Updated on December 17, 2020 by Lyric Fergusson
Blocks are a great toy for children of all ages. From stacking to sorting, there are many ways that children can use blocks that help them learn and grow. Even babies get a lot of benefits out of playing with blocks. Trying to figure out which set of blocks will be best for your baby can be difficult. There are so many different sets and types of blocks out there to choose from.
That’s why I’ve compiled a list of the 7 best baby blocks, so you can rest assured that whichever you pick will be a good fit for your child.
Best Baby Blocks for Girls and Boys
(Best value — $)
Why it’s great: With this set, you get 40 pieces of solid wood blocks. This will give your child plenty of items to work with so they can build and stack to their heart’s content. The wood is smooth and sanded, so you don’t have to worry about splinters. Also, these are just plain wood squares and could easily be decorated however you want. You can paint them bright colors or put letters, numbers, or any other kind of educational decorations on them. At a great price compared to other brands, you’ll get a complete set of building blocks for your child.
Keep in mind: These only come in squares, so you won’t get the triangles or other shapes that come in other sets.
Good for: Parents who want a large set of blocks, but don’t want to spend a lot of money.
(Most educational — $$)
Why it’s great: These blocks are soft and squeezable and can be used in multiple different ways. They have letters, numbers, animals, shapes, and fruits on the sides, so your baby can learn while playing with them. Because they are soft, you don’t have to worry about your child throwing them or getting hurt by knocking them over. They are also soft enough that your baby can chew on them when they’re teething. They are easy to clean and can even be taken in the bath with your child. They also make a squeaking noise when you squeeze them. The set comes with a carrying case for easy storage and portability. This is a toy that you can take with you to the park or when visiting friends or relatives to keep your child occupied.
Keep in mind: This only comes with 12 pieces, so it’s not a lot, and you only get half of the alphabet.
Good for: Parents that want a versatile block set.
(Most sensory — $)
Why it’s great: This comes with a set of 10 blocks that are soft and squeezable. They have numbers, animals, and different textures on the sides, so your child will be getting a whole sensory experience. They squeak when you squeeze them and are soft enough that your child can use them as a teething toy. You won’t have to worry about them getting hurt with these blocks if they’re knocked over or thrown either. They come in fun colors and are easy for your child to stack. You also get a cute, little carrying case with these blocks, so you can store them or take them with you to entertain your child when you’re not home.
Keep in mind: These can be washed or used in water, but you need to make sure you get all the excess water out afterward to prevent bacterial growth.
Good for: Parents who want a smaller, portable block set.
(Most natural — $$$)
Why it’s great: These blocks are made of all-natural rubber and are hand-painted with lead-free paints. They are environmentally friendly and safe for your child. There are 3 squares, a circle, and a cylinder. While your child won’t get a lot of stacking height out of these blocks, they will still learn hand-eye coordination. The circle and cylinder will roll, which promotes crawling. Two of the blocks contain rattles for auditory stimulation. They are brightly colored and soft to the touch. The black and white are great visuals for newborns too. Your child will be able to play safely with these blocks and can even chew on them when they’re teething.
Keep in mind: This is a small set, containing only 5 blocks, and won’t be something your baby will likely use long term.
Good for: Parents who want a small set that won’t clutter up the house.
(Best block alternative — $)
Why it’s great: If you want your child to learn hand-eye coordination and stacking without having to have a huge set of blocks, these stacking rings are the answer. They’re a great alternative to blocks and will give you most of the same benefits. It comes with 6 rings that are all brightly colored and different sizes. You also get a stacking pole to slide the rings on. Your child will be able to stack the rings and learn to sort by size. The rings are also different textures, so your child gets some new sensory input as well. They are soft and chewable for teething too.
Keep in mind: These are hard to stack without the pole to help hold them in place.
Good for: Parents who want an alternative to blocks.
(Most complete set — $$$)
Why it’s great: This set comes with 60 pieces, which come in squares, rectangles, triangles, semi-circles, and bridges, making up the largest and most complete set of blocks. Your child will be able to build whatever they can dream up with this set. These are made of wood and have been sanded for a nice, smooth feel. You won’t have to worry about splinters or rough textures. Melissa & Doug is a well-known brand that makes quality products that are backed by a 100% happiness guarantee, so you know that you’ll be getting a great set.
Keep in mind: This set is made for children 3 and up, but it would be perfectly safe for a baby to use.
Good for: Parents that want a set that their baby will be able to play with for years to come.
(Best keepsake — $$)
Why it’s great: This comes with 2 square blocks with numbers and a rectangle block with the words weeks, months, years, and grade on it. These are great for making milestone photo shoots and can be used even as your child gets older, for as long as you want. While these are mostly just used as a keepsake and milestone photo prop, your child can play with them and stack the 3 blocks. They’ll get to learn numbers as well.
Keep in mind: This only comes with 3 blocks and isn’t really a play set, although your child can certainly play with them.
Good for: Parents that want a great prop for milestone photos that can also be used as a toy.
FAQs about baby blocks
1. What are the benefits of playing with blocks?
There are so many benefits that your child will get from playing with blocks. They can learn colors, shapes, numbers, and other sorts of things depending on the designs on the block set. They will also learn hand-eye coordination and it promotes both fine and gross motor skills. They will get visual and sometimes auditory stimulation as well. Some blocks have different textures that increase your baby’s sensory awareness too. Blocks also promote creativity and give your child a great, screen-free, play option.
2. At what age can my child start playing with blocks?
Depending on the type of block, your child can start playing with them as soon as they can hold them. If you get the softer blocks, you won’t have to worry about them getting hurt if they hit themselves with it or throw them. Certainly, the older your baby gets, the more use they’ll get out of the blocks though. Toddlers and young children will be able to better create and build with them than babies. The soft blocks are great toys for babies though because they can chew on them and babies usually love the bright colors.
3. What material makes the best blocks?
This is all personal preference and depends on what use you want to get out of the blocks. For a true, creative building block set, the woodblocks are usually the best. They are sturdy and usually come in bigger sets, so your child can build anything they want. For toddlers and babies, the softer blocks are usually better because there’s less likelihood of them getting hurt and they can safely chew on them.
4. How many pieces should a good block set have?
This again will depend on what use you want to get out of the blocks. Smaller sets are usually sufficient for babies and toddlers. You’ll want at least 20 pieces or more for older kids who want to be able to build with them. 40-60 pieces is usually a good number for those children who want to create and build.
5. What are the safety concerns with blocks?
This will vary based on the type of blocks you get. The softer, rubbery blocks are pretty safe, but if they get filled with water and aren’t dried or drained properly, they can grow bacteria that could make your child sick. The woodblocks don’t have that problem, but they are hard and could potentially hurt your child if they’re thrown or get knocked over onto your child. Always supervise your child and you shouldn’t have any issues with your blocks.
Blocks are a great toy for your child to learn spatial awareness, motor skills, and hand-eye coordination. They can promote creativity and give your child something to entertain them for hours at a time. While most building blocks are made for older kids, babies and toddlers can still learn a lot from them. Especially if they’re made with letters, numbers, or any other educational design.
There are so many different types of blocks available these days that have different features and uses. Take the time to figure out what features you want from your block set and you should have no trouble finding the right one for your child.