a train to an alligator and flowers. You can’t beat the price and I love that there is more than one design she can make with them.”

    Ages:4+ years| Number of pieces 484 | Made from:Plastic

    7

    Retro charm is the hallmark of this classic building toy

    Pros:

  • An option that is nostalgic and timeless
  • Made with durable
  • Lincoln Logs are a total favorite from my childhood — my brother and I used to spend hours constructing various buildings with them! Your child can also enjoy this nostalgic option for the anniversary. Set of Lincoln Logs. The 111-piece maple wood set is high quality and comes with a variety of pieces (some natural colors, some redd or green), that can be used to build walls, roofs, and chimneys. You have the option of letting your child design their own designs, or following the three building suggestions provided in the manual. You can store the lid and tin in the manual after playtime.

    One reviewer wrote: “These are just like the Lincoln logs I remember playing with as a child. Prefect gift for a child who loves to build. I spent hours playing with them when I was a child so I wanted something just like I had for my boys.”

    Ages:3+ Years| Number of pieces 111 | Made from: Wood

    8

    A Toy for Little Gardeners – A Flower-Themed Building Toy

    Pros:

  • Perfect for beginners gardeners
  • It also comes with a handy storage container
  • This set is ideal if you are a little gardener who loves to make your own flowers and plant them. The 130-piece Toy set includes a variety of vibrant flower pieces — like leaves, petals, pistils, and stamens, all of which are pretty realistic looking to allow your child to learn about the parts of a plant — as well as two pots and eight bases to hold all of the creations. This set is BPA free, can be used indoors as well as outdoors, and can even be washed in your dishwasher.

    One reviewer wrote, “I bought this as a gift for my three year old niece who seems to lose interest in a toy after about five minutes. This was a whole other story. She absolutely loved building her garden and spent over 45 minutes making the flowers, changing the flowers and then taking everything apart so she could start again. It was such a nice toy for us to play with together. However be careful if there is a smaller child in the house as some of the pieces are a bit small.”

    Ages: 3 — 6 years | Number of pieces 130 | Made from:Plastic

    9

    A Bath Toy Set – Building Toys

    Pros:

  • Make bath time more entertaining
  • Suction cups hold smooth tiles in place
  • This will assist you in building your bathtub. Set of bath toysBoon. Included with this pick are five pipes (each of which has a unique shape with a distinct function) that’ll suction directly onto smooth bathroom tiles or the tub. Your child can either pour water through each individual pipe or join them in a series for more fun. While the pieces are made from plastic (which is BPA and PVC free), Amazon reviewers confirm they’re quite sturdy and durable. You have three options: one with different colors and two with different pieces.

    One reviewer wrote, “I have a 3 year old son who never wants to take a bath. Sound familiar? This product is so creative yet simple. My son, who loves to build things, fell in love immediately. It is hard to pull him out of the tub. They can be arranged in any order on the wall, then you just poor water and watch the magic happen.”

    Ages:1+ years| Number of pieces 5 | Made from:Plastic

    10

    A Building Set for 5+ Years with 40 Different Design Ideas

    Pros:

  • Instructions included to help with building 40 different designs
  • You can also design your own creations
  • This building set from K’nexIt contains 141 pieces (including connectors and rods) and instructions for making 40 different designs like a car or a skyscraper. Your child can even assemble their own creations, too — the sky’s the limit! The handle is attached to the suitcase-style container containing the pick.

    A second set is available for children as young at three years old if you are interested.

    One reviewer wrote, “Keeps my kiddos busy for hours. They love building the the suggested items but also using their imaginations to build new things. 100% worth the price!”

    Ages:| Number of pieces 141 | Made from:Plastic

    11

    A set of building toy that is themed around construction

    Pros:

  • Includes realistic-looking parts, tools and instructions to build just like grownups
  • It comes with a handy storage pouch
  • Melissa & Doug is known for making high-quality toys. Construction building setThe brand is no exception. The set comes with dozens of sturdy wooden pieces including nuts, bolts, and bars that your child can use to assemble a variety of creations — printed directly on the storage box are building plans for a crane, motorcycle, airplane, and race car to get the fun started. A small screwdriver is also included to complete the task.

    One reviewer wrote, “This is made of bright colorful wood. Easy for small hands to manage. My 4 year old grandson has spent many hours building assorted things. The nuts, bolts and tools fit together and are easy for him to use. My grandchildren have played with this for several years. Its very open ended.”

    Ages: 4 — 6 years | Number of pieces 48 | Made from: Wood

    12

    A See-Through Marble Run Set

    Pros:

  • Marble can be seen from beginning to end with transparent pieces
  • You can buy additional sets to increase your collection
  • This Marble Genius offers a starter set for marble runIt was described as such by reviewers “one of the absolute best purchases”A toy that is reliable “hours and hours of laughs and entertainment.” This set comes with 80 transparent track pieces that’ll allow your child to create super awesome structures, as well as 50 glass marbles to use on them. There’s even a compatible app with interactive instructions and building challenges.

    Want even more building fun? To expand your collection, take a look at these two larger sets.

    One reviewer wrote: “I don’t usually write reviews but this has been the star birthday present this year. Very easy to put together, my newly turned 4 year old can put it together on his own, but we have loved playing with him and building too! The pieces fit together snuggly and is sturdy once put together! I also love that it came with real marbles and not plastic like some other sets! Definitely worth the money!”

    Ages:4+ years| Number of pieces 130 | Made from:Plastic or marble

    13

    Solar-Powered Robot Construction Kits for Older Children

    Pros:

  • This kit can be used to make 12 different robots
  • No batteries are necessary because the sun powers everything.
  • This is the place to go for older children interested in building robots. Set from SillbirdThis is really cool. This set includes 190 pieces that allow your child to create 12 solar-powered robots that can move on land or water. There are two levels of complexity to select from based on your child’s skill level — and your kiddo can opt to build their own custom designs, too.

    One reviewer wrote, “This solar-powered robot is really great. It has 12 different construction robots, and it is also divided into entry level and complex level. Second, it provides detailed information on 12 types of robot design guidelines from level 1 to level 2. Children can start building robots based on the detailed information provided, so that they don’t appear complicated and immediately lose interest.”

    Ages:| Number of pieces 190 | Made from:Plastic

    Experts:

    Hope Caracci, OTR/L, OTDOccupational therapist and the American Occupational Therapy Association’sProgram manager for the Approved provider program.

    Kavita Naik Cherry, MS OTR/L, Pediatric occupational therapist and Clinical team member Pathfinder Health

    Anne Szmergalski, MHS, OTR/LOccupational therapist

    The 13 Best Building Toys For Kids

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