The Best Building Toys for Toddlers

Future engineers and architects of the world, create, stack, construct! The best building toys for ages 18 months to 6+ years old.

Updated July 28, 2022
The Best STEM building toys for toddlers and kids curated by SimplyModern

The Best LEGO & LEGO-like Building Brick Starter Sets

LEGOS, LEGO Duplos and Mega Bloks for kids of all ages — 1 year old and up

For kids 4 to 119 years old

LEGO Classic Large Creative Brick Box 10698 Build Your Own Creative Toys, Kids Building Kit (790 Pieces), Multicolor

LEGOS Classic Large Creative Brick Box

At once classic and modern, LEGO bricks are part of most every kid’s play space (and in some “grownups” secret cabinet). We believe LEGO’s come are as close as there is to an “essential toy” for creativity, STEAM learning, solo-play, and collaborate play as there is. Check out the full LEGO collection on LEGO’s Amazon Store.

For 1.5 years old to late toddler

LEGO DUPLO Classic Brick Box — First Set with Storage Box

Stimulate your toddler’s creative play, inventiveness, and troubleshooting with LEGO Duplos. Duplos are slightly larger than regular LEGOs, making them better for little hands while supplying the same infinite building possibilities as traditional LEGO blocks. For the complete line of Duplos, check out the LEGO Duplo store on Amazon.

LEGO DUPLO Classic Brick Box First Set with Storage Box — 10913

For 1 year old to early toddlers

Mega Bloks' 150-piece Let's Get Learning! set

Mega Bloks’ 150-piece Let’s Get Learning! set

The ultra-popular Mega Bloks are similar to LEGO Duplos but bigger and click together more easily, good for tiny fingers still developing coordination.

The Best Magnetic Tile Starter Sets

Magnetic building shapes for creative toddlers for ages 3+ — Magna-Tiles & PicassoTiles

Magna-Tiles Metropolis Set (110 pieces)

Considered the original magnetic building toy, Magna Tiles encourages dramatic play while shaping fine motor skills. As a foundational STEAM learning toy, magnetic tiles spark exploration, visualization, and creation of 2D geometric shapes and 3D objects — buildings, vehicles, animals, characters, and beyond. Great for 3-year-olds and up. Explore the complete line at The Magna-Tiles Shop on Amazon.

Magna-Tiles Metropolis 110-piece set

Alternative to Magna-Tiles

PicassoTiles — kids magnetic blocks similar to Magna-Tiles


Less expensive than Magna-Tiles while maintaining solid build quality and versatility — PicassoTiles are a solid alternative at a good value. Visit the PicassoTiles Amazon Store for more magnet block building sets — like sets with a ferris wheel builder, educational alphabet animal and number graphics, vehicle builders, and a playful castle click-in stacking block playboards.

The Best Classic, Must-Have Building Sets for Kids

Essential Kids building toys from your (and your parent's) past!
PicassoTiles Bristle Shape 3D Building Blocks

PicassoTiles — The Best Bristle Blocks

Bristle building blocks are used worldwide in preschools, pre-K, and by parents for developing dexterity, creativity, and team-building. We’re big fans of of the PicassoTiles brand in general and particularly like their Bristle Shape 3D Building Blocks Tiles Construction Toy Set (a mouthful, yes). This set is for ages 3 and up and includes 120 interconnecting pieces. Visit PicassoTiles Bristle Shape Store on Amazon for more options.

Alternative to PicassoTiles

Battat’s 112-piece Basic Builder Set. Battat is considered the original Bristle Blocks brand — view their complete line on the Bristle Blocks Store on Amazon.

Lincoln Logs — The Best Log Builders

High-quality maple wood little blocks for cabin building for ages 3+. Invented in 1916, Lincoln Logs are a timeless classic. A STEM/STEAM learning toy long before the acronym was coined. Check out their 100th Anniversary Tin, featuring 111 real-wood pieces. For more Lincoln Log sets, visit the Lincoln Logs Store on Amazon.

Lincoln Logs 100th Anniversary Tin — one of the original STEAM toys

The Best Wood Blocks — Melissa & Doug 100-piece Wood Blocks Set

The Best Wood Blocks — Melissa & Doug 100-piece Wood Blocks Set

The ultimate screen-time-freeing, hands-on toy for younger toddlers, the Melissa & Doug wooden building blocks set includes 100 blocks in nine shapes and four colors. The fundamental build toy: simple, limitless play combinations, natural material. Designed for ages 2 to 8 years.

The Best Giant Building Blocks for Kids

Kids ages 2 and up can build big with cardboard play bricks and LEGO-like blocks
Melissa & Doug Jumbo Cardboard Blocks

Melissa & Doug Jumbo Cardboard Blocks

For ages 2 and up, these large 40 play blocks are made of extra-thick cardboard, each supports up to 150 pounds. We’ve been longtime fans of the Melissa & Doug brand — they’re trusted by more than 60 million families and have been creating high-quality learning toys for over 30 years.

Kids Adventure Jumbo Blocks – 96 pieces

For kids 3 years old and up. We like how they easily interlock, their soft rounded edges for safety, and how kids can use them both inside and outdoors. Made in the USA.

Kids Adventure Jumbo Blocks - 96 pieces