All toddlers love playing with building toys, whether they enjoy making towers and knocking them over, or creating models with LEGO-type blocks. Here, we have a great guide to help you find the perfect building toys for your child, and also answer some questions about choosing a great construction toy for a toddler.
5 Top Building Blocks for Toddlers & Preschoolers
Now you know the answers to all the questions you have about finding the right building toy for your toddler, we will take a look at some of the best toys to pick for boys and girls. We’ve chosen a range of different styles of bricks and blocks, so there is sure to be something to appeal to all skill levels and personal preferences.
1. Mega Bloks Stack and Learn
This Mega Bloks set contains 80 pieces, and is ideal for children from the age of 1 – 5 years old. The blocks can be used to make any kind of model or structure your child can think of. However, this set also has the added bonus of being able to teach kids about math. Most of the blocks have numbers of math symbols printed on them, so your child can learn basic number skills whilst they play. The Stack and Learn blocks are the ideal building toys for 3 year olds, who are learning at a rapid rate.
The Mega building blocks come with an idea card, to help children copy some ideas of equations which make sense. Some of the blocks feature numbers, whilst other have dots for your child to count, so they can learn to recognize numbers as well as count. Of course, when your child gets tired of learning about numbers, they can just use the blocks to build with too, meaning there’s hours of entertainment to be had with this great set. The blocks are very large and chunky, so they are perfect for younger children who still put their toys in their mouths from time to time, too.
2. Snowflake Blocks
Snowflake blocks have a wide range of uses, and are perfect for toddlers who love to learn. As well as making models, the snowflakes can be used to aid color recognition and to help with counting skills. Parents could also lay out patterns with the flakes and ask their child to find what comes next. The tub contains eight different colors, and there are 250 pieces in total.
The snowflake blocks are a nice change from traditional building toys for 4 year olds, and offer more of a challenge to children who are already very good at building with blocks. The pieces are a great size for children of all ages – neither to small for older kids nor too big for younger ones. The flakes are even good for use in the bath – they are easy to dry off and they can float too. The snowflakes can be used to build anything a child can think of – the imagination is the only limit! In fact, older children and parents will love to join in the fun too – the whole family can spend hours making different models!
3. Maxim Toy Block Set
These classic children’s alphabet blocks are ideal for children over 18 months old. The set includes 40 pieces, which are beautifully decorated with every letter of the alphabet (including some duplicates of common letters), numbers and math symbols. The blocks are carved, which means unlike printed blocks they won’t lose their design after a few weeks. The classic wooden blocks can be passed down to future generations, and are sure to be cherished for years to come.
The wooden ABC blocks are almost 2 inches each, making them easier to stack as they are less fiddly than smaller blocks. Children can use the blocks for all sorts of fun, educational games. They can learn to spell their name, perform basic sums and learn about colors. The blocks can also be used to help develop language skills – each letter block has a picture of an object which starts with the same letter. The word is also printed under the picture, to help children learn to associate words with pictures and text – a great way to help early reading skills.
4. Learning Resources Letter Blocks
These 3D letter blocks are ideal for helping toddlers learn letter recognition and basic spelling skills. The letters are open at the back, meaning they can be used as cutters for play dough or for baking cookies. The pieces come in a range of colors, so they are also ideal for helping toddlers learn how to name the different colors. The set includes one of each consonant and two of each vowel, meaning children can spell a range of different words.
The Learning Resources letter blocks are the ideal building blocks for 2 year olds, and are sure to provide hours of educational fun. There’s also a useful storage bag included – great for encouraging kids to tidy up when they’re finished playing! There company also makes a set of number and counting blocks, which feature different numbers and math signs to help toddlers learn to start basic math skills.
5. Melissa and Doug Stacking Blocks
These Melissa and Doug blocks come in a pack of ten, each a different color. The blocks feature the numbers 1 to 10 and are designed to be stacking in a tower – helping children learn how to count to ten. Each of the stacking blocks has the corresponding number of shapes so children can visualize how many each number represents. Therefore, the set can also be used to teach children the names of all the main shapes.
The Melissa and Doug cardboard blocks are great quality and can withstand some rough handling from babies and toddlers – as you would expect from any toy from this great brand. The nesting blocks fit neatly inside each other, meaning tidying up is easy at the end of the day! The boxes are ideal for developing hand-eye co-ordination as well as patience and problem solving, making them an excellent investment for curious young toddlers!
What are the educational benefits of building toys?
Building toys have many educational advantages for toddlers. Some of the key ones are:
- They help develop fine motor skills as children work to piece blocks together or stack them up.
- Spatial awareness can also be enhanced using construction toys, by working to build a tower which doesn’t fall over.
- Patience can also be worked on by using construction toys. The child must take their time to piece their structure together, ensuring it doesn’t break apart.
- Problem solving skills can be helped by using building bricks. The child must figure out what piece to use next, and how they all fit together.
- Building is a great way to let your toddler’s imagination run wild – they can create whatever they can dream up! Children can also enjoy playing imaginative games with their creations and engage in pretend play.
- Confidence can also be boosted as a result of creating structures with blocks and bricks. Children are proud to show off what they have made to friends and family, and feel more self-confident after being praised for their efforts.
- For younger children who aren’t able to build, they can still enjoy the educational benefits of playing with blocks. They can sort them by color, shape or size for example. You might also choose blocks which have letters of the alphabet printed on them, to help your child learn early language skills. Blocks can also be used to help counting and number skills, and are a great way for parents and toddlers to spend quality time together.
- Teamwork can also be encouraged by using construction toys. Children learn to share pieces and work together to create bigger and better models.
What should I look for in an educational building toy?
There are loads of different building blocks for kids of different ages, so the first thing to think about is your child’s age. Make sure the toy is suitable for their age group, as some have small parts and are therefore not recommended for toddlers and younger children. On the other hand, if you are buying for an older toddler, be careful to make sure the toy is not too babyish or the might get bored quickly.
There are many different styles of building blocks for toddlers, so choose something which interests your child and is suitable for their developmental level. Some wooden blocks are ideal for younger children who haven’t got much experience with building, whereas blocks which resemble chunkier LEGO are ideal for slightly older children. There are more advanced options for preschoolers, such as snowflake blocks and Stickle Bricks. For a very young child who isn’t quite ready to build, a wooden puzzle is a great place to start instead.
Final Thoughts and Our Conclusions
Construction toys are perfect for toddlers of all ages, and can be used to help them learn a variety of skills. They’re also great fun, and can be used in many different ways to ensure toddlers never get bored. Our favorite is the snowflake blocks, because they are unique and can be used to make a huge range of models. However, they’re best for slightly older children, so if you’re buying for a 1 – 2 year old, it might be better to choose something else. The Mega Bloks are ideal for children this age, as they’re strong enough to be chewed on, but can still be used to make fun models and are great for helping children learn about math and numbers too.