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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
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 teach...es 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 han...d 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... 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

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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Lights Camera Interaction
$33.49 $34.49 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

edushape
$22.99 at Target

Manufacturer Part Number: EDS716076Soft Colorful foam building block are perfect for the young creative builder. Ideal for block p...lay on the floor or in the bathtub as the blocks float and stick easily to bathtub tile walls when wet. 80 pcs. Read More

Joy Carpets
$393.22 at Wayfair

Joy Carpets 1799 The whimsical design of Building Blocks(c) is certain to complement any early childhood classroom while creating ...an inviting area to learn and play. Features: -Construction: Machine made.-Technique: Tufted.-Material: 100% STAINMASTER Nylon.-Origin: U.S.A..-Collection: Building Blocks(c).-CRI Green Label Plus.-SoftFlex™.-Cut pile.-Multi.-Collection: Building Blocks.-Color: Multi.-Distressed: No.-Pattern: .-Material: Synthetics -Material Details: ..-Shape: .-Technique: Tufted; Machine woven.-Primary Theme: Educational.-Educational Theme: Alphabet.-Gender: Unisex.-Life Stage: Kid.-Country of Manufacture: United States.Dimensions: -Overall Product Weight (Rug Size: 3'10 x 5'4): 10.-Overall Product Weight (Rug Size: 5'4 x 7'8): 17.-Overall Product Weight (Rug Size: 7'8 x 10'9): 39.-Overall Product Weight (Rug Size: 10'9 x 13'2): 59. Rug Size: 7'8 x 10'9 Read More

Joy Carpets
$119.81 $130.32 at Wayfair

Joy Carpets 1799 The whimsical design of Building Blocks(c) is certain to complement any early childhood classroom while creating ...an inviting area to learn and play. Features: -Construction: Machine made.-Technique: Tufted.-Material: 100% STAINMASTER Nylon.-Origin: U.S.A..-Collection: Building Blocks(c).-CRI Green Label Plus.-SoftFlex™.-Cut pile.-Multi.-Collection: Building Blocks.-Color: Multi.-Distressed: No.-Pattern: .-Material: Synthetics -Material Details: ..-Shape: .-Technique: Tufted; Machine woven.-Primary Theme: Educational.-Educational Theme: Alphabet.-Gender: Unisex.-Life Stage: Kid.-Country of Manufacture: United States.Dimensions: -Overall Product Weight (Rug Size: 3'10 x 5'4): 10.-Overall Product Weight (Rug Size: 5'4 x 7'8): 17.-Overall Product Weight (Rug Size: 7'8 x 10'9): 39.-Overall Product Weight (Rug Size: 10'9 x 13'2): 59. Rug Size: 3'10 x 5'4 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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K'nex
$12.59 at Target

Bring Mario Kart Wii to life! Build Mario in his Standard Kart and race past the Goombas from the Mario Circuit Track. The set inc...ludes the parts to build Mario, a Standard Kart with a super-fast, battery-powered motor, a Goomba obstacle and 2 collectible items from the game: a Mushroom and a Star. Read More

K'nex
$12.19 at Target

Build Cylindria and navigate her through a Netherworld maze, just like in Pac Man and the Ghostly Adventures, the hit TV show only... on Disney XD! Cylindria comes with a ghost blaster, four power pellets, and an evil minion ghost whose eyes pop out! Collect and combine all four sets to create a giant labyrinth and recreate some of the most awesome battle scenes from the cartoon! Read More

POOF-Slinky
$40.99 at Target

Your child will create a world of fun with this Ideal Frontier Logs 160-piece building set.

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.
Shop Erector Sets
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
$52.48 $59.99 at Sears

Dazzling, colorful motion takes creative construction to a higher level. The next step for kids who have mastered the Gears! Gears...! Gears! Basic Building Set , this set includes enough lights to brighten any child's play site. Pieces snap together easily and pull apart so kids can create anything they can imagine -- there's no wrong way to build! Includes 121 durable plastic pieces, storage tub and button-cell batteries for flashing lights. Fully compatible with all other Gears! Gears! Gears! sets. Motor requires 3 AA batteries, not included. Read More

Learning Resources
$20.86 $29.99 at Sears

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

Drs. Foster & Smith
$3.99 at Drs. Foster & Smith

A great addition to your bird toy making set, because they're made of thick, tough plastic. String them with other Build Your Own ...Bird Toy parts to make a toy suitable to your bird's special tastes. Is your bird tough on wood or wicker? The plastic gear wheels can be strung on Metal Chains to climb on and they're great to tuck treats into for foraging fun. Waffle Wafers are different shapes to pique your bird's interest-a must for in-cage enrichment. Star Rings may be strung on thicker chain or rope, and each has six grooved orbs your pet bird will want to explore. Combine any or all of these with wood, wicker, and paper to provide a carnival of texture for your bird. Shop all Bird Toys . Toy Measurement Gear Wheels 5-ct, 1-3/4" dia, 3/4" hole Star Rings 5-ct, 2-1/2 " dia, 5/8" hole Waffle Wafers 12-ct, avg 2" dia, 1/2" hole Please click on "More Information" for cleaning instructions and the importance of toys. Read More

Plus-Plus
$21.29 at YoYo.com

Geared For Imagination Plus-Plus 300 pc Basic Set Plus-Plus is a new breed of construction toy. Its one simple shape produces endl...ess possibilities - assemble them flat to create a 2-D mosaic or work in 3-D to make more complicated structures. Even curves are possible thanks to the unique design of this deceptively simple shape! Precision crafted in Denmark, all Plus-Plus sets are compatible with each other. This 300 piece basic pack comes with mix of blue, green, red, yellow, purple, orange, brown, grey, white and black bricks. Safe for ages 3 and up, and endless fun for a broad range of ages. Designed and Manufactured in Denmark.Product Measures: 7" by 5" by 2" Recommended Ages: 3 years and up Weight: 0.4 lb 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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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

Jonti-Craft
$139.70 at Hayneedle

Shop for Childrens Toy Boxes and Storage from Hayneedle.com! You child will love playing with the RooBeez Lego Table - Solid Door ...Color while you'll love how easy it makes keeping a room clean and organized. With the single pod crafted from wood in a natural finish and the topper play kit crafted from durable plastic this play table is made to last. The solid door can be hinged on the left or right and comes in your choice of color. The pod is perfect for storing blocks or other items. Designed to make storage simple and stylish this RooMeez Lego Table is a great choice for any item. 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

LEGO
$7.98 at Sears.com

To all you Jokers and Riddlers out there, this boy's graphic T-shirt has a message for you, Don't Toy With Me! LEGO Batman is pict...ured on this fun shirt in front of a comic strip background warning evildoers to beware. This short-sleeve, crew neck tee will not only keep him laughing, but it will keep him feeling comfy as well thanks to the soft cotton construction. He can wear this T-shirt under a button-front shirt, over a long-sleeve tee or with a fluttering cape. Read More

Neat-Oh!
$19.99 at Target

Command the Galactic Empire's most menacing weapon and relive all the action! With pockets for up to 6 minifigures, this Transform...ing Toy Box can hold 1000 LEGO bricks and unzips to a flat surface for easy play and storage. ZipBin surface easily wipes clean with a damp cloth for any unexpected spill. LEGO Blocks not included. ZipBin Products - Keep It Together. LEGO, The LEGO logo, the Brick and Knob configuration are trademarks of the LEGO Group. c2012 LEGO GroupRecommended Ages:3 and up 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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Beyond 123
$109.99 at Sears

This Transformable Blocks from Beyond123 is a durable 40 piece set that includes 13 transformable and 8 colored blocks in assorted... shapes housed in a storage tray. Elastic cord-connected wooden blocks allow instant shapes transformation. This unique design enables creative construction play and inspires learning of the concept of volume and basic geometry. Package: 14 x 15 x 2.5 inches. Made of Beech. Warning Choking Hazard - small parts. Not for children under 3 years of age. One year warranty. For boy or girl ages 3 and up. Imported from Taiwan. Read More

Neat-Oh!
$19.99 at Target

Command the Galactic Empire's most menacing weapon and relive all the action! With pockets for up to 6 minifigures, this Transform...ing Toy Box can hold 1000 LEGO bricks and unzips to a flat surface for easy play and storage. ZipBin surface easily wipes clean with a damp cloth for any unexpected spill. LEGO Blocks not included. ZipBin Products - Keep It Together. LEGO, The LEGO logo, the Brick and Knob configuration are trademarks of the LEGO Group. c2012 LEGO GroupRecommended Ages:3 and up Read More

OWI
$20.69 $26.99 at Sears

OWI Inc. is a leading supplier of robotic aluminum bug kits building and solar kits to schools science clubs science education cen...ters and science camps. The kits are available at hobby educational toy and museum stores nationwide. Late nights and too much coffee have inspired OWI s geek squad (designers) to unleash their cranial creativity in the form of a multifunctional transforming solar robot kit. T3 is an intelligent mobile kit that requires no fossil fuel - no batteries. Its animated movements are activated by nature s gift of sunshine. T3 easily transforms into three intergalactic designs: Tank Robot and Scorpion. Easy instructions and basic building skills are that's needed for young science fiction buffs to see the benefits of solar energy before their very eyes. Eco-friendly and transforming friendly...Oh yeah... T3 !. Solar Panel Output: 75mA. Solar Cell Life: 2 yrs in normal use. Motor: DC. Power Consumption: 30mA. Tool needed: diagonal cutter screwdriver. Piece count: 70. Size (L x W x H / mm):. Robot: 71 x 82 x 117. Scorpion: 114 x 94 x 82. Tank: 100 x 78 x 54. Read More

OWI
Drs. Foster & Smith
$19.99 at Drs. Foster & Smith

Big, colorful blocks move every which way to transform right before your bird's eyes into different shapes, creating interest and ...intrigue. Movable blocks twirl on an axis so the toy goes from a box to a cube to a plus sign-as many shapes as your bird can think of! Solid wood blocks are combined with big plastic beads and thick cotton rope to entertain your bird for a long time! Shop all Bird Toys . Please click on "More Information" for cleaning instructions and tips. 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
$18.99 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

K'nex
$12.59 at Target

Bring Mario Kart Wii to life! Build Mario in his Standard Kart and race past the Goombas from the Mario Circuit Track. The set inc...ludes the parts to build Mario, a Standard Kart with a super-fast, battery-powered motor, a Goomba obstacle and 2 collectible items from the game: a Mushroom and a Star. Read More

K'nex
$12.19 at Target

Build Cylindria and navigate her through a Netherworld maze, just like in Pac Man and the Ghostly Adventures, the hit TV show only... on Disney XD! Cylindria comes with a ghost blaster, four power pellets, and an evil minion ghost whose eyes pop out! Collect and combine all four sets to create a giant labyrinth and recreate some of the most awesome battle scenes from the cartoon! 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 wont 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 products 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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