Updated on November 9, 2020 by Lyric Fergusson
Block sets are the perfect activity for your toddler when they are enhancing their learning abilities. Dads particularly love building blocks with their toddlers and we’ve found countless hours of fun this way. Blocks help little ones take turns, increase their attention span, develop their self-esteem and help them explore imaginative play. Your toddler will quickly develop their fine and gross motor skills while engaging in block play. Below are the block sets that are our top favorites!
The Best Toddler Block Sets For All Ages
(Best for learning the alphabet & numbers — $$)
Why it’s great: This block set is made from imported wood from Australia, comes with 40 pieces with ABCs, and also comes with a storage bag for easy cleanup. Each block is painted and carved with capital letters, numbers, and different math symbols. This block set is great for stacking, building with the imagination, and counting. It’s made of 100% natural wood and encourages problem-solving skills and early learning.
Keep in mind: The mesh storage bag is a bit cheap as it only uses Velcro to close and doesn’t come with any drawstrings. Some parents have complained of some blocks missing numbers.
Good for: Learning the alphabet and counting.
(Great first building set — $)
Why it’s great: This building activity set reminds me of your 80s classic-colored blocks. It included shapes, is perfect for tiny hands, encourages hands-on play for development, and comes with a storage bag so you can easily clean up. Your toddlers can combine these blocks with other mega block sets so they can build even higher! My daughter loves building tall towers with her building blocks.
Keep in mind: Sometimes the blocks don’t stay connected together as well as you’d hope. But that is why they are a great first building set because of the ease of connecting them.
Good for: Ages 1-5 years old.
(Most unique — $$$)
Why it’s great: These wooden blocks are unusual and unique because they are shaped differently than most blocks. The pieces make it look like your child is building a medieval castle. They are made of natural wood and stack easily. With 150 pieces, your child will be able to create for hours at a time and there’s enough that a sibling or friend can build along with them. The set comes with an instruction booklet that details how to build the castle in the picture if your child doesn’t want to figure out how to create their own. This will help your child with hand-eye coordination and teach them patience as they try to follow along with the directions.
Keep in mind: These pieces are smaller than most blocks and there are even some thinner pieces that might make it more difficult for younger children.
Good for: Children ages 4 and up that like fantasy themes.
(Most lightweight — $$)
Why it’s great: This cardboard block set is one of the most durable block sets. They are made of extra-thick cardboard and can hold all the way up to 150 pounds! They are lightweight and easy for toddlers to stack. This block set comes with instructions and has an easy-fold assembly.
Keep in mind: This block set is a little pricier than most, but worth it for their durability.
Good for: Toddlers ages 2 to 5.
(Best budget buy & best for young toddlers — $)
Why it’s great: This block set is great for both babies and toddlers. It comes with very soft blocks that are not harmful for babies. It comes with 10 blocks that they can stack up all the way to the top. They squeeze, squeak and are perfect if your child is a nibbler or chewer. This set encourages early learning, teaches colors and numbers, in addition to hand-eye coordination.
Keep in mind: A few parents have complained of the blocks acquiring mold. Keep in mind this is possible if you get them wet and don’t allow them to completely dry all the way.
Good for: Babies and toddlers.
(Best wooden block set & most educational — $$$)
Why it’s great: This block set is a great set of solid wood blocks that will help your toddler build their language and problem-solving skills the Montessori way. It comes with 70 pieces that will piece together to make over 20 activities for different stages. You’ll get several different years of learning and development through this block set.
Keep in mind: This block set is on the pricier side. But considering how many stages of learning that it provides, we’ve found it’s well worth the money and you’ll definitely get great use out of it for many years.
Good for: Different stages of learning with Montessori techniques.
(Most creative — $)
Why it’s great: These blocks are different from your average block. They are waffle shaped and the pieces fit together like a puzzle. This will help your child to improve their fine motor skills as they fit the pieces together. They are sturdy enough that you can build tall towers or shorter buildings. There are tons of different options available with the way that these blocks hook together. While most of the blocks are square waffles, there are even a few curved pieces to create bracelets or round buildings. This set comes with 100 pieces, but it’s also compatible with other waffle block sets.
Keep in mind: The pieces do need to be hooked together, so your child won’t really be able to just stack them. They do hook together easily, but may be harder for younger children.
Good for: Children ages 2 and up that like puzzles and blocks.
(Best STEM toy — $$)
Why it’s great: This set of blocks makes for a great STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering & Math) activity. It comes with 70 pieces that include different shapes and sizes. All pieces are magnetic, with the large sized magnets, making it easier for quicker building. Its new design is designed to avoid scratches, keep its color, and to keep its smooth surfaces. This block set is made of safe magnet material and is durable. This activity will develop your toddler’s color and shape recognition, imagination, creativity, and design capabilities.
Keep in mind: This set does not come with a storage bag. A block set with this many pieces would be better if it had one, so I recommend purchasing a separate storage bag if you choose to go with the magnetic block set. Other than that, this set is amazing!
Good for: Shape and color recognition, as well as imaginative play.
(Best traditional set — $)
Why it’s great: This is a nice, big set with 100 wood pieces. There’s plenty of pieces for multiple children to play together. The blocks are all painted bright colors and are different shapes and sizes. This will allow your child to build and create hundreds of designs and provide them with hours of fun. These blocks are light enough that there’s no danger of your child getting hurt if they knock them over. Your child will love using their imagination to build whatever they desire. They’ll be able to learn and recognize colors and shapes, as well as increase their fine motor skills. They’ll also learn patience and resilience as their towers fall over time and again.
Keep in mind: These blocks are a smaller size than most building blocks, so they’re easier to manipulate for older toddlers.
Good for: Children ages 3 and up that like to build their own creations.
(Most classic set — $$)
Why it’s great: Lincoln Logs are a classic toy that even parents will love to play with as they reminisce about their own childhood. The blocks have grooves that make it easy for young children to stack correctly without worry of them falling over. There are plenty of pieces and it even comes with a cowboy and horse. The included instruction manual shows your child how to build 3 different designs and they can use their imagination to create their own buildings too. The pieces are made from real maple wood logs, so your child’s log cabin will transport them to the old wild west. This set promotes hand-eye coordination, critical thinking, and fine motor skills.
Keep in mind: This doesn’t come with a lot of the longer pieces, so you may need to buy additional sets to get really creative with what you can build.
Good for: Children ages 3 and up that might need the stability the grooves provide for building.
(Most versatile — $$)
Why it’s great: This set is great because you can build so many different things. It comes with a set of tools and instructions, along with the block pieces in several shapes and sizes. The tools are easy for small hands to grip and there’s even an electric screwdriver for younger toddlers who may have more difficulty doing it manually. There’s enough pieces that multiple children can build and create together or separately. The instruction booklet guides your child and helps them to build several different designs. As your child gets older, they’ll be able to use their imagination and build their own creations. This set encourages fine and gross motor skills, hand-eye coordination, logical thinking, and creative imagination.
Keep in mind: This set may be too difficult for younger toddlers, as you do need to put things together, rather than just stacking blocks.
Good for: Children ages 3 and up who are creative.
FAQ’s about toddler block sets
1. What are the best blocks for toddlers?
In my experience, the best type of blocks for toddlers are blocks that promote learning. Blocks that promote the alphabet, numbers, and color learning would be my go-to. Also, you want to make sure that the blocks are big enough for your toddler to easily grip. At this age, they still want to put objects in their mouth so also make sure that they are not too small and are toxic free.
2. What age do toddlers play with blocks?
Toddlers start playing with blocks typically around 15 months of age. At this age, they are learning how to stack and build. Around 18 months they’ll be able to stack towers of 3 blocks without your help. By the time your toddler turns 2, he/she will be able to build six or seven blocks without your help. My daughter is an overachiever so she stacks them as high as she can get it until they all fall (HAHA).
3. How do building blocks help my toddler’s development?
As your toddler starts to play with building blocks, they gain cognitive benefits. Building blocks can boost your toddler’s creativity, encourage matching, counting, and sorting. Playing with blocks is beneficial for their physical, emotional, and social development, along with their cognitive.
It represents symbolization, comparison, following sequences, and logical reasoning. Your toddler can also learn about size, order, different shapes, numbers, estimating, and operations. Experts say if your child can learn through a healthy platform, they will find learning comes more easily.
4. What age are wooden blocks good for?
Wooden blocks should be good for toddlers ages 18 months – 3 years old. By the time your child reaches the toddler stage, they are ready to use smaller wooden blocks, pattern blocks, or even blocks with magnets. Wooden block sets will help develop spatial and mental rotation skills.
In conclusion, block sets are very important for your toddler’s development. It teaches them to play independently and enhances their learning development. They will learn to problem solve, use self-expression, learn mathematics by counting, continuity, creativity, science, self-esteem, social and emotional growth, and development in all areas.
They say that the less a toy does, the more they will learn from it. These building block sets can also help you, as a parent, engage with your child by participating yourself. In the beginning, toddlers will get more out of their play when they have an adult there to talk with them about spatial ideas. You can also encourage cooperative building projects, challenge them with building tasks, and stimulate their interest by incorporating other toys.
When weighing your options in finding the perfect block set for your child, keep in mind safety, price, and storage. My least favorite part about block play is the mess that comes later! I can’t tell you how much time I’ve spent hunting around the house looking for blocks and cleaning them up. It may be inconvenient for us, but just know that your toddler is reaping all of its educational benefits.
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