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Blocks & Building Sets Buying Guide

From stackable soft foam shapes for infants to architectural kits for big kids, blocks and building sets offer creative fun for all.

Types of Blocks & Building Sets

From LEGOs and Tinker Toys to marble runs and wooden blocks, there are building sets to entertain children of every age and interest.

Alphabet

From introducing letters to spelling out first words, alphabet blocks are just as fun for stacking as they are for learning.
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ImagiPLAY
$38.95 at Brilliant Puzzles

Reading literacy and animal literacy go hand in hand with this inventive puzzle set that stands up to brighten any room and teache...s some valuable basics: the alphabet, phonics and the names of 26 animals. This great 1" thick puzzle is Hand-crafted and hand painted with child-safe paints. Made from plantation-grown rubberwood, an environmentally-friendly hardwood. Read More

ImagiPLAY
$29.95 at Brilliant Puzzles

The 26 piece eco-friendly Alphabet Butterfly teaches letters with fun puzzle play. This inventive puzzle is hand-crafted and hand ...painted with child-safe paints. Made from plantation-grown rubberwood, an environmentally-friendly hardwood. Teaches capital letters. What a great gift challenge for young minds that will definitely be used often and looks great at rest. Read More

ImagiPLAY
$29.95 at Brilliant Puzzles

The 26 piece eco-friendly Alphabet Dinosaur teaches letters with fun puzzle play. This inventive puzzle is hand-crafted and hand p...ainted with child-safe paints. Made from plantation-grown rubberwood, an environmentally-friendly hardwood. Teaches capital letters. What a great gift challenge for young minds that will definitely be used often and looks great at rest. Read More

Melissa & Doug
$16.95 at Serious Puzzles

Melissa and Doug, an award-winning manufacturer, produces high-quality wooden jigsaw puzzles and thick, durable cardboard jigsaw a...nd floor puzzles for all stages of development, for toddlers (3-4 piece fuzzy and jumbo-knob puzzles), pre-school kids (sound puzzles, peg puzzles, floor puzzles and more) all the way to pre-teen kids and beyond (up to 500-piece jigsaw puzzles). Beautiful full color illustrations under each letter of this 52-piece wooden educational puzzle make learning easy and fun! Helps children develop their letter and case recognition, manual dexterity and matching skills. Quality wood construction will last a lifetime. Finished puzzle 18"x12". Melissa and Doug, an award-winning manufacturer, produces high-quality wooden jigsaw puzzles and thick, durable cardboard jigsaw and floor puzzles for all stages of development, for toddlers (3-4 piece fuzzy and jumbo-knob puzzles), pre-school kids (sound puzzles, peg puzzles, floor puzzles and more) all the way to pre-teen kids and beyond (up to 500-piece jigsaw puzzles). Read More

Blocks

Made from wood, plastic, or plush material, blocks improve cognition, hand-eye coordination, and fine motor skills.
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Target
$80.99 at Target

Create the perfect place for art projects and building alike with this Step2 Build and Store Block and Activity Table. Includes st...orage bins, building mats and more. Certifications: JPMA CertifiedManufacturer's Suggested Age: 3 Years and UpFeatures: Storage CapabilityActivity Surface: Drawing PadEducational Focus: Motor SkillsMaterial: PlasticDimensions: 20.0 " H x 26.0 " W x 43.0 " L Product Weight: Weight: 28.0 Lb.Care and Cleaning: Wipe Clean With a Damp ClothAssembly Details: assembly required, tools not provided Read More

The Land of Nod
$199.00 at The Land of Nod

While your kid may not be a certified city planner, this block set will at least provide them with the proper training. Its colorf...ully dyed in water-based inks then hand-sanded for a beautiful look. Read More

The Land of Nod
$44.97 $69.00 at The Land of Nod

If you want to build your own Gothic City, you can either travel back in time and become a medieval architect or you can get this ...block set. It features 123 durable wooden pieces with everything you need to construct a 14th century city. Read More

The Land of Nod
$169.00 at The Land of Nod

We named this set of beautiful, handmade blocks The Big Box of Colorful Blocks because its a big box full of colorful blocks, and ...because our copywriter was on vacation when it was time to name it. Simple, classic design and heirloom quality make this a toy that can be passed along from generation to generation. Read More

Building Sets

Buildings sets are collections of pieces that fit together, allowing your little builder to construct and create.
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Hammacher Schlemmer
$229.95 $299.95 at Hammacher Schlemmer

This is the wooden construction kit that allows children to build 20 life-size ride-on models such as a 63" tall working crane. Yo...ung engineers use the 26 solid pine posts with pre-drilled holes, steel bolts, and 7 1/2"-diameter wheels to build a go-kart, tricycle, or a rolling airplane they can ride on. Many of the models have moving parts, allowing children to hoist obects from the seat of the crane, rotate the planes propeller, and turn the handlebars on the scooter theyve constructed. Steel cap nuts and plastic washers help ensure structural integrity and 13 plastic panels with pre-drilled holes provide flat surfaces ideal for a chairs seat and backrest, an art easel, or the base of a wagon. Includes two combination wrenches and an instruction manual with detailed, step-by-step illustrations. Ages 5 and up. (34 lbs.) Read More

K'nex
$24.99 at Target

The K'NEX Mario vs. Chain Chomp building set has 124 interlocking pieces, minifigures and cars to create racing fun. The car works... on 2 AA batteries. This K'NEX Mario Kart Wii building set encourages your child's motor skills development. Some assembly required. Ages 6 and up. Manufacturer's Suggested Age: 6 Years and UpIncludes: Cars, FiguresNumber of Pieces: 124 Material: PlasticEducational Focus: Shapes and Colors, Motor SkillsDimensions: 14.0 " H x 3.0 " W x 14.0 " L Product Weight: 1.75 Lb.Care and Cleaning: Spot CleanBattery: Required, not included: 2 AAAssembly Details: assembly required, no tools needed Read More

Learning Resources
$25.99 at Target

120-pc. building set lets kids create the amusement park of their dreamsIncludes carousel, Ferris wheel, roller coaster, bumper ca...rs and figurinesGears and handheld motor bring the fun to lifeFosters creativity, problem-solving skills and independent playAges 4 yrs. and upManufacturer's Suggested Age: 3 Years and UpIncludes: FiguresNumber of Pieces: 120 Material: PlasticEducational Focus: Motor SkillsLanguages: EnglishDimensions: 13.4 " H x 14.8 " W x 5.1 " L Product Weight: 5.1 Lb.Battery: Required, not included: 2 AA Read More

K'nex
$39.99 at Target

Take some of your favorite games, mix them together and youve got the KNex Nintendo Mario and Diddy Kongs Fire Challenge Building ...Set. Take your favorite Wii characters and race them around the track you build yourself with KNex. Fire themed obstacles pop up to block your path and to add a burning hot level of excitement to the game. This game comes with two standard karts, moving obstacles, super fast, battery powered motors and some great collectable items. Once your kids have mastered this KNex track, you can combine it with any other Mario Kart KNex tracks to create a colossal racetrack packed with Mario fun. 6 years and up. 246-pc. set. Certifications: JPMA CertifiedManufacturer's Suggested Age: 6 Years and UpIncludes: Instruction Guide, Figure, Toy Building ComponentsNumber of Pieces: 246 Material: PlasticEducational Focus: Creative ThinkingLanguages: EnglishDimensions: 14.0 " H x 4.0 " W x 17.0 " L Product Weight: 3.31 Lb.Care and Cleaning: Wipe Clean With a Damp Cloth Read More

Erector Sets

Erector is a brand of traditionally metal building toys that now also offers plastic components for younger builders. Some Erector sets also come with a battery-operated motor to add movement to users’ creations.
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Erector
$19.99 at YoYo.com

ERECTOR MEDIUM TURBO BUGGY Get the checkered flag with this Medium Turbo Buggy. This item comes with a plastic case which contains... everything you need to build your winning car. You can use the tools and instructions to assemble your choice of two different models. Product Measures: 9.75 by 2 by 5.87inches Recommended Ages: 7 - 18 years Weight: 0.95 lb Read More

Erector
$12.99 at YoYo.com

Erector Space Chaos Erector Space Chaos is an engaging and motivating game for kids. This playset comes with necessary accessories... such as building blocks, playing cards, important tools and an instruction manual that help kids form creative structures. Kids can create two models out of this playset. The elite fleet Dark Pirates Bomber is created to prevent the pirates from taking over the treasure. Theres an instruction manual to help kids make the structures in an easy manner. This playset is developed by using sophisticated tools, real nuts, screws and novel building techniques. It boasts the use of standard and fine construction techniques that make kids enjoy building and playing. Why Youll Love It: Erector Space Chaos encourages kids to think in a more creative and imaginative manner so that they can create incredible designs. Age: 7 years and up FeaturesEasy to assemble Promotes creative and logical thinking Supports building 2 models Fun and engaging playset Includes: Instruction manual Recommended Ages:7 ? 15 Dimensions: 2in length x 11.8in width x 6.9in height Read More

Erector
$69.99 at Amazon

Start your engines with the Meccano Erector Sonic the Hedgehog Construction Set Sonic & Knuckles Chemical Plant Racing Play Set, w...hich includes one set of tracks that can be arranged into several different combinations, buildable Sonic the Hedgehog and Knuckles the Echidna figures and two motorized speed vehicles to race against each other. The set includes more than 165 plastic parts, decorations and stickers to customize the cars and tracks. Combine the track with other sets (sold separately) from the range to create a bigger stunt park for endless racing fun! Batteries required.- Build the race track into several different combinations- Build Sonic and Knuckles figures- Build two motorized speed vehicles- Combine the track with other sets (sold separately)Chemical Plant Racing Play Set includes:- One buildable racing track- Sonic and Knuckles buildable figures- Two motorized vehicles- Stickers and decorations- Screwdriver- Assembly instructions Read More

Gears

Colorful cogs that fit together, gear toys transfer motion from one piece to the next.
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Learning Resources
$20.99 at Target

Let your little one explore his or her creative side with this Learning Resources beginners gear building set. This colorful 95-pi...ece building set has pillars, connectors and cranks, perfect for putting his or her imagination to work. Introduce your child to the world of limitless possibilities with this fun set. Ages 3 and up. The perfect introduction to building toys 95-pc. set includes pillars, connectors and cranks to set kids? creativity in motion Interlocking plates provide limitless possibilities If you can imagine it, you can create it! Ages 3 yrs. and up Awards: 1994 Oppenheim Toy of the Year1995 Oppenheim Toy Portfolio Gold Seal Manufacturer's Suggested Age: 3 Years and UpIncludes: Toy Building Components, ConnectorsNumber of Pieces: 95 Material: PlasticEducational Focus: Motor SkillsDimensions: 10.4 " H x 12.0 " W x 4.1 " L Product Weight: 2.35 Lb.Care and Cleaning: Wipe Clean With a Damp ClothBattery: no battery used Read More

K'nex
$34.99 at Target

Sprocket Gears! Spur Gears! Rack and Pinion! And More! The K'NEX® Education Gears set is designed to introduce students to the sci...entific concepts associated with gears. Students are provided with the opportunity to acquire skills using a hands-on, inquiry-based approach to information and concepts as they build, investigate, discuss, and evaluate scientific principles in action. The Teacher's Guide provides the information and resources needed to build students' understanding of scientific concepts and channel their inquiries into active and meaningful learning experiences. Extension activities to explore the concepts more deeply are also included. Set includes 198 K'NEX® parts ? enough to build 7 fully-functioning replicas of real-world machines, one at a time. Supports 2 ? 3 students working as a team. Building instructions and comprehensive teacher's guide aligned to Science, Technology, Engineering and Math Standards included. Includes Teacher Guide on CD! Manufacturer's Suggested Age: 8 Years and UpIncludes: Instruction GuideNumber of Pieces: 198 Material: PlasticEducational Focus: Math, Creative Thinking, ScienceDimensions: 2.25 " H x 12.25 " W x 12.5 " L Product Weight: 2.4 Lb.Care and Cleaning: Wipe Clean With a Damp ClothBattery: no battery used Read More

Quercetti
$29.49 $29.99 at Target

Create a wonder by spinning the Gears! Fun Kaleido Gears is a 55 piece set with interlocking plates and decorated meshing gears. T...he set includes gears in three sizes and a handle. Manufacturer's Suggested Age: 3 Years and UpIncludes: Building SurfaceNumber of Pieces: 55Material: PlasticEducational Focus: Creative Thinking, Motor SkillsDimensions: 11.25 " H x 3.0 " W x 13.25 " L Product Weight: 2.4 Lb.Care and Cleaning: Spot CleanBattery: no battery used Read More

Aeromax
$21.99 at Hayneedle

Road crew vest with clear tag for personalization Builds imagination and creative thinking through play Made of 100% polyester For... boys or girls 3 to 5 years What's Included Road crew vestWhat's Not Included Hard helmet, Sign, Pants, Under shirt, ShoesDescription Playing pretend while wearing the Aeromax My 1st Career Gear Road Crew will build your kid's imagination through role playing. This comfortable and realistic orange vest can be spotted down the hall or around the block! It's printed with details like yellow road stripes, construction logos, and a cell phone graphic peeking out of a breast pocket. The vest is also printed with the phrase "Road Crew" in large capital letters and has a clear pocket for personalization. Great for kids three to five years. About Aeromax Toys, Inc. Based in Barrington, Illinois, Aeromax Toys specializes in imaginative dress-up outfits and accessories for kids. From their Get Real gear to Kids Safari outfits, they inspire kids? imaginations. Some of the many awards Aeromax Toys has won over the years include awards from Nick, Jr., iParenting Media, Early Childhood News Awards, and more. Aeromax Toys is a proud member and supporter of American Specialty Toy Retailing Association (ASTRA) and Toy Industry Association (TIA). Read More

LEGOS

A collection of interlocking blocks and pieces, LEGOs click together to create an endless array of vehicles and structures.
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LEGO
$9.69 at Target

Perfect for the kids in your family who want to be firefighters when they grow up. They'll pretend to swoop in and save the day. O...r, for younger kids, you can role-play together, with the fire chief riding around in his bright red truck. 6-piece DUPLO set is ideal for littler hands. Manufacturer's Suggested Age: 12-18 MonthsIncludes: Toy Building ComponentsNumber of Pieces: 6Material: PlasticEducational Focus: Creative ThinkingLanguages: French, Spanish, EnglishDimensions: 2.78 " H x 5.55 " W x 7.52 " L Product Weight: 0.35 Lb.Care and Cleaning: Wipe Clean With a Dry ClothBattery: no battery used Read More

LEGO
$119.99 at Target

The Kingdoms set from LEGO will put your child right in the center of the Middle Ages. The 1,575-piece collection has a variety of... figures and pieces to create a sprawling kingdom that'll put your young one in the middle of the medieval fun. The set includes a number of pieces for a castle, jousting fence and knights' weapons tents, so you can create a reenactment of a world long gone. Manufacturer's Suggested Age: 12 Years and UpIncludes: Toy Building ComponentsNumber of Pieces: 1575Material: PlasticEducational Focus: Creative ThinkingLanguages: Spanish, English, FrenchDimensions: 20.0 " H x 7.0 " W x 12.0 " L Product Weight: 4.0 Lb.Care and Cleaning: Wipe Clean With a Dry Cloth Read More

LEGO
$12.59 at Target

Are you the policeman? Or are you the robber? The robber is in his cool offroader being chased by the forest policeman on the ATV!... He's making a run for it with his stolen money and gold bar. How long before the robber swaps gold bars for iron prison bars? It's up to you! Manufacturer's Suggested Age: 5 Years and UpIncludes: Toy Building ComponentsNumber of Pieces: 129Material: PlasticEducational Focus: Creative ThinkingLanguages: Spanish, English, FrenchDimensions: 1.81 " H x 7.52 " W x 10.31 " L Product Weight: 0.56 Lb.Care and Cleaning: Wipe Clean With a Dry ClothBattery: no battery usedRelease Date: December 16, 2013 Read More

LEGO
$10.39 at Target

Inspire your child to read and build with a LEGO DUPLO Bricks and Books set. The 15-piece set has a storybook that's sure to make ...your young one curious about farm life. It's the perfect set for teaching your child how to read and use thinking skills to create a farm that'll serve as an introduction to the wonderful world of LEGO. Manufacturer's Suggested Age: 18-24 MonthsIncludes: Toy Building ComponentsNumber of Pieces: 15Material: PlasticEducational Focus: Creative ThinkingLanguages: English, Spanish, FrenchDimensions: 2.8 " H x 7.99 " W x 8.35 " L Product Weight: 0.84 Lb.Care and Cleaning: Wipe Clean With a Dry ClothBattery: no battery used Read More

Magnetic

Magnetic building sets use the power of magnets to hold pieces together.
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Family Games
$28.95 at Serious Puzzles

The Magna Cube consists of eight gorgeously crafted wooden blocks that must be rebuilt back into a cube shape. The twist is, the b...locks contain magnets, so some sections repel each other whilst others attract. This means they can only be fitted together in a very specific way. If all this sounds confusing, it is! But then thats the general idea. Work with these attracting and opposing forces to solve the puzzle and form a perfect cube. Comes with a wood display stand, so you can show off your completed cube! Read More

Educa
$51.95 at Serious Puzzles

A 3-dimensional twist on the puzzle concept, the fun is magnetic! There are 27 blocks each with part of different final images on ...their 6 individual sides. Figure out all the ways to assmble them to find the 18 different image results, some can be seen simultaneously! The Landscape series features beautiful desert scenes, serene mountain views, and sunny fields. The images are actually fused into the plastic pieces instead of being printed on or a label or sticker, this means the image will not fade or wear with use. Read More

Educa
$30.95 at Serious Puzzles

An adorable twist on puzzles, this puzzle uses 3 dimensions and 6 sides to allow different puzzles to come together by assembling ...the magnetic blocks. Among the images youll see on the different sides of this creative cube are a mare and her colt, puppies, bunnies and more! There are 12 different completed images to be seen in this block puzzle. Read More

Serious Puzzles
$32.95 at Serious Puzzles

Created by Roger von Oech. The Ball of Whacks is the perfect creativity tool for innovators, artists, engineers, writers, students..., and you! Its a creative stimulant and a mental freshener! Awarded US Patent 7,247,075. The Ball of Whacks consists of 30 magnetic design blocks that can be rearranged into many, many shapes ? including its resting state, the beautiful Rhombic Triacontahedron. More versatile than a puzzle and lots more fun than a brain teaser! The Ball of Whacks comes with a 96-page illustrated creativity guidebook that provides you with tips, stories, exercises, and insights into the creative process. Read More

Marble Runs

These sets require logic and creativity, with users fashioning paths for marbles with tubes and other unique pieces.

Tinker Toys

Comprising spools, wheels, and dowels, Tinker Toys are joined together with couplers or by using the holes in its various pieces.

Transformers

This line of robots can transform into various vehicles, including cars, trucks, and airplanes.
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Transformers
$23.99 at Target

Get ready for hours of creative, constructive Transformers' fun with The Transformers Construct-Bots Elite Class Wheeljack and Sou...ndwave Buildable. This 2-Pack includes a dynamic duo of buildble Transformers warriors. The set comes in pieces, so it's up to kids to build, customize and convert the figures into four fun modes. Construct a Wheeljack robot warrior and convert him to a sports car, or build a Soundwave robot warrior and convert him to a tape player. Transformers are the kind of toys that occupy kids for hours. Includes instructions. Ages 6 and up. Manufacturer's Suggested Age: 6 Years and UpFeatures: Multiple Modes of PlayMaterial: PlasticDimensions: 8.5 " H x 7.52 " W x 2.99 " L Product Weight: 0.44 Lb.Care and Cleaning: Wipe Clean With a Damp ClothBattery: no battery used Read More

Transformers
$13.79 at Target

Build your own adventure with the Transformers Construct-Bots Triple Changers Blitzwing Buildable Action Figure. Construct, custom...ize and convert the 67 pieces included to create your Transformers Blitzwing figure as a robot warrior, tank or jet. Once this action figure is built in one mode, quickly convert it to another mode or tear it down and build it again for hours of fun. Ages 7 and up. Manufacturer's Suggested Age: 7 Years and UpFeatures: MotionMaterial: PlasticDimensions: 10.0 " H x 9.02 " W x 3.19 " L Product Weight: 0.66 Lb.Care and Cleaning: Wipe Clean With a Damp ClothBattery: no battery used Read More

Max Steel
$29.99 at Target

Kids can help chase down Miles Dredd with a Max Steel Transforming Dune Jet Vehicle and Figure. This Max Steel vehicle transforms ...from a dune buggy to a dune jet for high-flying adventures. The Max Steel action figure has 4 points of articulation so that it can fit in the cockpit of the dune vehicle. Kids can act out scenes from the TV show or create their own battles with this cool Max Steel playset. Ages 4 and up. Manufacturer's Suggested Age: 4 Years and UpFeatures: Bendable ArmsMaterial: PlasticNumber of Pieces: 2 Dimensions: 9.0 " H x 6.75 " W x 15.0 " L Product Weight: 1.3 Lb.Care and Cleaning: Wipe Clean With a Damp ClothBattery: no battery used Read More

Transformers
$24.99 at Target

Build your own Decepticon warrior with the Transformers Predicons Rising Construct-a-Bot buildable action figure. It has 59 pieces..., which can be built into a ferocious Predaking robot or a savage dragon figure. This action figure offers hours of building and creative fun for Transformers' fans. Ages 7 and up. Manufacturer's Suggested Age: 7 Years and UpFeatures: Multiple ConfigurationsMaterial: PlasticNumber of Pieces: 1 Dimensions: 10.0 " H x 9.0 " W x 2.0 " L Product Weight: 0.7 Lb.Care and Cleaning: Wipe Clean With a Damp ClothBattery: no battery used Read More

Wooden Toys

Wooden blocks and building sets vary from the traditional square or rectangular pieces to modern versions with a variety of shapes and sizes.
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Target
$80.99 at Target

Create the perfect place for art projects and building alike with this Step2 Build and Store Block and Activity Table. Includes st...orage bins, building mats and more. Certifications: JPMA CertifiedManufacturer's Suggested Age: 3 Years and UpFeatures: Storage CapabilityActivity Surface: Drawing PadEducational Focus: Motor SkillsMaterial: PlasticDimensions: 20.0 " H x 26.0 " W x 43.0 " L Product Weight: Weight: 28.0 Lb.Care and Cleaning: Wipe Clean With a Damp ClothAssembly Details: assembly required, tools not provided Read More

Speedway Start to Finish
$119.53 at Sears

The Speedway Start to Finish Red Racer Work Wagon with Wood side panels combines a retro design from the past, with a useful produ...ct for moving project materials to the work area, or for transporting a cooler with your favorite ice cold beverages. With stylized racing graphics and wheels this work wagon will go anyplace you want to go. Be the envy of your friends with this cool work and recreation wagon. Plus, when not using for projects your kids will love it too! Weight Limit 200 lbs. 10'' pneumatic tires 200 lb Maximum Load Weight Heavy Duty Steel Tub/Deck Wooden removable panel sides Deck size: 32'' x 14'' x 4'' Assembled Height: 19.86 inches 1 Year Warranty BIG tires and hardwood panels are the perfect combination for fun and utility! Classic panel design is perfect for a picnic, taking kids to the park, gardening, or just about anything. Kids and parents love it. Having a wagon around is never a bad thing. It always comes in handy when you have kids. Read More

B. toys
$19.99 at Target

A beautifully crafted alphabetic abacus! You?re never too young to enjoy a classic. Smooth and sturdy wooden craftmanship An alpha...bet party on the top Numbered friends at the bottom Flip the blocks over and over and over again Manufacturer's Suggested Age: 18 Months and UpIncludes: Wooden baseFeatures: Spins, AbacusEducational Focus: Letters and NumbersLanguages: EnglishNumber of Pieces: 1 Dimensions: 13.39 " H x 6.7 " W x 11.54 " L Product Weight: 4.4 Lb.Care and Cleaning: Wipe Clean With a Damp ClothBattery: no battery used Read More

Hammacher Schlemmer
$229.95 $299.95 at Hammacher Schlemmer

This is the wooden construction kit that allows children to build 20 life-size ride-on models such as a 63" tall working crane. Yo...ung engineers use the 26 solid pine posts with pre-drilled holes, steel bolts, and 7 1/2"-diameter wheels to build a go-kart, tricycle, or a rolling airplane they can ride on. Many of the models have moving parts, allowing children to hoist obects from the seat of the crane, rotate the planes propeller, and turn the handlebars on the scooter theyve constructed. Steel cap nuts and plastic washers help ensure structural integrity and 13 plastic panels with pre-drilled holes provide flat surfaces ideal for a chairs seat and backrest, an art easel, or the base of a wagon. Includes two combination wrenches and an instruction manual with detailed, step-by-step illustrations. Ages 5 and up. (34 lbs.) Read More

Product Features

Trying to decide which building set is best? Look for options that are durable, age-appropriate, and flexible enough in use so that your child won’t quickly tire of them.

Alphabet

All alphabet blocks have letters on them, but many also include numbers, animals, math symbols, animals, or other pictures. They also come in a variety of sizes and materials.

Blocks

Blocks are available in a variety of sizes, shapes, colors, and materials. They may be blank or have letters, numbers, words, or images on them. Some even come with a storage container.

Building Sets

Building sets are available in a variety of materials and styles. Some include a collection of similar-shaped pieces, while others offer a mix. Pieces may sit on top of each other, click together, or join together through a connector or other method. Some building sets come with battery-operated gears or motors that bring the creations to life.

Erector Sets

Erector sets come with a variety of metal and plastic pieces that, by using tiny wrenches, ratchets, and screwdrivers, users connect to form cars, robots, machines, and more. Some sets are designed to build a single model, while other come with instructions to create multiple models. Since the pieces are small, most Erector sets are intended for kids 7 years and older, although there are some sets for children over 5 years of age.

Gears

Some gear sets come with bases and connectors; others attach to magnetic surfaces (such as a refrigerator) or to an included magnetic board. Sets come with hand-held cranks to move the gears, while others include battery-operated pieces that set the gears into motion.

LEGOs

Perhaps the most famous type of building block, LEGOs come in a variety of themes, including Star Wars, The Lord of the Rings, Superheroes, Cars, City, and SpongeBob SquarePants. The company also makes larger-sized DUPLO blocks for younger children, as well as the more complex Technics line of toy vehicles.

Magnetic

Magnetic building sets are available in foam, plastic, wood, or metal. Some sets include a collection of triangles, rectangles, and squares, while others contain magnetic balls.

Marble Runs

While most marble run sets come in plastic, there are also wooden versions. Sets usually come with a few marbles and include a variety of bases, chutes, tubes, loops, drops, and spinners; expansion packs with additional pieces are also available. Since these toys include small marbles, they are best for kids over the age of 3.

Tinker Toys

Available in the original wood and new colored-plastic versions, Tinker Toys include directions on how to make a few different structures, but also allow for plenty of open play. Most sets are geared for kids 3 years old and up.

Transformers

Transformers can be played with in either their robot or vehicle form, doubling their fun.

Wooden Toys

Wooden toys offer a look and feel that some parents prefer. Some versions are also made from sustainably grown wood, rendering them a more environmentally sensitive choice that plastic.

Purchase Considerations

Before you buy blocks or building sets, keep in mind the product’s durability, recommended age range, storage needs, and ability to be used in different ways by children of various ages.

Durable

Look for blocks and building sets that offer different levels of enjoyment and will last as long as she is interested in them.

Storage

Most building sets include lots of tiny pieces but no storage container, so consider how to best keep them together.

Recommended Age Range

Some building sets include tiny pieces that may not be suitable for small children. Be sure to check the recommended age range for each product.

Piece Size

Buying a set for a younger child? Look for building sets with large pieces, which are easier for little hands to grab and connect.
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