Building toys are our favorites. We place block play at the top of our toy list. Blocks and construction toys offer valuable play experiences that grow with your children.
We continue to build the collection each year and expand on our creations at home.
Why? Because these toys are timeless. My boys have been creating and playing with wooden blocks, Legos, STEM toys, and gears for years, and I foresee another handful of years of the same fun!
Excellent unit blocks can be tricky to find, and I am determined to make it easier for you. Here, you will find the very best building toys we love and use daily. These are classic toys that will grow with your child. You will see more intricate play over time with practice.
RELATED: Toys for kids are found here!
What do you get a kid that loves building?
Children who love building with blocks typically like other STEM or engineering-focused toys. Look for toys that offer open-ended creativity, meaning they do not have a specific start or finish design. Legos are some of the world’s most iconic and popular building toys. There are sets a child can complete, and often, the sets get taken apart for the child to construct what they like.
Why are building toys essential for a child’s development?
Building Toys = Endless Learning. Don’t limit construction play to school. Children can do serious learning through play at home! Many of the toys on this list are ageless. I have a six, eight, and nine-year-old that continue to play with them.
Construction and building toys improve:
- Motor abilities
- Shape exploration
- Social-emotional growth
RELATED: Ten Things Children Learn From Block Play from the naeyc.
TOYS FOR KIDS
After attending the NYToy Fair, I updated this list with the best toys for kids in 2023-2024. Open-ended toys your child will grow with.
Building Toy List
Wooden unit blocks can be challenging to find. Here are some of the collections we know and use in our homes. Along with wooden blocks, you will see STEM, magnetic, creative, and gears to excite your little engineer.
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We’ve had these blocks from Melissa and Doug for over five years and may take them to college! Okay, maybe that is a bit of a stretch, but they are a top-five toy that will stay with us for many more years. This is the block play toy starter set you need.
Take block play to the next level by adding this hollow block set. We gifted this set to the boys a few years ago as a group gift, and they love the ramps. This is a terrific toy if your child loves to build and construct.
Ready for a super strong magnetic tile? Connetix Tiles come in 8 earthy colors and are compatible with other magnetic tiles. We’ve used this brand for over a year and are super happy with the quality.
We began our journey with magnetic tiles using Picasso Tiles. They have worked great and are compatible with most brands. Picasso Tiles have worked well for our family.
This toy gets a FIVE-STAR review. We love, love, love these, and the boys still play with them daily. Their ages are five, seven, and nine. (I’m not too fond of the small size. Make sure it is Plus-Plus BIG)
Have you heard of Blockaroo? Many of you shared this fabulous bath construction toy with me last year and you weren’t wrong. It’s great!
Swap out your solo cups for this building toy made for ages 3+. Includes 48 cups and 40 construction ideas.
My boys love gears! This gear set is for ages 3-5. It is the perfect introductory building set for young children.
These gears got an upgrade. Use this gear set with ages five and older to explore gears and STEM engineering and electricity.
Let me tell you about my love for Snap Circuits. They are SO COOL! Children can create over 200 electrical combinations to understand science and Math concepts better.
We started with this classic set of Legos around age five. This perfect set allows open-ended play for ideas and creations to come to life.
Oh, how I adore this $10 creative monster set. I like to buy a few and save for last-minute birthday party gifts.
Magnetic people? Yes, please. Build with these colorful magnetic men on the refrigerator or in a sensory bin.
Keep your Blue Track inside, or take outdoors! This is a fun track that kids can manipulate and change the shape for different designs.
Why I love building toys
Building toys and block play opens so many doors to open-ended play.
Blocks and building toys are the perfect starting place for your now and future toy needs.
The constructive play and time spent with blocks will weave into just about all other content your child will encounter in grade school. These early years are the perfect time to put play to practice!
For even more ideas, we have an entire tab dedicated to block play right here!
More Toy Lists For Kids
Frequently Asked Questions
Block play is open-ended play, typically using wooden blocks. Wooden blocks used to be found in most Kindergarten classes to build creativity and teamwork. Sadly, most Kindergarten classes no longer allow time for this constructive play. It is up to us to keep block play available in our homes.
Keep blocks organized and sorted by type. Keep wooden blocks where kids can reach and use them. Think about where children can play with blocks and what they build to stay up for longer periods of time. This encourages children to revisit builds and extend ideas.
I prefer the wooden block set listed above because of the size of the blocks. The colored wooden block set is much smaller, and from my experience, leads to less play. The Melissa and Doug wooden block set is a terrific set built to last.