Not all children grow up to be architects but some of the creations kids build out of blocks could blow you away, and that’s exactly why block sets are one of those classic toys every toddler and child needs. Like board games, toy cars and dollhouses, block sets are an essential that make a playroom complete.
Block sets grow with your child from early infancy, when all babies want to do is make noise by banging things together, through elementary school ages when blocks transform into grandiose castles and village houses for stuffed animals and dolls. The hands-on engagement is both creatively stimulating and educational: They enhance children’s motor and cognitive skills, and present you with an opportunity to further instruct your children on how to identify different shapes and colors, which will ultimately help to expand their vocabulary in the long run.
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From vibrantly colored pieces to traditional wooden blocks and extravagantly themed sets, these are the best block sets currently available. Find one that fits your child’s skills and interests, and let the hours of non-stop building begin.
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1. iPlay, iLearn Kids Wooden Building Block Set
The iPlay iLearn wooden block set is a classic bundle. It includes 72 pieces of 13 different shapes that have been sanded and smoothed to perfection. The set has also been tested and approved by the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC) to ensure the toy is 100 percent child-friendly (since you know toddlers put everything in their mouths).
Watch as your little builder’s imagination comes to life as they construct towers, castles and more by arranging square, rectangle, circle, half-circle, triangle, cylinder and arch pieces on the wooden case that doubles as a working space. Tiny tots will love stacking them high and knocking them down, but even this seemingly mindless activity is a learning opportunity. Plus, through hands-on experiences, your child will learn how to play independently and with others, and their fine motor skills, hand-eye coordination, and ability to identify and understand concepts of size, symmetry and proportion will become stronger.
2. FAO Schwarz Wooden Castle Block Set
For the child who configures cardboard boxes and toilet paper rolls into castles and moats, and the little ones who go wide-eyed at bedtime stories like Rapunzel and Sleeping Beauty that center around royalty trapped in tall towers, this is the block set that will speak to them. The FAO Schwarz Wooden Castle Block Set brings your child’s imagination to life with 75 durable, interchangeable parts that transform from a pile of shapes into a breathtaking medieval castle made up of bridges, arches and towers. And because this themed set gives children a specific task, not only will building keep their creative juices flowing, their problem-solving skills will also sharpen in the process.
3. Melissa & Doug Wooden Building Blocks Set
Plain wooden blocks are classic; colorful wooden blocks are eye-catching. When you’re entertaining a toddler, you’re going to need toys that keep their attention and this building block set from Melissa & Doug should do the trick. The set includes 100 pieces that come in nine different shapes and four different colors, but Melissa & Doug isn’t just designing toys for their alluring aesthetic. These pieces all have a purpose: To promote screen-free play in favor of creativity and learning opportunities by introducing early math concepts, and helping kids develop strong motor skills and resilience.
4. The Block Set by Lovevery
The Block Set by Lovevery is not your average compilation of wooden shapes. The science-based system includes 70 pieces in 18 colors and over a dozen shapes for kids to arrange, but what makes this block set so unique is its inclusion of solid components including arches, wheels, a bead threader, a rolling ramp and a shape sorter. The boxed set also converts into a car your tot can pull around the playroom. If that’s not fancy, we don’t know what is. What’s more, the set was designed to promote STEM concepts at a young age, so your child will start to unlock concepts of physics, engineering and problem-solving, and will subconsciously be practicing their spatial awareness, motor skills and hand-eye coordination.
5. KidKraft Wooden Block Set
If you’re on the hunt for just a simple, classic wooden block set to keep your child busy while you do X, Y and Z around the house, KidKraft has you covered. The bundle includes 60 blocks made of solid wood that come in a variety of shapes and sizes. Your little one will spend hours arranging, rearranging, towering and ruthlessly knocking them down, but if by some chance they ever lose their spark, buy some nontoxic paint and let them have at it.