Building and construction toy sets are the most popular presents for kids. Children are able to develop a lot of useful skills, such as logical thought, industriousness, and diligence with the help of toy construction sets. A unique toy that helps kids to explore everything around them – this is what a construction toy for children is. They start their exploration way from objects naming and their main qualities to understanding proportions and the size of objects.

Almost every psychologist would recommend a constructing toy as the best and essential toy for preschoolers. Apart from that, these toys stimulate their mental and physical development. So, how do they do it?

  1. First of all, every construction toy with a huge number of parts develops fine motor skills the best. Due to these toys, it gets easier for a baby to hold a pen and learn writing, to form good handwriting.
  2. Secondly, construction toys for kids form such personal skills as diligence, attention, discipline, carefulness, and accountability.
  3. Thirdly, as strange as this sounds, toy construction sets contribute to the cognitive development of a child, such as talking. It turns out, that fine motor skills stimulate areas of the brain which are responsible for speech and language development.
  4. And fourthly, educational building toys promote better spatial skills. These skills are really helpful while learning maths, physics, and chemistry of the school curriculum.

So, in this article, we will together investigate the best toy construction sets of different complexity levels for different age groups. Our top is divided into several categories depending on the baby’s age, which would help to choose the right construction toy for your young engineer. You may just go through all suggested options to make your own informed decision regarding the pros and cons of each model.

Top 7 Best building toys for toddlers (2-3 years of age)

Bristle Blocks by Battat – The Official Bristle Blocks – 112 Piece

A distinctive feature of this kind of block is their softness because the surface is made of rubbery “bristle” which allows toddlers to connect blocks almost in any way they would like to. According to parents’ reviews, this toy is the best for kids of any age to play together with parents and grandparents enjoy playing this toy and constructing something fun on their own. If you want your baby to be happily occupied for hours, then this set is absolutely for you.

Pros:

  1. Vibrant colors for a great mood;
  2. 8 wheels expand the range of opportunities to create moving objects;
  3. BPA-free plastic;
  4. no boundaries for creativity and imagination of kids;
  5. stick together whatever angle is;
  6. easy to play with;

Cons:

  1. Parents should keep an eye on toddlers for them not to put a small part into the mouth;
  2. a bag or container to store blocks is better to be included.

Kids Educational Building Blocks by EMIDO (120 pieces)

That building blocks set opens unlimited possibilities for the realization of their own imagination. Your baby would be simply amused with interesting and new geometric shapes, that could be made with these discs. Parents reviews are positive regarding the amount of entertainment their kids had with this toy. Still, some parents were surprised by the size of a single disc, so please pay attention that it is just 1.25″ in diameter.

Pros:

  1. Amusing colors and shape of the toy;
  2. the material of the toy is a safe BPA-free polyethylene;
  3. pieces are floating on the water so this could be a great bath toy;
  4. a nice option for those youngsters, who are already tired of playing wooden blocks, Lego, etc.;
  5. a bag for storing blocks is included;

Cons:

  1. Parents should keep an eye on toddlers up to 3 years for them not to put a small part into the mouth;
  2. the diameter of a disc is relatively small.

Magnetic Tiles Building Blocks by dreambuilderToy (40 pcs)

Kids love these colorful magnetic tiles – while playing with them, your little engineer creates wonderful 3D shapes by simply sticking them together due to magnets placed inside of the tile. Tile’s length varies from 2.16″ to 2.55″ inches. Parents noted that compared to other popular brands of tiles, the price of these is great.

Pros:

  1. Tiles are hollow and lightweight so the building won’t crash down from being too heavy;
  2. toy is made of high-quality ABS and each tile has smooth rounded edges;
  3. an idea book for extra building ideas is included; perfect for traveling due to its size;
  4. better price among other magnetic tiles;

Cons:

  1. Do not leave toddlers up to 3 years alone with the toy – they may put a tile into the mouth;
  2. no bag or box to store the toy is included; the pack doesn’t look like a gift package.

Wooden Building Blocks Set by Melissa & Doug (100 pcs)

Don’t know which building set to choose to see your baby being happy for sure? The wooden blocks set is an absolute educational classic among all building sets. Blocks are not expensive but smaller than regular ones. For example, cubes are only 1 1/8″ on each side.

Pros:

  1. The toy has a colorful appearance and 9 shapes for greater creativity;
  2. made of lightweight wood;
  3. cubes have rounded edges and smooth surface;

Cons:

  1. Children should be supervised by parents while playing with smaller pieces;
  2. no storage box for blocks is included;
  3. some blocks may split sometimes.

30 Model Super Building Set by TINKERTOY (200 pcs)

As parents say, this is a fantastic toy for children – they are free to build bridges, towers, airplanes, cars and more. Also, it must be noted that the set is quite durable together with the storage box.

Pros:

  1. Plastic pieces are safe and flexible;
  2. a sturdy storage box and a 30 building ideas leaflet is included;
  3. parts are easy to put together and stay together;
  4. the toy gives a wide field for creativity with real objects;

Cons:

  1. Supervision of parents is needed as pieces are too small;
  2. little kids may need some help from grownups to snap details together.

Big Building Bag by Mega Bloks (80 pcs)

Most parents were glad having this building set for their toddlers due to bright colors, safety, and jumbo size of blocks. Babies are so excited even just stacking them and soon they will understand how to get them connected.

Pros:

  1. A bag for storing blocks is included; blocks are made from BPA and PVC free materials;
  2. this set could be combined with other Mega Bloks sets;
  3. blocks are big enough for toddlers to grab them easily, and due to their big size toy is harmless – it won’t fit toddler’s mouth;
  4. blocks are large enough for parents to avoid stepping on;
  5. this toy is sturdy enough and has no sharp edges;

Cons:

  1. Some parents were disappointed that the majority of block’s connections are not really good for actual building as they fit together quite loosely.

Bristle Blocks in a Bucket by Battat (128 pcs)

Another set from Battat, but this time it is an expanded thematic bristle block set with the same outstanding feature – your toddler is able to connect them at almost any angle with each other. Plus, friendly jungle features and flowers were added. What is more, blocks are safe for babies and toddlers due to their soft edges and harmless materials.

Pros:

  1. A bucket to store blocks is included;
  2. they are so easy to clean – simply use the soapy water and let them air dry;
  3. the toy is made of quality materials that are BPA and Phthalates free;
  4. gorgeous colors of blocks are so nice;
  5. blocks are easy for toddlers to make them stick together;

Cons:

  1. Hats do not stay on included toy “guys” and wheels are prone to fall apart;
  2. it is not easy to fit all pieces into the container;
  3. toddlers should play with the set under parental supervision because of its small parts.

Best Building Toys for Kids More Than 5-6 years old

Brain Flakes Interlocking Plastic Disc Set by VIAHART (500 pcs)

Unusual form or brain flakes toy set allows your young innovator creating some new and interesting forms of trees, swords and more. This is the most original constructing toy and an absolute hit among kids, parents say. What is more, adults are also excited to play it so this game could be considered a toy to spend time nicely together with the family.

Pros:

  1. An idea booklet to help children in constructing is included;
  2. after your kid will grow up, it would be still interesting to play this toy;
  3. great price for 500 colorful pieces of borderless constructing;
  4. may become a family toy;
  5. if flakes are stepped on by parents, it is not painful;
  6. the toy is sturdy and has nothing to break;
  7. in the box there are enough pieces for kids not to fight for them and make a fuss;
  8. cool as a filler for a sensory box;

Cons:

  1. It is not suitable for kids who don’t have patience.

Educational Construction Engineering Building Blocks by Brickyard (163 pcs)

What differentiates this building toy from other toys?  This is an engineering toy, that has building tools such as “clicking” wrenches, kid-friendly screwdriver and a special combination wrench which gives boys and girls an endless number of possibilities.

Pros:

  1. Blocks are made without sharp edges and are washable;
  2. toy comes with a sturdy storage box for quick cleanups;
  3. non-toxic BPA and Phthalates free materials;
  4. the toy is difficult enough to keep children interested for hours and days to play with it more than once;
  5. pieces are sturdy enough for a child;
  6. a full-color guide is included;
  7. more than one child can play this toy at once;

Cons:

  1. Could be better with more blocks and screws to build more;
  2. the price of the set is not cheap.

Educational Construction Engineering Building Blocks Set by ETI Toys (101 pcs)

The set was rated positively by parents due to its colorful appearance, safety and amount of possibilities to build. Kids love the socket wrench because it is so unusual for them and gives even more interest in the process of playing.

Pros:

  1. Materials of the toy are safe – it is non-toxic plastic without BPA and Phthalates;
  2. toy comes with the storage tub;
  3. all details are washable;
  4. set includes the step-by-step 80 pages e-book with 12 ideas;
  5. the toy is easy to assemble;

Cons:

  1. Because of the limited number of blocks, playing for more than one child becomes almost impossible;
  2. bolts do not hold pieces securely unless parents tighten them;
  3. the toy isn’t that cheap.

Construction Education Toy (100th Anniversary Tin) by LINCOLN LOGS (111 All-Wood Pieces)

As manufacturers claim, this Lincoln Logs set was inspired by the “Meeting house” – a building from one of the 1st logs set. It should be noted that the tin is huge and is half-filled with 111 logs – those who already bought this product were a bit disappointed with the difference of the package and its filling.

Pros:

  1. The toy is made in the USA;
  2. the set comes with an instruction sheet with 3 building ideas;
  3. a tin to store logs is included;
  4. made from real maple wood with no splinters;
  5. set is a nostalgy for parents and fun for kids;
  6. toy is great as a gift due to its colorful tin package;

Cons:

  1. The basic set is limited (111 pc) so you may have to buy an additional set to build more, and also there’s a lot of free space in the tin;
  2. the toy is a bit expensive.

Unlimited Creation Cubes by AWESOME CHOICE (100 pcs)

Since the size of these simple and colorful creation cubes is just 1 inch, they are good for playing and training fine motor skills of a preschooler. Besides that, they are not setting any borders for creation so there is a variety of ways to use them.

Pros:

  1. Cubes come with a storage plastic jar;
  2. the toy is safe due to lead, BPA, and phthalate-free materials;
  3. 1″ cubes are hand-sized just for your child;
  4. price of the toy is affordable; this set helps preschoolers in learning math;
  5. parents say these cubes are easy to snap together and are very durable;

Cons:

  1. A variety of colors could be different in each pack;
  2. according to reviewers, 2-3 cubes in a pack were damaged;
  3. cubes have no instructions so parents should give some help in building.

Kids Magnet Magnet Building Tiles by Cossy (120 pcs)

This magnetic tile set will give your baby an endless field for creativity due to its expanded geometrical shapes range and a tremendous amount of tiles in a set. That is enough for children to build a huge castle and to be occupied for hours of fun.

Pros:

  1. the set includes a whole variety of different shaped magnetic tiles and 2 car bases, what enlarges a variety of things to build;
  2. the toy is made of non-toxic ABS plastic;
  3. hands of your child won’t be injured due to the smooth tile’s edges;
  4. the product maintains a good balance between the quality, number of pieces and the price;
  5. tiles are clear enough to let the light go through them and leave colorful shades on the floor;

Cons:

  1. no box to store tiles is included;
  2. some parents say that magnets are not that strong if compared with other magnetic tiles sets.

Magnet Building Tiles by PicassoTiles (100 pcs)

These magnetic tiles are the popular purchase among parents, whose kids are enthused by colorful magnetic blocks which allow creating 3D shapes. Besides opportunities for creativity, kids are able to get an idea on how to reinforce their buildings.

Pros:

  1. This set is compatible with the Magna-Tiles brand – a nice advantage for those, who want to enlarge a magnetic tiles collection;
  2. tiles are less expensive than other popular tiles brands;
  3. magnets in tiles are strong enough to build tall castles or towers;
  4. a couple of different sized cubes and triangles, what provides borderless creativity;

Cons:

  1. Kids should carefully use the toy as cracks may appear over tiles if slammed down;
  2. no sturdy box for storage is included.

Best Building Toys for Children (8-10 years)

STEM Explorations: Roller Coaster Building Set by K’NEX (546 pcs)

Is it hard for a parent to entertain a child? With this Roller coaster toy set you’ll keep his or her interest for hours and even more. An educational STEM toy like this would be a good deal for parents and their kids. Most children experience difficulties completing such a difficult task like this – it means that there is one more good reason to play with the whole family and to have a nice and productive weekend together. The set includes a motor, a roller car, building pieces and a booklet with ideas.

Pros:

  1. Apart from the lead Roller Coaster model, there are 2 additional models: Ramp and Half Pipe;
  2. hours of entertainment for the whole family during the weekend is guaranteed;
  3. the set may become a great learning experience even for parents;
  4. your kid will obtain hands-on knowledge about physics – relations between time, speed and distance;
  5. the set is good for classroom use;

Cons:

  1. If even a piece would be lost, there are no extra details and it is impossible to purchase them separately;
  2. some parents complained that they didn’t succeed building the toy so the car was not working as it should.

STEM Explorations: Swing Ride Building Set by K’NEX (486 pcs)

I bet your dear child have never tried to make his or her own amusement park experiment at home – a Swing Ride with the working mechanism! If you see that he or she is interested in STEM subjects, it would be a blast for a kid. Besides, the set is big enough to play it with parents or a friend. Please note that the set comes only with 1 motor. Two AA batteries and a screwdriver for the motor are not included. Also, after you open a box, check that every detail is in the box – there could be missing pieces, unfortunately.

Pros:

  1. The set has 2 extra models apart from the Swing Ride – it is a Ferris wheel and a Boom Ride;
  2. real experiments help understanding STEM subjects concepts, that are always easier to understand with an experiment after reading some theory;
  3. this building set may become a good project for a classroom;
  4. the set is a great gift for children who enjoy Lego projects and are “mechanically inclined”;

Cons:

  1. No special storage container is included in the set;
  2. if even a piece would be lost, there are no replacements you can buy.

Creative Construction Building Toy Set by IQ BUILDER (164 pcs)

This is the educational toy with connecting balls and wheels, which allows using it in a varied way, constructing different models at a reasonable cost. Parents admit that they like the colorful and unique look of this toy. At the same time, parents were disappointed that the booklet which comes with the set has pictures of toys which could be made with two sets.

Pros:

  1. This is a STEM emphasis toy, aimed at building a solid foundation in these subjects;
  2. this set could be applied in classrooms, while demonstrating concepts of geometry, maths, and physics;
  3. the set is easy to wash with water;
  4. a toy storage box for easy cleanups is included;
  5. the toy is made from safe and toxin-free materials that have been tested in the USA;
  6. the set has an e-book with levels from the Beginner to the Advanced level;
  7. price of the toy is affordable;
  8. the set feels very well made, and what is quite important – pieces stuck together and not falling out;

Cons:

  1. Most toys in the booklet cannot be made with only one set – that means you have to buy an additional set to build animals, vehicles, etc.;
  2. the toy may be not really challenging for kids, who are already dealing with something like Lego.

Building Bricks Bulk Block Set by Brickyard (1100 pcs)

According to the parents’ reviews, the outstanding feature of this Brickyard building set is its great value and compatibility with different building brands like Lego. It should be noted, that even if these blocks look the same and are compatible with the popular building brands, you still may find differences in quality with the authentic brand due to its cheaper price.

Pros:

  1. 11 vivid colors of blocks are amusing;
  2. the number of blocks in the set gives your child a wide range of possibilities to build;
  3. the toy is compatible with the major building brands so you may greatly expand your blocks collection and mix them;
  4. the toy is made of non-toxic materials that comply with US safety standards;
  5. 2 bricks separators for easy blocks separation are included;
  6. you may use the package box as a storage box for bricks;

Cons:

  1. Some parents complained, that the pack has a lot of small pieces instead of having more larger pieces.

100 Model Building Set by K’NEX (863 pcs)

This is another fantastic building set from K’NEX loved by kids and parents with a difference in the number of possibilities – about 100 models could be made with this engineering set. Most kids could play this toy on their own in case they had the same building previous experience, or they have their own great ideas to build something cool. Otherwise, parents should help kids just to understand the instructions and how to follow them.

Pros:

  1. In the box you will find a booklet with about 10 step-by-step building ideas, the rest of the ideas are placed on the manufacturer’s website;
  2. you may store pieces in the cardboard box that the toy comes with;
  3. the set is a wonderful gift for boys and girls;
  4. in terms of uniqueness of the product and creativity it gives, parents prefer K’NEX rather than LEGO;
  5. toy is made in the USA;

Cons:

  1. You should check whether some pieces are missing in the box as far as some parents complained about that;
  2. in case some pieces or connectors will break you won’t be able to buy replacements.

Building Toys Gifts for Boys & Girls by Gili

With this STEM building set your child would explore how to build a real looking airplane or a truck, and what is more – kids may play with the toy easily afterward. This toy is also suitable for those kids, who are already enjoying building sets such as LEGO but want a bit complicated set which requires more patience.

Pros:

  1. According to parents’ reviews, kids enjoy this building set especially as a gift because toys are lifelike and could be played with afterward;
  2. materials  are safe and meet the US standards;
  3. the set would be a nice brain challenge for your young engineer;

Cons:

  1. Some parents’ assistance could be necessary while following instructions;
  2. in a new box some parts could be missing, parents say.

Discovering STEM Structures Constructions & Bridges by Engino

This Engino inspiring toy will make kids spend many hours with. Also, may become a great part of hands-on experience for STEM projects. A child, who is already tired of playing other building toys and wants something more special or complicated would be pleased to have this toy as a gift.

Pros:

  1. This kit would be a nice option for class studies;
  2. parents admit that the toy is more brian challenging for kids who were playing Lego or same building toys;
  3. this building set teaches about 9 different bridge designs;
  4. the set has a booklet not only with step-by-step instructions, but also with theory facts pages, quiz, and experimental activities;

Cons:

  1. Some parents were disappointed that the child has built the toy once and never touched it again.

Conclusion

So, we reviewed all the most popular building kits for children of different ages. I hope that my article will help you make the really right choice and you will be satisfied with the purchase! Feel free to ask questions in the comments to this article – I always try to help my readers to make the right choice!

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