10 Best Building Toys for Kids In 2019
Building toys are some of the toys that appeal to both girls and boys. They provide kids with an open-ended creativity outlet that allows them to express themselves in many different ways. Children create and build things using their imaginations, from pictures and from detailed instruction books. When boys and girls engage with building toys they are also developing strong mathematical skills, problem-solving skills, and spatial thinking skills. Before they know it, they have constructed a work of art right before their own eyes. The plus on the parent side is that these projects take require a time commitment and a certain level of engagement. We have created a complete buying guide for the Best Building Toys for Kids. This guide includes a variety of great building sets that provide quality toys and are ready for your kids to play with right out of the box.
In a Hurry? The test winner after 16 hrs of research
Comes with 80 pieces
Helps with color recognition
Encourages hands-on exploration
Blocks are compatible with other Mega block sets
- First Builders Bloks
- Melissa & Doug Wood Blocks
- VIAHART Brain Flakes
- Fat Brain Toys Squigz Starter Set
- TinkerToy Super Building Set
- Brickyard 163 Piece Set
- Magformers Standard Set
- Dinosaur Toys Take Apart With Tools
- Gears! Gears! Gears! Building Set
- Klutz LEGO Chain Reactions Craft Kit
- Criteria Used for Evaluation
- Other Factors to Consider
- Frequently Asked Questions
10 Best Building Toys Reviewed
1. First Builders Bloks
Comes with 80 pieces
Helps with color recognition
Encourages hands-on exploration
Blocks are compatible with other Mega block sets
Pieces may be too big for little hands
Blocks easily fall apart, do not fit together tightly
Tied up in a neat colorful container bag (clean up and storage is a lot easier this way, we promise), this eighty piece Mega Bloks set is full of colorful pieces! Young children may have trouble with some of the smaller pieced sets on this list, so if you have a tot that’s itching to get building but still developing their motor skills, consider the First Builders Bloks Set! Children as young as one can safely enjoy these beautiful bricks!Read more
This 80 piece kit for juniors is a great introduction for your child to be exposed to Legos and other building sets. This colorful set comes with large pieces making them easier to hold for children who have little control over their muscles.
This kit comes with wheelbases so your child’s imagination isn’t limited to stationary structures. There’s potential for building cars, trucks, and freight trains. Included is a bag making storage and travel easy.
The large pieces allow for safer playtime among very young children. It helps develop mastery of fine-motor skills, allows reinforcement of color recognition, and helps enhance hand-eye coordination.
2. Melissa & Doug Wood Blocks
Comes with 100 high quality bricks suitable for ages 3-8
Promotes spatial intelligence
Helps develop and sense of balance
4 colors for help with basic color recognition
Can also be used for sorting and counting with exposure to 9 different shapes
Paint can chip easily with regular use
Melissa and Doug offers a set with a little more classic style and appeal. This kit comes with one hundred total blocks in different shapes, sizes, and colors, all made from high-quality, durable wood. They’re appropriate for children ages three to five and they have more weight and longevity than some of their plastic counterparts. They also don’t lock together, challenging children to work their dexterity and sense of balance.Read more
This is an excellent building toy to share with kids as there is no need for connecting one block to another. It’s as simple as stacking one on top of the other. This helps develop kids’ sense of balance, spatial intelligence, fine motor skills, and hand-eye coordination.
These high-quality bricks are great for ages 3-8 but with adult supervision and explanation they can be used for introducing color recognition.
This wooden block set inspires discovery and a number of benefits essential to development. These colorful wooden pieces will allow your child to sort and count. The construction aspect will help your child understand and improve balance skills. This great kit also introduces your child to 9 different shapes for a solid foundation in understanding shapes and spatial recognition.
3. VIAHART Brain Flakes
Comes with a jar for easy storage, includes 500 pieces
Made of high quality materials.
Helps with problem solving skills
Improves hand eye coordination
Pieces helps with finger dexterity
Does not come with an idea book.
May pose as choking hazard for unsupervised children.
If your kids love creating with standard blocks then they will love these construction discs. The discs are made from plastic and are small circles that have several ‘click in’ areas around the disc. This allows them to click together easily to create great works of art. With many hours of fun in this jar of over 500 discs, you will also be happy to know these discs were created to improve kids’ mental and physical dexterity. These will be a revolutionary addition to their world of building systems.Read more
This great set comes with so many pieces it’s sure to provide for hours of entertainment. With so many colors this visually appealing building set will help improve hand-eye coordination and promote problem-solving skills.
This product is made of durable high-quality materials so the edges will stay firm and crisp even after hours of play time. The size and shape of this product also help with finger dexterity and development help for children with special needs. This product is ideal for children ages 3 and up, with some adult supervision for younger children.
This is a very unique building toy as the rounded shape of the disks lends the finished model a more curved shape. It’s great for enhancing creativity, problem solving, and imagination, not to mention hand-eye coordination. It’s also ideal for exploration and experimentation.
4. Fat Brain Toys Squigz Starter Set
Features 24 pieces of suction up fun
Each piece has been constructed from high quality silicone rubber
Pieces easily stick together or to any non-porous surface
Encourages creative expression
Promotes hand eye coordination
Packaging of building system is simple, does not come in the display package
Dust and dirt on pieces can cause them not to stick together
The Squigz is a different kind of building toy characterized by unique building block pieces. Instead of the usual brick or disk or even tile form of building block, Squigz Starter Set Building Kit features soft, highly elastic, and high-quality rubber materials made of silicone. Imagine a soft ball with arms that are tipped with suction.Read more
This product is made of high-quality materials and is BPA free so you can have peace of mind while your little ones tap into their minds for hours of entertainment. The starter set comes with 24 pieces of these building materials.
This fun and silly toy set is a great gift for kids of all ages. It helps improve so many skills from fine motor to problem-solving. It is versatile in promoting imaginative play and creativity.
It aids in the enhancement of children’s hand-eye coordination, creativity, and fine motor skills. It also helps foster experimentation and exploration of what these miniature pieces can do.
5. TinkerToy Super Building Set
A great starter kit for ages 3-15
Suited for children with special needs
Stimulating colors and shapes
Improves hand eye coordination and fine motor skills
Long lasting and durable
Pieces may stick together and be difficult to for little hands to pull apart
With more than 200 pieces of assorted building and construction shapes and forms, Tinkertoy’s Super Building Set can be a great alternative to LEGO and other mainstream building toys. The variety of building pieces make it extra ideal for stimulating creativity and absolute imagination. It comes with rods, washers, spools, end caps, and flags among other things. It includes a portable box for storage.Read more
It’s great for stimulating experimentation with the different building materials. Also great for enhancing hand-eye coordination and fine motor skills.
This kit is a great starter set with a great variety of shapes and colors that provide stimulation and exciting possibilities for your little one to create. Watch your children’s imagination run wild as they experiment with different shapes.
It will promote family fun time as it may be a bit difficult for little ones to create by themselves. For children who are a bit older, this is a perfect activity to keep them occupied for hours. The activities this kit promotes will also help with hand-eye coordination and fine motor skills.
6. Brickyard 163 Piece Set
Two size options: 101 pieces (for four players) or 163 pieces (for up to six players)
Includes cool tools to aid in the builds
Full-color guide with 42 designs for kids to follow
Plenty of pieces to make this a social activity
Brightly colored with lots of variation in shapes and purpose
Some users felt that the instruction booklet shows poor designs that don’t actually work with the pieces included
42 designs await your child--yes, you read that right: 42, and that’s not even including any unique creations they might think up themselves! This set includes all kinds of wrenches, blocks, and wheels for kids to build with. There are enough pieces in this set (the company boasts including 75% more materials than similar sets on the market) that friends and siblings can build and play together without fighting or frustration.Read more
This set isn’t just bricks and blocks; it includes tools, too. Specifically, it includes four dual purpose clicking wrenches, a child-safe screwdriver, and a special combination wrench to help put machines, mobiles, and more together. There are 163 total pieces included, all of them brightly colored to encourage sensory stimulation in little ones. The designs avoid sharp, pointy shapes and corners just in case little ones get excited and throw caution (or a brick) to the wind. All materials used are free of phthalates, lead, cadmium, and BPA. The company tests their toys before sending them out to ensure quality and safety in each and every box. The pieces are also easily washable and won’t mildew!
This set is perfect for children between the ages of three and seven, as it offers varying levels of difficulty in its suggested builds. Kids can follow a full-color instructional booklet to build cars, cranes, creatures, and plenty besides. Or, if they’re feeling adventurous, they can start snapping pieces together themselves and see what comes of it. As they get older and increase their skill sets, they can start to attempt the more challenging builds, helping to keep this set from being one that gets dull or underwhelming anytime soon.
The Brickyard STEM set is designed to engage your child’s mind and help aid their development. It focuses on advancing problem solving, social skills, logic, hand-eye coordination, creativity, imagination, teamwork, and motor skills. Building sets are all great fun. What sets this one apart is the sheer volume of pieces, making it easier for children to share and build alongside friends. Kids can even work together on some of the more intermediate and advanced designs. Two heads are often better than one!
7. Magformers Standard Set
Imagination and creativity
Exposure to shapes
Ages 3 plus
Pieces do not feature fixed angles, difficult to create neatly shaped shapes
Magnets are not strong, does not create durable objects
If you have kids who complain about not being able to fit building pieces into their respective slots, then you need to give them the Magformers Standard Set. These geometrically shaped tiles are fully magnetized for easier linkage. The set comes with 18 squares and 12 triangles with Neodymium magnet fully integrated into the tiles.Read more
This magnetic set will promote creativity and imagination. Essential for children’s development, building everyday skills such as placement and understanding shapes will be fun and easy.
It’s a very unique building toy in that it uses magnetism to connect different pieces. It is ideal for helping kids experiment with the placement of the different magnetic tiles to create something. It’s thus, important for fostering imagination and creativity.
This product is a great starter kit for your child to explore and experiment with 3D shapes. With large pieces there is little or no concern of choking on or swallowing pieces. There are other kits that can be purchased with other shapes to expand exposure to understanding geometric shapes.
8. Dinosaur Toys Take Apart With Tools
Great for independent or social play
Increases fine motor skills and hand-eye coordination
Pieces are brightly colored and durable
Includes tools needed to build
Pieces cannot make new dinosaurs
Children over the age of three will love building ToyVelt’s Take Apart Dinosaurs. With 218 pieces and 4 tools, your little one can build 2 brontosaurus, 2 T-Rex, and 2 triceratops. The dinosaurs come preassembled, but your child can use the included screwdrivers to take them apart and reassembled them. Each piece is brightly colored and composed of a durable plastic so your child can build and play with their dinosaurs for years to come. These dinosaurs will increase your child’s independence as they can easily screw the pieces together themselves. Once the pieces are together, the plastic screws will hold the dinosaurs together until your child is ready to disassemble them.Read more
This set encourages your child to use their imagination as they can engage in pretend play with the fully assembled dinosaurs. With six dinosaurs included in the set, your little one can enhance their social skills and build with friends.
Not only does this dinosaur set stimulate your child’s fine motor skills but it also encourages them to use their imagination and engage in pretend play.
As your child works to assembled the dinosaurs they will be increasing their fine motor skills as well as their hand-eye coordination. Their problem-solving skills will improve as they decide which piece goes where.
9. Gears! Gears! Gears! Building Set
Comes in 6 vibrant colors
Exposure to exploration and experimentation
Helps with sorting and grouping
Exercise a number of STEM skills
Parts fit together tight and can make it hard to get gears spinning
Pieces are hard to get apart
Almost every machine relies on gears to operate. With the Gears! Gears! Gears! building toy set, kids will now be able to make full use of the functionality of gears while at the same time build something creative. The set comes with gears in 6 different colors as well as six-way axles, square pillars, interlocking square base plates, and pillar extenders.Read more
The colors and patterns will give your child the opportunity to be introduced to color recognition and sorting. The more gears attached the harder they become to spin allowing for your little ones to build hand control and muscle memory.
It’s a unique building toy in that it utilizes one of the most common parts of today’s machinery. It’s great for enhancing kids’ imagination, experimentation, exploration, and creativity.
This gear set is a great introduction to STEM studies for children as young as two all the way to about four or five. This simple product is a great way for children to be introduced to the concept of cause and effect. With gears that lock into each other, your child will watch how the gears move together when one is moved.
10. Klutz LEGO Chain Reactions Craft Kit
Instructions are easy to follow
Machines can be combined
Stimulates development & fosters a love of engineering
Will need more legos than what is included
LEGO Chain Reactions shows that you can teach old bricks new tricks. With this set, your child can build all kinds of contraptions. The instruction booklet helps guide the build for some machines but your child can also put together different pieces to create designs of their very own! This set is great for challenging slightly older kids who want to keep up the construction but are bored with building the usual scenes and buildings.Read more
Children as young as eight can enjoy this set as the included instructions are easy to follow. Your little one will not only be stimulating their development as they build but they will also have a blast building each machine to form a chain reaction.
While each machine is super fun to play with on its own, your child can combine the machines to create a chain reaction. With 33 LEGOs, 6-feet of string, 6 lego balls, 8 paper ramps, 2 paper pop-up signs, 1 paper flag, 1 paper funnel, 1 platform, and 1 bucket your child can branch out from the instruction book and build their own creations.
With every machine your child builds, they will be stimulating several areas of development. Whether they design the machine to spin or lift, they will be increasing their motor skills and cognitive development. The cool functions of each machine are sure to foster a love of engineering in your child.
Criteria Used for Evaluation
These kits add a fun and creative spin on learning. With so many pieces in each kit, your children will be able to include each other without fighting over who gets which piece. There are several kits that come with suggestion books and e-books for more design possibilities so there are unlimited options. For those kits that don’t come with suggestion content to help get the process moving, there is an extra push toward creative and imaginative play!
All the kits on this list are gender-neutral so you're sure to find something to meet your needs. The ages for these items range from 3 all the way to 15 years. They are thought-provoking and challenge the mind to expand and explore STEM studies as well as foster creativity. Watch your child’s world light up as their creations come to life.
If a building toy is supposed to produce a large robot model, is it not possible that it can be converted into another form like a building, a tower, a box, or even a spaceship? The possibilities are endless and building toys teach kids how to think out of the box. This is the essence of counterfactual reasoning. It encourages kids to think in the “what-if” way of looking at things. It is like, “What if I use the same building kit to create a totally different model?”
This fosters creativity among children. The more building pieces they are able to play with, the greater the number of variations in their creations. And with each creation comes fostering the use of imagination. Children tend to build character in their creations. They are now able to create fantastic stories about their creations. This can ultimately lead to better emotional health as they are able to express their ideas in a very constructive way. Additionally, this can also help foster better social relationships especially when the building toy is shared with playmates and friends. Cooperative play is the foundation of enhanced social skills among children.
It is without a doubt that building toys are one of the most fundamentally beneficial toys any kid can have. These kinds of toys can help promote a variety of developmental skills which children can use later on in their respective lives.
First and foremost, building toys help develop, refine, and enhance control of motor skills. Even younger children can benefit from holding the different building pieces. The mere act of holding the pieces requires mastery of muscle contraction of the fingers and hands. Moving the pieces and slotting them into their places requires spatial intelligence or the relationship between objects and space. They will also have to master hand-eye coordination especially in the correct positioning of the building piece.
Building toys also encourage experimentation and testing which can also be interpreted as using creativity, imagination, and divergent problem-solving skills. Sure, building and construction toys come complete with very detailed instructions on how to build the proposed toy or model but this does not necessarily prevent kids from experimenting with the different shapes and forms of the building pieces. In many cases, it’s like solving a puzzle except that, instead of having a single solution, you have a multitude of possibilities. This provides the basis for trial and error which can become a very significant stepping stone for divergent problem-solving skills and counterfactual reasoning.
Side by side you and your children can create fun and intricate structures perfect for promoting imaginative play and skill development. These sets provide a number of developmental benefits. They help with sensory development and spatial intelligence. There is an introduction to colors, counting and sorting, and some basic number skills.
There are several items on this list will help children with a wide range of needs. These great ideas will also provide benefits for children who need extra help developing skills such as fine motor and social skills. These sets will also promote creativity and problem-solving skills. With endless possibilities, the fun will seem never-ending.
Other Factors to Consider
Building toys also help children understand some basic principles of the design process as well as engineering and architectural sciences. These kinds of toys are also helpful in introducing kids to the different materials used in the real world. It also teaches them about the impermanence of objects as well as the importance of social interaction and cooperation in the building process.
Truly, building toys are one of the best kinds of toys you can ever give to any child. With our list of the 10 best building toys, we hope you are more empowered now to choose the correct one for your kid.
Frequently Asked Questions
q: Do these items come with instruction books?
There are a few items on this list that do not come with an instruction book as this gives children the opportunity to expand on imaginative play. There are however a few items on this list that DO come with instructions and even some that contain links to e-books for more downloadable content.
q: Is one set enough?
Some of these products contain hundreds of pieces while some only have a few. Depending on how wide of an age range you’re looking to satisfy, it is quite likely that one set will be enough to start with however some of these sets have expansion packs sold separately for added fun.
q: What is the age range?
The most common age group found on this list is between the ages of 4 to 12, there are a couple options that may be suited for children younger than 4 with adult supervision highly recommended. There is at least one item that may be suitable for children older than 12, especially beneficial for children with special needs.
q: How many children can play with these at one time?
There are several items on this list that can be used by more than one child at a time. While some of the items on this list will encourage individual learning and independent play, there are some items on this list that contain hundreds of pieces which allow in developing social skills and will encourage your child to actively pursue and be willing to share with a playmate.
q: Why are building sets important for kids to play with?
Building sets are important for kids to play with because they offer some of the most valuable learning experiences that are available for young kids. The experience is also not limited to young kids and provides a family bonding experience.
q: What are the developmental skills that are learned from building toys?
Building toys provide development skills like fine-motor-skill development, hand-eye coordination, social skills, spatial skills, and a creative capacity for designing. These skills are not only valuable to young children but will last a lifetime.
q: How do building sets promote spatial developmental skills?
Studies show that there are links between spatial development and construction play toys like building sets. When children are placed with building sets and construction activities, it makes it easier for them to recognize patterns and how to rotate an object mentally and physically. The visualization of the objects creates a direct correlation.
q: Where can I buy the building sets featured on this page?
You can buy the building sets featured on this page by clicking the link below the picture. The link will then direct you to a site that you can directly buy the sets.
q: Are building sets a good family bonding-time activity?
Building sets offer a great time for a family-bonding experience. The experience is so positive because often building sets appeal to a wide age group which it makes it easier for younger and older siblings to sit down and create together.
q: Why are building sets great for helping with math skills?
Building sets are great for building strong mathematical skills because they offer a wide range of concepts. The concepts include sizes, measurements, estimations, and symmetry plus shapes.