The 10 Best Blocks For Toddlers

Updated April 26, 2018 by Brett Dvoretz

10 Best Blocks For Toddlers
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We spent 45 hours on research, videography, and editing, to review the top choices for this wiki. Your young ones may think they're just having fun with these building sets, but they are also developing their minds and bodies at the same time. Blocks for toddlers have been popular toys for generations, not just for their enjoyment value but because they improve spatial and motor skills, dexterity, and also help children learn spelling, numbers and colors. When users buy our independently chosen editorial picks, we may earn commissions to support our work. Skip to the best block for toddlers on Amazon.

10. Imagination Generation 100-piece

With the Imagination Generation 100-piece, your child won't even realize how much he's learning by playing with this fun set. They are a great value for the quantity and quality, but the storage bag is a bit too small to hold all of the pieces.
  • shapes fit together well
  • paint won't chip over time
  • have a slippery feel
Brand Imagination Generation
Model TCDG-002
Weight 5.5 pounds
Rating 4.0 / 5.0

9. Kids Adventure Jumbo

The Kids Adventure Jumbo are meant for those little ones just starting to learn about the world around them. These extra large plastic blocks have rounded corners for safety and feature a Lego-like design that offers great stability when making a wall, castle or fortress.
  • ideal for parties or play dates
  • made in the usa
  • a bit heavy for kids under 2 yrs old
Brand Kids Adventure
Model 00208-2
Weight 8.5 pounds
Rating 4.1 / 5.0

8. eWonder World Wonder Blocks

If your child can't get enough of building and has a tendency to throw out of excitement, the eWonder World Wonder Blocks are for you. They are made of a soft foam that is safer to use than wooden blocks and are also suitable for use in the bath tub.
  • completely silent when knocked down
  • lightweight and easy to handle
  • may not be good for teething babies
Brand eWonderWorld
Model pending
Weight 3.5 pounds
Rating 3.5 / 5.0

7. ECR4Kids Softzone

The ECR4Kids Softzone includes twelve eye-catching 5.5-inch foam blocks that are comfortable for little hands to hold. This set is ideal for preschool or daycare use as they are made of ultra-soft vinyl that is simple to clean and maintain.
  • help teach color recognition
  • contain no phthalates
  • can withstand constant use
Brand ECR4Kids
Model ELR-033
Weight 6.9 pounds
Rating 4.0 / 5.0

6. Uncle Goose Classic ABC

The Uncle Goose Classic ABC have a nostalgic look that will take you back to your childhood days. Though they are a little pricey, each block is beautifully handcrafted from Michigan-grown basswood and sports letters, numbers, animals, or math symbols for fun learning.
  • can be used to spell out words
  • inks are nontoxic and lead-free
  • great heirloom toy
Brand Uncle Goose
Model UGA28
Weight 2.6 pounds
Rating 4.8 / 5.0

5. Melissa & Doug Jumbo

For those with a large play area, the Melissa & Doug Jumbo is a top-notch choice. This 40-piece set features three sizes of blocks that are made of premium, extra-thick cardboard for strength, plus the surfaces can be wiped clean after each use.
  • assembly only takes minutes
  • red blocks can support up to 150 lbs
  • great for building forts or bridges
Brand Melissa & Doug
Model 2784
Weight 8.4 pounds
Rating 3.9 / 5.0

4. Mega Bloks Classic

The best-selling Mega Bloks Classic fosters your child's imagination without spending a lot of money. They come in attractive bright colors and pack away nicely in a PVC-free duffle bag with carrying handles for simple storage and transport.
  • sturdy and well-made
  • easy to stack and pull apart
  • ideal for ages 1-5 years old
Brand Mega Bloks
Model DCH63
Weight 2.7 pounds
Rating 4.4 / 5.0

3. Melissa & Doug Standard

The Melissa & Doug Standard contains 60 smoothly sanded hardwood pieces that are measured and cut with precision into a variety of shapes including circles, half-circles, triangles, and pillars. They are great for children and parents to complete projects together.
  • help to develop motor skills
  • box doubles as a building platform
  • can teach early math concepts
Brand Melissa & Doug
Model 503
Weight 21.8 pounds
Rating 4.5 / 5.0

2. Fisher-Price Stack'n Learn

The Fisher-Price Stack'n Learn is the perfect tool to introduce your baby to letters and shapes through interactive play. Each block features a letter and an appropriate picture of a familiar object, and they are easy to grasp thanks to their chunky shapes.
  • encourage problem solving
  • connectors on the top and bottom
  • very affordable price
Brand Fisher-Price
Model CJT72
Weight 2.3 pounds
Rating 4.5 / 5.0

1. Tegu Magnetic

Your child will be hooked on the simple, yet innovative, Tegu Magnetic. They are made of sustainably sourced Honduran wood and include nine shapes with which to build 3D creations of all sorts, while providing an educational lesson about positive and negative polarity.
  • come with magnetic wheels
  • child-safe finishes
  • develop fine motor skills
Brand Tegu
Model 42P-TNT-306T
Weight 4.8 pounds
Rating 4.5 / 5.0

Building Your Child’s Future, One Block At A Time

Over the course of your child’s youth, you’ll want to expose them to as much experience and information as possible. The more they can see and learn from their earliest days, the better equipped they’ll be to face the challenges of school, the workforce, relationships, and even their creative endeavors.

The great thing about the human brain in this respect is that it learns even when its owner doesn’t know it’s learning. How often have you cited some piece of information you have stored somewhere in your brain, but you couldn’t — for the life of you — remember where you saw or heard it? Chances are you were staring out the window in science class, wondering whether the leaves were going to start changing colors, while your teacher explained the difference between a quasar and a pulsar. Yet, somehow, without even meaning to, you retained the information.

Traditionally, children’s block sets come with letters printed on them, even if the children for whom they’re intended won’t begin to read for another few years. This early exposure can build recognition in the brain, which will unconsciously record individual letter shapes, as well as pairings of letters, albeit with no sonic, phrasal, or meaningful correlations.

Of course, blocks today can come with anything printed on them, and you’ll see sets on the market depicting everything from numbers, colors, and the alphabet to the periodic table of elements. In some cases — as with the periodic table — you’ll come across a set that can maintain its usefulness long after your child has grown past the age considered appropriate to playing with blocks. If a 12-year-old uses block combinations to study elements and the formation of molecules, and that helps them pass a 6th grade science exam, then you got some serious mileage out of your investment.

Ultimately, what’s printed on the blocks may be secondary to another developmental benefit these toys can offer children. Toddler blocks are among the first items your child will use to develop important motor skills. It takes hand-eye coordination, patience and precision to build a block tower. Even more thoughtful planning must go into more elaborate structures like pyramids. These early experiments can lay the groundwork to turn your tot into the next Frank Lloyd Wright.

A very different career path than that of the architect may start here, as well. Once children have spent countless hours developing the most elaborate block cities their little minds could imagine, there’s one left for them to do that provides as much fun in just a few seconds as the entire building process gave them. What is it? Well, let’s just say that the military and construction crews are always in need of a good demolitions expert.

Choosing The Right Blocks For Your Tot

Block sets have come an awful long way over the years, and the models available on our list cover a great many shapes, sizes, and styles. Choosing the set that your kid is absolutely going to love has as much to do with their personality as it does with your ambitions for them.

A youngster who hasn’t yet exhibited a particular affinity toward any one style of play could potentially do well with any block set. That makes them a kind of blank canvas, if you will, on which you can pin some of your hopes for their future. If you want to encourage their metaphorical minds, the beginnings of which can be found in the first, unguided exposure to a correlation between language and perception, blocks with familiar sights and their corresponding names would be most welcome.

Your child may have already tipped their hand in a certain direction, though. Perhaps the old trick in which you move a magnet on the top of a table with another hidden beneath the table (by magic, you told them) fascinated them for hours. Then, a set that employs some form of magnetism to adhere the blocks to each other could be a great idea. Such a gift may set in motion an appreciation of the sciences that could last the child’s lifetime.

It also might be a good idea to reckon with your child’s level of violence. Young children, especially boys, can pick up surprisingly violent behaviors at a very early age. These children are not the best candidates for heavier blocks or any other block that could make itself into a handy weapon come play time. Fortunately, there are sets out there that are lightweight and harmless, even in the hands of your little sociopath.

A Brief History Of Children’s Blocks

Toys of any sort weren’t terribly common among children for the majority of human existence. Children might have had a doll or two, but they were largely left to their own devices until they were old enough to work, which was pretty young until child labor laws came along during the Industrial Revolution. Still, the upper classes in society always sought devices that could help teach their children, and blocks are an old favorite.

The first documented reference to blocks designed for children’s educational play comes from the writings of the philosopher John Locke in the late 17th century. He hypothesized that such blocks, adorned with the letters of the alphabet, would be advantageous in teaching a child to read. The influence of this thought rings true even in today’s block designs.

The blocks were later mentioned in a book on educating children that came out more than a century later, and by 1820, inventor S.L. Hill began producing blocks for children out of his shop in Brooklyn.

The big push came in the late 1830s, however, when Friedrich Fröbel designed Fröbel’s Gifts, a set of toys intended to give children an edge in spacial and color relations. These early toys continue to inform the production of educational toys for children, even in the midst of our digital revolution.

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Last updated on April 26, 2018 by Brett Dvoretz

A wandering writer who spends as much time on the road as behind the computer screen, Brett can either be found hacking furiously away at the keyboard or perhaps enjoying a whiskey and coke on some exotic beach, sometimes both simultaneously, usually with a four-legged companion by his side. He hopes to one day become a modern day renaissance man.

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