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Best Building & Construction Toys of 2023

Updated
13 kid-approved building sets for developing critical thinking.

Building and constructing toys help establish early learning, engineering, logic, and spatial skills. They’re an excellent gift for kids!

But as moms, we want our kids to be safe while they play, so it’s essential to look for age-appropriate building toys for our little ones.

After much research, we’ve found a wide range of building toy sets that will appeal to kids of all ages. We chose toys that are durable, thoroughly tested, and made of safe materials. If you’re looking for more than just another toy to add to the shelf, check out our list of the 13 best building toys for kids.

Our Top Picks

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Image
Model
Product Comparison Table
Features

Product Image of the Mega Bloks Big Building Bag
Best Building Blocks
Mega Bloks
  • 80 big, colorful building blocks
  • Award-winning
  • Easy storage
Product Image of the Fat Brain Toys Tobbles Neo
Best for Babies
Fat Brain Toys
  • Bright colors, grippable textures
  • Durable ABS plastic
  • Fully safety tested
Product Image of the RAINBOW TOYFROG Straw Constructor STEM Building Toys 300 pcs Interlocking...
Best for Older Children
Rainbow Toyfrog Straws
  • 300 pieces straws and connectors
  • BPA free, non-toxic materials
  • Flexible, interlocking system
Product Image of the Mag-Genius Award Winning building Tiles Clear Colors 3D Brain Building Blocks...
Best Tile Building Toy
Mag-Genius Tiles
  • Inspires creativity
  • Aids in brain development
  • 187 piece set with 2 car bases
Product Image of the Melissa & Doug Wooden Building Set - 100 Blocks in 4 Colors and 9 Shapes
Best Wooden Blocks
Melissa and Doug
  • 100 durable wooden blocks
  • Durable and safe construction
  • Smooth painted finish
Product Image of the Fisher-Price Rock-a-Stack
Best Stacking Toy
Fisher-Price Stack
  • 5 colorful rings
  • Shiny reflective surface
  • Rocker base
Product Image of the cossy 56PCS Magnetic Blocks, 1 inch Magnetic Cubes for Kids, Building Blocks for...
Best Engineering Toy
Cossy Magnetic Blocks
  • 120 sturdy building blocks
  • Strong magnetic force
  • Non-toxic
Product Image of the Giant Marble Run Toy Track Super Set Game I MagicJourney 230 Piece Marble Maze...
Best Maze for Family
MagicJourney Giant
  • Colorful funnel & ladder glides
  • Sparks creativity
  • Encourage educational STEM learning
Product Image of the Foam Building Blocks, Building Toy for Girls and Boys, Ideal Blocks Construction...
Best Foam Builder
Foam Building Blocks
  • 52 pcs colored foam blocks
  • Non-toxic, hypoallergenic materials
  • Pose no choking hazard
Product Image of the Magna-Tiles 100-Piece Clear Colors Set, The Original Magnetic Building Tiles For...
Best Magnetic Toy
Magnetic Building Blocks
  • 3D magnetic building sets
  • Built to last for years
  • Ultrasonic welded


The Best Building Toys of 2023

Whether you’re looking for the best wooden, plastic, magnetic, or other building toys for your kids, we have something for you.

Here are our favorite building and construction toys for kids.

1. Mega Bloks Big Building Bag

Best Building Blocks

This Mega Bloks bag comes with 80 blocks and offers hours of imaginative and creative play. It’s compatible with all other sets from this brand and is convenient to store away in the included tote.

These building blocks hold appeal for boys and girls from the age of 12 months and continue to do so well into childhood. They are BPA- and PVC-free, so you can worry less about your child being exposed to toxic chemicals when playing with these blocks.


2. Fat Brain Toys Tobbles Neo

Great Design for Babies

This clever set allows for easy cleaning and won’t take up much space on your toy shelf. The six toys stack, wobble, and tilt on the base, making playtime fun and educational for babies 6 months and older.

Great for building hand-eye coordination, these toys are fun and brightly colored. They are also made from non-toxic and child-safe materials.


3. Straw Constructor Toys

Interlocking Inspiration for Older Children

This sophisticated play set includes 300 pieces. It’s crafted without BPA and inspires creativity and 3D thinking. The flexible straws pop securely into connectors, allowing a wide range of shapes and builds.

These straw connectors are always a fun option for toddlers over the age of 3, but our older kids in elementary school also love making big, adventurous builds with these. This straw set will help engage critical thinking skills and remain challenging for several years.


4. Mag-Genius Tiles

Tile Building Madness

These magnetic building tiles are suitable for children ages 3 years and older. The set comes with 187 pieces and a sturdy storage bin.

The pieces can be used alongside other magnetic building toys. The magnets are fully contained within these durable tiles. It’s a great starter set or collection to add to existing building magnets.


5. Melissa and Doug Wooden Blocks

Classic Wooden Building Blocks

A long-time favorite, these wooden building blocks introduce shapes, colors, and early-building skills. Suitable for preschoolers aged 3 and up, this set of 100 blocks is a great educational toy that will provide hours of entertainment.

The pieces are durable yet lightweight and safe to play with. They have rounded edges and a smooth, painted surface that resists splintering. These blocks aren’t recommended for babies or younger toddlers, as some are quite small.

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6. Fisher-Price Rock-a-Stack

Best Stacking Toy for Babies

This classic stacking toy is the perfect introduction to building toys. It’s a great way to learn about size and proportions while exploring color and hand-eye coordination.

The lightweight rings are easy for babies to grasp and handle. A fun way to teach and expand processing skills, these are suitable for babies 6 months and older.


7. Cossy Magnetic Cubes

Engineering for Toddlers

The Cossy engineering cubes come with 56 rainbow-colored pieces. These square blocks encourage your child’s exploration and cultivation of new skills. They are low-frustration toys, as the magnets stick together. This makes it harder for your little one’s hard-built towers to fall down.

This set is suitable for children ages 3 and up.

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8. MagicJourney Giant Marble Run Track

Marble Maze for Family Fun

A great STEM-building activity, this jumbo set comes with 176 colored track pieces, 24 see-through tubes, and 30 marbles. Help nurture your child’s problem-solving, reasoning, and logic skills while sparking creativity and fun.

An instruction booklet is included, with details of four different combinations, from easy to very hard. Great for kids 6 and up, this marble run is a fantastic option for family bonding.

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9. Foam Building Blocks

Fun Foam Builder for Babies

With 52 pieces in different shapes and colors, this non-toxic foam block set will keep your child occupied for hours. The blocks are even safe for use in the bathtub and come with a heavy-duty storage bag.

Great for stacking, these blocks are waterproof and easy to clean. They’re an excellent choice for kids 6 months and older. A 100% satisfaction guarantee is included.


10. Magnetic Building Blocks

Best Magnetic Building Toys

These brightly-colored tiles allow for versatile play for children 3 years and older. Different shapes enable your child to explore geometry in their 3D constructions.

The blocks are made from non-toxic and high-quality ABS plastic with smooth edges. However, they contain magnets, so they should be used with supervision for younger children. This set comes with a 30-day satisfaction guarantee and a defective-product warranty.


11. Boon Building Bath Pipes

Great Choice for Bathtime Building

These Boon Building toys contain five different-shaped pipes and are BPA- and PVC-free. Equipped with suction cups, it’s a great way to expand on logic skills during bathtime.

These pipes can be used alone or slotted together to create fun and interactive waterways. They are suitable for children ages 12 months and up.

Wash before initial use and then as needed with warm, soapy water. Rinse with fresh water and allow to air dry.


12. Melissa and Doug ABC Blocks

A Blast From the Past

These ABC wooden blocks are a classic choice for the playroom and will transport many of us back to our childhood. They are textured and colored, perfect for a child exploring tactile and sensory skills.

This set, for ages 2 and over, includes numbers, letters, and pictures. The letters are great for young children just learning their alphabet and older children beginning to spell. Blocks are conveniently stored in a wheeled tray, adding another element of fun.


13. Brain Flakes Interlocking Building Blocks

Best Disc Building Toys

Complete with a storage container, this 500-piece building set is great for traveling and encouraging non-traditional building skills. These pieces are on the small side at just over an inch high, so they are not suitable for young children. We recommend them for children age 3 and up who no longer put toys in their mouths.

Brain Flakes building blocks are durable discs that snap securely together and can withstand even rough play. Made from non-toxic materials, they are phthalates-, PVC-, paraben-, lead- and BPA-free and come with a 90-day manufacturer guarantee.

Benefits of Building Toys

Open-ended toys, like building blocks, help encourage your child to develop problem-solving and fine-motor skills (1). And the best building toys should encourage your child’s development. Here are some reasons to purchase building blocks and building toys for your child to play with.

Motor Skills

Picking blocks up, taking blocks apart, and putting them back together all build finger dexterity. These actions help your child finesse both fine and gross motor skills.

Problem-Solving

Building with blocks can be frustrating — in a good way. Your child will quickly learn their structures will tip over if they aren’t balanced. They’ll learn what fits where and then experiment with how to correct those problems.

Social and Language Skills

Building toys usually inspire collaborative play, which encourages communication skills and the need for language (2).

Many other skills can also be strengthened through the use of building toys and blocks. Children can have fun while also learning. Using building toys is a great way to make it happen (3).

How to Choose Building Toys

When we’re shopping for the best building and construction toys, these are some of the criteria we search for.

Sturdy

Your building blocks will likely be dumped out of boxes, thrown, and stepped on — usually by mom or dad in bare feet. Make sure you choose a building toy that won’t break easily. Frequently inspect your building toys to ensure none are damaged or have sharp edges.

Material

There are great options made of plastic or wood. Check the product information and make sure the paint and materials are safe for children to touch or even chew on (4).

Recognition

Look for pediatrician-approved, organization-recognized, and award-winning products. This can help point you in the right direction for high-quality toys that deliver.


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Headshot of Jennifer Schlette, MSN, RN

Reviewed by

Jennifer Schlette, MSN, RN

Jennifer Schlette MSN, RN, is a pediatric intensive care nurse at Children's Hospital of New York for the past 14 years. Jennifer also has extensive experience teaching Maternity and Obstetric Nursing, as well as Pediatrics Nursing.