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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.
Shop Alphabet
Ryan's Room
$14.19 at Target

Ryan's Room Wooden Toys Bag O' ABC Blocks Ryan's Room Wooden Toys Bag O' ABC Blocks feature wooden blocks. Each block has letters,... figures and illustrations. Bright colors and raised letters make these blocks very interesting. A drawstring bag helps to store and transport the blocks easily. This toy promotes creativity and boosts self-confidence through play. Age: 3 years and up Features Blocks with bright colors Raised letters on the blocks for developing language and vocabulary skills Includes drawstring bag for easy storage and transport Encourages creativity and builds self confidence through play Recommended Ages:3 and#8211; 7 Read More

Melissa & Doug
$11.99 at Target

Hours of timeless block play await your toddler! This is a wonderful set of 50 traditionally styled alphabet blocks with hand-pain...ted artwork. Featuring solid wood blocks with a colorful collection of pictures, letters and numbers for recognition, matching, stacking and sorting. A tremendous value that will last for years! Conveniently stores in an included pouch. Read More

Melissa & Doug
$14.99 at Target

Hours of timeless block play await your toddler! This sturdy, wooden block cart, features 30 solid wood blocks with a colorful col...lection of pictures, letters and numbers for recognition and matching, stacking and sorting. A tremendous value that will last for years! Read More

Blocks

Made from wood, plastic, or plush material, blocks improve cognition, hand-eye coordination, and fine motor skills.
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edushape
$35.99 at Target

edushape 8260 - X Soft and flexible, the Mini Edublocks infant and toddler toy is exclusively designed for an architects grip. Thi...s set of colorful, bendable building blocks offers hours of constructive play while building essential fine motor skills. Features: -Available in 26 or 52 piece sets -Blue, Green, Red and Yellow flexible blocks -Recommended for ages 12 months and up -Develops fine motor skills Quantity: 26 Piece Set Read More

edushape
$31.99 at Target

Established in 1983 edushape LTD. is a leading manufacturer of Educational toys and games for toddlers to second graders. During 1...999 edushape entered to a new phase of developing unique and exciting new products for infants and toddlers under the age of 3 years. This new and enhanced section is all based upon the unique materials in which edushape is specialized. As always these products have been carefully developed manufactured and selected by a team of professional educators and marketers. edushape's products are pleasant to touch colorful color-fast non-toxic and eye-catching. Over the years edushape remains committed to producing high quality toys. All our toys and games meet all international safety requirements (CE ASTM standards) mandatory for toys. One of the best things about being young is discovery. edushape is continually looking for and selecting toys that offer the greatest opportunity for creative play and learning. Children learn through seeing hearing touching and movement as well as fantasy role-playing and creativity. Because of this we offer fun innovative toys that will encourage children in these endeavors. Soft Safe foam blocks that look like Real Wood! Set Includes: 1 reusable Zip-Tote bag 80 block pieces 1 3/8 thick assorted unit block shapes and sizes. For age 12M+ Read More

Lights Camera Interaction
$34.49 $34.99 at Target

2 years and up. These 40 sturdy cardboard building blocks are lightweight and strong. Easy to assemble, brightly colored, and easy... to stack to make endless building combinations. Includes 3 different size blocks with the largest being 12L x 6W x 3H. Read More

Melissa & Doug
$19.99 at Target

Colorful hardwood blocks in lots of shapes and sizes encourage big construction adventures! Non-toxic finish. 100 piece set.

Building Sets

Buildings sets are collections of pieces that fit together, allowing your little builder to construct and create.
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Learning Resources
$25.49 at Target

3 years and up. Challenge patterning and problem solving skills with this exciting set of gears, cranks, connectors, pillars, and ...interlocking plates! Includes 95 pieces in one size for hundreds of 3 dimensional possibilities. Read More

Learning Resources
$34.84 at Target

4 - 6 years. Bring the ocean to life with this colorful moving 67-piece building set. Underwater creatures include a crab, sea tur...tle, dolphins, octopus and school of fish to help your students create and learn using their imagination building an aquarium. Read More

K'nex
$32.49 at Target

Grades 1 - 3. Set includes 142 K'NEX parts and a 16-page instruction booklet to build 44 models. Students can construct squares, t...riangles, quadrilaterals, rhombi, prisms, fractions; plus investigate symmetry. Thirteen challenges included to fine tune understanding of shape characteristics and attributes. This set can support 3-4 students working as a team. Set comes in a strong plastic storage case with moveable dividers and transparent locking lid. Teacher's Guide included on a resource CD. 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 usersí creations.
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Erector
$29.99 at YoYo.com

Erector 10 MODEL SET - 190PCS. Erector Set 10 features simple and sophisticated moving parts. Product Measures: 11.75 by 2.25 by 1...0inches Recommended Ages: 7 - 18 years Weight: 1.5 lb Read More

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
$49.99 $52.99 at YoYo.com

Erector 20 MODEL SET Build 20 different models, 1 at a time with this 230 piece set. Set includes 3volt motor, tools and instructi...on booklet. Product Measures: 15.87 by 2.75 by 9.87inches Recommended Ages: 7 - 18 years Weight: 2.54 lb Read More

Erector
$39.99 at YoYo.com

Erector 15 MODEL SET - 252PCS. 252 pieces. Builds 15 models. Comes with Cable Command. Compatible with most Erector sets. Product ...Measures: 15.5 by 2.75 by 10inches Recommended Ages: 7 - 18 years Weight: 2.37 lb Read More

Gears

Colorful cogs that fit together, gear toys transfer motion from one piece to the next.
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Learning Resources
$25.49 at Target

3 years and up. Challenge patterning and problem solving skills with this exciting set of gears, cranks, connectors, pillars, and ...interlocking plates! Includes 95 pieces in one size for hundreds of 3 dimensional possibilities. Read More

Learning Resources
$34.84 at Target

4 - 6 years. Bring the ocean to life with this colorful moving 67-piece building set. Underwater creatures include a crab, sea tur...tle, dolphins, octopus and school of fish to help your students create and learn using their imagination building an aquarium. Read More

Quercetti
$24.99 $29.99 at Target

Quercetti Kaliedo Gears (55 pcs) Quercetti Kaliedo Gears stimulates the creativity of kids. This 55 piece gear set is the ideal pi...ck for starters. Intertwining plates and meshes in three different sizes lets kids build with no set pattern.They can use their creativity to find different ways to spin. Why You'll Love It: This exciting brain game comes from Quercetti, known for nurturing imagination. Age: 3 years and up Features Has 55 intertwining plates and gears Handle to turn the gear 3 types of gears used Movable base to create desired shapes Made in Italy Read More

K'nex
$26.49 at Target

K'NEX 78630 The learning never stops with the education collection! Great for in school as well as at home with friends. Features:... -Intro to Simple Machines Gears. -Education collection. -Easy to work. -Builds 7 different replicas of real-world models, one at a time. -Actual mechanical advantage gear ratios. -Models demonstrate 2 spur gear examples. -2 crown gear examples and 2 sprocket gear examples. -Mechanical systems energy transfer chain driven systems. 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
$31.49 at Target

Presenting the LEGO Architecture interpretation of one of the most iconic landmarks ever constructed andmdahs; The Eiffel Tower! D...esigned and built by French entrepreneur, Gustave Eiffel, the 324-meter-tall masterpiece formed the grand entrance to the 1889 World's Fair. During construction, the 18,038 wrought iron elements making up the tower's lattice structure were bolted together at Eiffel's factory before being transported to the site, hoisted into place by steam-powered cranes operating from the elevator shafts and assembled using 2.5 million individual rivets. The resulting structure was extremely rigid and has withstood storms, floods and everything else mother nature has thrown at it. Today, The Eiffel Tower is one of the world's most popular landmarks, attracting millions of visitors from around the world each year. Read More

LEGO
$59.99 at Target

Prepare for the ultimate battle with evil Lord Business! Join creative forces with Master Builder Emmet to make this massive Mech.... Open up the cockpit and place Emmet in the driver's seat. Knock over anything that gets in your way with the swinging wrecking balls. Grab a Skeletron in the Mech's excavator bucket or rotate the roller to iron out the opposition. But hurry before Lord Business glues the whole world together! Includes 3 minifigures with accessories: Emmet and 2 Skeletrons, plus an Anry Kitty figure. Read More

Neat-Oh!
$19.99 at Target

This Large Millennium Falcon Messenger Bag holds your favorite LEGO Star Wars figurines and approximately 500 LEGO(R) bricks. The ...sturdy shoulder strap lets you easily bring them anywhere in the galaxy. The detailed artwork creates an awesome play experience and Playmat on the inside and outside of the case! Race through space and dodge the pursuing Tie Fighters, all while keeping your figurines neatly tucked away. Weighs just over half a pound and wipes clean with a damp cloth. Ages 3+. ZipBin Keep it Together. c 2012 TheLEGO Group. c 2012 Lucasfilm Ltd. and TMRecommended Ages:3 - 15 Read More

Jonti-Craft
$139.70 at Hayneedle

Shop for Childrens Toy Boxes and Storage from Hayneedle.com! Turn a simple storage pod into a play area for your child with the Ro...oMeez Lego Table with Engraved Letter Door. Designed so the topper play kit sits on top of the single pod it's just right the height for a child. You can even personalize this Lego table with an engraved door available in your choice of color and with your choice of letter or number. You can easily store blocks or other items in the storage pod to help keep your child's room or playroom organized and neat. The pod is crafted from wood and comes in a beautiful natural finish while the topper play kit is made from plastic for durability. About Jonti-CraftFamily-owned and operated out of Wabasso Minn. Jonti-Craft is a leading provider of quality furniture for the early learning market. They offer a wide selection of creatively designed products in both wood and laminate materials. Their products are packed with features that make them safe functional and affordable. Jonti-Craft products are built using the strongest construction techniques available to ensure that your furniture purchase will last a lifetime. 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
$17.99 at Target

Transformers Construct A Bots 3 Change Bumblebee Product FeaturesBuild this 3-in-1 Bumblebee figure as a robot, car or jetConvert ...to other modes or tear him down and build him againIncludes 69 pieces and instructionsProduct Measures: 10 x 9 x 2Recommended Ages: 7 years and up Read More

Hasbro
$18.99 at Target

Transformers building sets at Kohl's - Shop our full line of toys, including this Transformers Construct-Bots Optimus Prime and Me...gatron Set by Hasbro, at Kohls.com. Read More

Hasbro
$18.99 at Target

Your "Transformers Prime Predacons Rising" fan will love this Abominus action figure. Abominus is the monstrous combination of fiv...e savage beasts into one ultimate warrior. The included Twinstrike, Hun-Gurrr, Windrazor, Predacon Rippersnapper and Blight figures all convert from robot mode to beast mode and back. But when the battle calls for an even scarier warrior, they combine to build one enormous Abominus figure. Get a 5-in-1 force of Predacons with this awesome Abominus figure. Read More

Hasbro
$10.19 at Target

Construct! Customize! Convert! The Transformers Construct-Bots come in pieces, and it's up to you to build them in one of their tw...o modes! Use the 52 pieces to build your Autobot Hound figure as a robot warrior or 4x4 vehicle. Once he's built in one mode, you can either convert to another mode or tear him down and build him again! Build your own Transformers adventures with this two-in-one Autobot Hound figure! Transformers and all related characters are trademarks of Hasbro. 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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Melissa & Doug
$18.49 at Target

With 48 wooden pieces (including nuts, bolts, drilled bars to connect, and a child-size screwdriver), this classic building set gi...ves kids all they need to tinker and build! Printed right on the sturdy storage box are building plans for a crane, motorcycle, airplane, and race car to get the fun started. With some imagination and a few creative twists and turns, kids can make hundreds more amazing structures too! Any time kids play with this durable set, they'll be building fine motor skills, problem-solving skills, and hand-eye coordination. Included extension activities guide parents to educational activities that also build early math skills. Read More

Alex Toys
$72.99 at Target

Build amazing 3D mazes with beautifully printed, jungle themed hardwood blocks.

Learning Resources
$25.49 at Target

3 years and up. Challenge patterning and problem solving skills with this exciting set of gears, cranks, connectors, pillars, and ...interlocking plates! Includes 95 pieces in one size for hundreds of 3 dimensional possibilities. 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 wonít 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 productís 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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