Blocks are a classic toy, the sort of thing our grandparent’s grandparents likely played with when they were growing up. And toddlers today still love getting their hands on a good set of blocks.
They’re a hands-on learning experience that teaches toddlers important developmental skills. Which is why parents love them too!
The best blocks for toddlers have to be sturdy enough to last through many play sessions and yet light enough that your little one can easily pick them up. Kids can be notoriously fussy.
The best blocks use fun colors and designs to encourage kids to reach out and start playing.
In this guide, we’ve reviewed the best blocks available for toddlers. We’ve considered what the blocks are made of, how safe they are, the age range, and just how fun they look to play with.
Read on to find out more, and discover how to choose the perfect blocks for young builders!
Melissa & Doug Wooden Building Blocks Set
Best Wooden Set
This wooden building block set from Melissa & Doug is a fantastic version of the classic toy. It comes with a total of 100 pieces and includes nine shapes in four different colors.
Designed for ages 2 and 8, this is a fantastic gift for toddlers that they’ll continue to play with even as they grow.
Just look at the blocks from Melissa & Doug, and you’ll want to get your hands on them. The bold shapes and colors are incredibly tactile, and will surely entice toddlers of all personalities.
The different shapes can be put together in all kinds of ways, providing hours of play to stretch and grow the imagination.
Made entirely of wood, each block has been carefully crafted for a light but durable weight. The rounded edges and smooth finish are resistant to splinters, so your kids can keep on playing without risk of injury.
We love the Melissa & Doug Wooden Building Blocks Set. It seems simple, but the exceptional build and variety of shapes make this a toy that can provide hours of enriching fun.
- 100 blocks in 9 shapes – Endless possibilities with the variety of shapes and sizes.
- Wooden build – A safe material, but with a light weight for play.
- Longer age range – Even older kids will enjoy stacking and building with the wooden blocks.
- No storage – With 100 blocks to lose, a storage container would be helpful
Also available for purchase from MelissaAndDoug.com and Kohls.com.
Mega Bloks Builders Big Building Blocks
Best Building Block Sets
This Mega Bloks Big Building Block set is an excellent choice if you’re looking for something that fits together to help younger toddlers with construction.
Suitable for ages 1 and up, the Mega Bloks Building Blocks are a perfect starter set for young builders.
The 80 blocks included in the set are made with fun and bright colors that children will want to get hands-on with. The shapes feature a peg and hole design, so the blocks can be slotted together for a sturdy construction.
But they also pull apart easily, and your toddler should quickly master using them.
The simplicity of the shapes doesn’t limit what can be produced, so toddlers can make everything from buildings to animals, to whatever their growing minds dream up!
Each piece is made with quality materials. This means the blocks are strong enough to withstand rough play, while being lightweight enough for easy handling.
And there’s an included Big Builders Bag, allowing you to store all 80 pieces at the end of play time.
- Snap construction – The pieces fit together and pull apart easily, so toddlers can build bigger.
- Compatible with other Mega Bloks sets – Expand your builds with other options from Mega Bloks.
- Storage bag – Keep blocks safely together.
- Loose connection – It’s easy to pull the blocks apart, which can lead to some less steady construction.
Also available from Walmart.com and BuyBuyBaby.com.
B. Toys One Two Squeeze Building Blocks For Toddlers
Best Soft Building Blocks
B.Toys One Two Squeeze building blocks are a great way to introduce toddlers to construction. These colorful blocks are touchable and squeezable, and free from BPAs and phthalates, so kids can hold and nibble safely!
The hand-sculpted designs add an extra tactile element to these already stimulating blocks.
The bright colors are accompanied by numbers and animals, plus other fun sculpting that toddlers will want to get their fingers onto.
These blocks are also great for teething, as they give kids something safe to chew.
The B. Toys Blocks don’t have the same versatility as other blocks, but toddlers will find them fun to stack up and then knock straight down.
They’ll also love how they can squeeze and scrunch the blocks, and watch them bounce back into place.
Parents will love the way the blocks fit neatly into the 100% recycled storage bag, so you won’t be searching under the couch every time the favorite block goes missing.
Designed for ages 6 months and up, these blocks are perfect for young toddlers.
- BPA and phthalate free – Suitable for nibbling and chewing, and they won’t fall apart.
- 100% recycled bag – Comes with bag for easy storage.
- Hand-sculpted designs – Each side of the blocks is sculpted with a fun image or number.
- Careful around water – The blocks can float, but the small holes that make them squeezable trap water.
Also available for purchase from MyBToys.com and BuyBuyBaby.com.
SainSmart Jr. Wooden ABC Blocks
Best Alphabet Blocks
These wooden blocks from SainSmart Jr. are designed to encourage early literacy skills and spatial awareness.
Made with soft pine wood, each block has a letter printed on it, along with cheerful pictures and numbers.
SainSmart Jr. alphabet blocks will appeal to both toddlers, and the parents who get involved with play time.
The attractive designs feature carved patterns on all six sides of the block, including labeled animal pictures to match the letter.
The blocks feature a capital letter, with the corresponding lower case on the other side. There’s also a number side and a patterned side. Vivid colors make the blocks attractive to younger toddlers.
As a 40 block set, it contains more than just the alphabet. There are 8 counting blocks to assist with early numeracy skills.
Made entirely from natural pine wood and decorated with non-toxic water based paint, these blocks are completely safe for kids.
They can have hours of fun stacking and building, while improving their numeracy and literacy skills as they go.
- Heat printed illustrations – Completely safe for kids, and gives the blocks an appealing vintage style.
- Storage bag – Keep the alphabet together with the included bag.
- Carved numbers – Encourages sensory stimulation.
- Some etched designs can be a little tricky to see.
Also available for purchase from SainSmartJr.com and Walmart.com.
Tegu Magnetic Wooden Block Set
Best Magnetic Block Set
Kids love the Tegu wooden block sets because they feature secret magnets that allow the creations to stick together.
And parents love Tegu sets because they keep curious toddlers occupied for hours as they spot all the ways to link every block into place.
Parents also love how the refined color palette makes Tegu blocks look like an abstract design feature!
This magnetic wooden block set from Tegu features 42 pieces in 9 different shapes, plus 4 magnetic wheels.
With these shapes, kids can make an incredible range of designs, with the magnets helping them accomplish whatever their imagination dreams up.
As the magnets are embedded in the design, parents don’t have to worry about accidental ingestion. And toddlers will be delighted in the magic way these blocks hold together!
The non-toxic blocks are made with no lead, no plastics, and a water-based lacquer finish. Suitable for toddlers aged one and up, the Tegu blocks are surprisingly engaging for older children.
Even parents will enjoy seeing what the Tegu blocks can do.
- Secret magnet system – Makes linking blocks easy and safe to do.
- Non-toxic materials – No need to worry about toxic chemicals, so young toddlers can get hands (and teeth) on.
- Water-based lacquer finish – Refined colors that will appeal to children and look good in the home.
- Only certain parts of the block are magnetized, which can be tough for young toddlers to master.
Also available for purchase from Tegu.com and Walmart.com.
When you’re looking for the best blocks for toddlers, there are several things to consider before making your final decision.
These include price, age appropriateness, durability, safety, and educational value.
Even the most basic blocks can be fun and educational, but by considering these extra features, you can ensure these blocks are perfect for your toddler.
When looking for blocks for toddlers, these are the features you should consider:
Toddlers are considered to be children between the ages of one and four, although there’s no definitive age range. This is the perfect time for a first set of blocks, but not all blocks will be suitable for such a young age.
One factor you have to consider is the age-appropriateness of the blocks.
If you want to buy blocks that are appropriate for toddlers, then you’ll want to avoid any blocks that contain small pieces or sharp edges.
You’ll also want to avoid anything that could pose a choking hazard.
Blocks for older children can be quite small, and these present a risk for toddlers. Age appropriate blocks will be big enough to ensure they won’t get stuck in the windpipe.
Another factor of age-appropriateness is how easy they are for the toddler to play with. Mini blocks and magnetic tiles might be fun for older kids, but toddlers will probably find the small pieces quite boring.
Plus, these small blocks will be tricky for a toddler to hold. They’re much happier with larger, lightweight blocks.
Let’s be honest: the blocks are going to end up in your toddlers mouth at some point. It’s just inevitable.
They’ll also be stacked up and knocked down, dropped and kicked, and probably thrown from time to time.
It’s important to make sure the blocks are durable, otherwise they won’t last long enough for your child to enjoy.
When choosing a durable block, you want to consider the materials. If the blocks aren’t made of wood, look for what the manufacturer may have done to reinforce the build.
Most blocks are made of either plastic or wood, but cardboard blocks are also popular. When deciding on a material, you want to think about exactly how your toddler is likely to play with the toy.
This will influence what’s best for them.
Wood is fantastic for parents that prefer a natural approach, and avoid synthetic materials. Pine is popular, as it’s lightweight but durable.
Wooden blocks are excellent for stacking, and can withstand heavy wear.
However, if your toddler has a bit of a throwing habit, you might want to steer clear of wood.
Plastic is versatile, so you can get all types of blocks made from plastic. Many plastic blocks can be taken in the bath or outdoors, and wiped clean afterwards.
Lightweight plastic can also be thrown about without causing damage. However, plastic breaks easier than wood.
Cardboard blocks are lightweight and portable, but not particularly durable. You also want to avoid these if your toddler likes to chew. Cardboard can come apart and become a choking hazard.
Similar to cardboard, foam blocks are portable. They’re also squeezable, making them good for younger toddlers. However, these also break down when chewed.
Although foam is less likely to block the windpipe if swallowed, it’s best to stay alert if you’ve noticed the foam is starting to fall apart.
You should always check over the blocks after use. Make sure they’re completely dry before storing them away.
Otherwise, mold and mildew could start growing. To do this, you need to have blocks that are easy to clean.
Blocks should be made of materials that you can quickly wipe down and dry, particularly if you have a child that likes to chew.
Even though all blocks are blocks, there is some difference in purpose.
Some blocks are designed for stacking. These have limited building potential, and kids will tend to grow out of these when they leave the toddler stage.
But the easy holding and play makes these blocks ideal for younger toddlers.
Other blocks will use different shapes and designs to allow for building. These blocks are more complex, and offer more construction possibilities. Kids will be inspired to use their imagination.
However, these blocks can be difficult to handle and are better for older toddlers.
There are also alphabet blocks and number blocks, which aim to add another layer of learning to play. These will typically be stacking blocks, but with carved or painted designs.
Are They Fun?
We can’t forget the most important feature of all: are the blocks fun? The blocks should use color and images to draw children to them, and have a tactile appeal so toddlers want to get hands-on.
When buying blocks, make sure to consider the kind of toys your child has previously shown an interest in.
Frequently Asked Questions
What Are The Benefits Of Buying Blocks For Toddlers?
Blocks provide a lot of benefits. They’re a STEM toy, encouraging even young kids to think about construction and building, and how to get their incredible designs to stay up.
Blocks also help to develop spatial awareness and hand-eye coordination. Blocks can also encourage kids to stretch their imagination and think about new ways to play.
At What Age Can Kids Play With Blocks?
Blocks can be good for babies, and some blocks are suitable for ages 6 months and upwards! Blocks are particularly good for toddlers, as they encourage early hand-eye coordination.
And because there are so many ways to play with blocks, children will find new ways to use them as they grow. Make sure to check the age range before buying, as some blocks are only suitable for older children.
How Do I Choose The Right Kind Of Block?
The best kind of blocks are those that are suitable for your child’s age range, and allow them to play in different ways. When buying blocks, always consider what kind of toys your toddler is typically drawn to.
Design is important as well — good blocks are eye-catching and tactile.
At What Age Do Babies Start Stacking Blocks?
Babies can start stacking blocks from around 12 months old, which is also when we start to consider them toddlers! At this age, babies are beginning to develop their motor skills.
But don’t expect them to start stacking as soon as they get their blocks, as they tend to need some time to get used to what the shapes can do.
Buying blocks for toddlers is a great way to introduce your little one to the world of stacking and building.
They encourage creativity, help build skills like spatial awareness and hand-eye coordination, and are really fun to play with. Blocks are a classic toy that kids today still love.