For parents, trying to find the most appropriate toy for their child can be a tedious task. When it comes to finding the perfect toy, you have to think of what will be not only age-appropriate for your child but also what benefit will these toys have on your child’s development. Research has shown that toys like building blocks are particularly beneficial for children between the ages of 18 months to 3 years old because they help younger children master motor skills, develop cognitive skills, especially simple problem-solving skills, and foster spatial intelligence. It also starts to establish the beginning sense of identity.
Knowing how frustrating it can be to choose the perfect block set for your child, we came up with a list of the top 10 building block sets that your child will love. Not only are these rated the best in today’s market, but they are also the most developmentally appropriate for your children!
Our Top 3 Picks
- Mega Bloks Deluxe
- 150 Pieces
- Skoolzy Alphabet Blocks
- Carrying Tote Included
- Tegu Magnetic Set
- 42-Piece Set
Criteria Used in Evaluation of the Best Toy Building Blocks for Toddlers and Kids
When it comes to choosing the right set of blocks for your children, we came up with our ultimate top 10 list of the highest quality of products. By creating our list, we have done extensive examination by looking over hundreds of products available in the market today and reading over thousands of reviews which led us to creating our list of what’s available and current today.
The blocks on our list were carefully chosen by using very selective methods to determine which product is the right one for you. By doing so, we looked at overall value, the toy’s overall quality craftsmanship, the safety of the materials that are being used and the safety of the toy itself. We looked at the developmental appropriateness of the blocks, the reputation of each company and last but not least, reviews-–both positive and negative-–of customers who have already purchased the toy. After doing this, we were able to create our top 10 list of the best building blocks for kids and toddlers.
Quite often, toys that help offer a variety of different options of play are considered “open-ended” toys. This means that open-ended toys give a child many different ways to play with their objects. When using building blocks, these toys can create a bridge, zoo, or complete fantasy town. Variety/open-ended toys can help spark your child’s creativity through pretend play while also developing their logical and problem-solving skills.
While blocks are usually meant for the younger crowd, a 3 year old isn’t necessarily going to play with a toy that a 7 year old will play with. Blocks are a toy that a younger child between the ages of 18 months to 3 years old will play with on a regular basis, and it helps with your child’s development. Block toys can be easily played with by children of all ages of course and they can also incorporate different uses. However, toddlers who play with building blocks develop pattern recognition whereas an elementary child playing with blocks can develop their creative skills.
Creativity plays a big part when it comes to playing with blocks. Your children are going to use these toys with their imaginations, which utilizes your child’s creativity. This helps your child develop their intellectual, physical, emotional/social and communication abilities as they grow older. This is incredibly important for children because block toys are an essential beginners’ tool for creativity, especially through pretend play, and they can even help your child build their language and story-telling, problem-solving and even artistic skills.
When dealing with finding the perfect toy for your child to help develop their fine-motor skills, block toys are especially wonderful. Blocks require regular use of a child’s fingers and hands which will help develop their fine-motor skills by teaching them how to pick them up, grab blocks and even begin holding multiple blocks at once. With this ability, it also connects with spatial relation skills wherein block toys will help teach your child how everything fits together.
We’ve talked about creativity and fine motor, but what’s left is your child’s cognitive development. Block toys can help your child learn and develop sustained attention, cognitive flexibility and control, category formation, and pattern recognition. These abilities will not only help them in knowing how to play with toy blocks, but it can also help them with any learning skill in the future.
Block toys are considered play-based on the numerous problem-solving skills that your child can create with them. Toy blocks help your child develop creative thinking abilities that can help solve divergent problems. Divergent problem-solving isn’t exactly the sole focus of blocks, however, all kinds of simple and complex problem-solving can still be learned with them.
Toddlers, Building Block Toys, and Child Development
Children from the age of 18 months to around 3 years old are known to be little explorers. They are literally discovering a lot of new things in their surroundings, such that they are now finding it increasingly important that they establish themselves as individual persons. While they may seem to exert their beliefs in certain things, experts believe that they still cannot find the most appropriate way to express their thoughts and feelings. It is for this reason that many parents consider toddlers as defiant, often throwing temper tantrums in public spaces as a way of getting attention and telling his or her caregiver that he or she wants something. Unfortunately, this may not necessarily be the case all the time. Because their language is still quite limited and they don’t know how to express their thoughts, they get easily frustrated. And this manifests as temper tantrums.
The key, therefore, is to help toddlers express their thoughts in more constructive and adaptive ways. It is crucial to beef up on their language and speech skills while at the same time introducing to them other instruments that can help facilitate the expression of their feelings and thoughts.
Building block toys can help in this sense especially if the toy comes fully integrated with learning activities like shapes, colors, the alphabet, numbers, and simple phrases. Additionally, because building blocks allow for open-ended play, it stimulates the minds of toddlers to think creatively and imaginatively. Studies have shown that, compared with puzzle toys, building block toys allow for the development of divergent problem-solving skills. This simply means that there is a multitude of solutions to a single problem. When taken in the light of toddlers’ frustrations for failing to express themselves, building block toys allow them to explore other ways in which they can convey to their caregivers what they really want. Toddlers will attempt to look for other ways in which they can communicate their needs to their parents and not just by throwing tantrums.
Of course, building block toys help strengthen toddlers’ mastery of their gross- and fine-motor skills. They will need to graduate from the raking grasp to the more refined pincer grasp to pick up building blocks and stack them together.
Building blocks are some of the world’s best toys when it comes to stimulating the development of toddlers’ divergent problem-solving skills, exploratory skills, creativity, imagination, and fine-motor skills. All of these can lead to more balanced emotions and more beneficial social relationships.
We hope our list of the most popular building blocks for toddlers can help you determine the most appropriate gift for your child. At the very least, you don’t have to scan through thousands of toys anymore.
Frequently Asked Questions
Q: What are toy blocks?
A: Toy blocks are toys developed from various materials (Wood, plastic, and foam being the most common) that are crafted into various shapes and colors. The purpose of toy blocks is to engage a child’s mind to help develop critical skills for their physical, social, intellectual, and creative benefit. Toy blocks are also known as building blocks and can sometimes be categorized as construction toys.
Q: Why are toy blocks important for kids?
A: Toy blocks are important for children because they help to develop children in multiple ways. Such development includes cognitive development, motor-skills development, team player skills, creative skills, and even social/emotional skills. Virtually every skill and ability your child has to use as they become older and interact with the world can be learned and developed from playing with toy blocks.
Q: What are the benefits of toy blocks?
A: The benefits of toy blocks are endless but there are five benefits that stand out when playing with toy blocks. The benefits are as follows:
Improved social interaction
Successful academic results
Greater mental stimulation
Stronger hand-eye coordination
Enhanced active creativity
Q: What can a child learn from toy blocks?
A: A child can learn the following from toy blocks:
- A child can learn the ability to discover patterns and how objects relate to each other
- Math skills
- Learn the ability to count and numerically group objects
- Learn the ability to build vocabulary and dictate, recall stories
- A child can learn the ability to problem solve and develop sensory play
- Learn the ability to develop coordination and fine-motor skills
- Social skills
- A child can learn the ability to cooperate with others and be a team player
Q: What kind of toy blocks are there?
A: There are a variety of toy blocks for children to play with. Wooden, plastic, and even metal toy blocks are available. For children, however, the best choice is toy blocks made from fabric, foam, other soft materials, plastic, and wood. Other variety criteria of toy blocks include color, shapes, textures, and sizes. Theme or usage focused toy blocks are common as well and you can also purchase toy blocks with a focus on educational and STEM training.
Q: How else can I discover toy blocks?
A: You should start with the Born Cute “10 Best Toy Building Blocks for Toddlers in 2018” list: Click the link of the toy block that interests you and when you arrive at the Amazon page for the toy block, scroll down to the “Customers Who Viewed This Item Also Viewed” or “Customers Who Bought This Brand Also Shopped For” lists. Those two lists can give you a great starting point in discovering other toy blocks.
The “Frequently Bought Together” section on an Amazon product page can help too.
- Tips for Choosing Toys for Toddlers, Online , ,
- What Makes a Good Toy?, Online Article, ,
- Cognitive Skills: Why The 8 Core Cognitive Capacities, Online, ,
- Benefits of creative play, Online Article, ,
- Why toy blocks rock: The science of building and construction toys, Online Article, ,