With four kids, we have cycled through our fair share of building toys. We’ve had it all: magnetic, wooden, gears, plastic and even our own childhood favorites. It seems as though every Christmas or birthday there’s a new set that is promised to be the kids new favorite toy. And then a week goes by and the toy gets shoved in the closet and never returns. I’m going to introduce you to our very favorite sets – the bins that get pulled out of the closet over and over again.
There is nothing new about Legos. I grew up in a house where Legos were played with often, long before the cool intricate sets you see today. We had a bin of blue, black and gray Legos and they were always being used to build something amazing. Now, with my own children showing interest, we’ve gathered quite the collection. Early on, I bought education sets from Amazon. They have basic sets with a lot of pieces which gives a lot of creative flexibility. It helped us collect a lot of pieces at a fraction of the cost of purchasing the detailed sets.
What I love: They never get old. You can build and rebuild and come up with something new everything single time. Its fosters a mechanical side in kids that rarely is pushed otherwise. It spans interest from our three-year-old to adults. All levels can play together around a single bin.
What I dislike: They’re pricey but you’ll have them forever. They also end up everywhere in the house and I’ve stepped on more than a few.
This might be a new product for some of you but they are amazing. We’ve had several magnetic building sets and nothing compares to Magformers. They’re very easy to build with and although it’s not technical building like Legos, we’ve still seen great creations. The favorite thing to build is the ball. It’s gets tossed back and forth until it breaks. It gets dropped off the stairs getting higher and higher until the catcher breaks it. Everyone always wants possession of the ball!
What I love: The connection of the magnets is really strong, which allows kids to throw the ball! It’s easy for young kids to build and play with.
What I dislike: They’re expensive but like Legos, you buy it once and keep it in the family. It takes a couple sets, or the huge set we got, to build the fun things.
3. CITI BLOCS
These were a Costco purchase (Target and Amazon carry them as well) many years ago and I’m amazed at all the things built with them. It’s the most basic of basic building; wooden rectangles. I’ve seen them a lot at children’s museum because they’re pretty much indestructible. My toddlers use them as instruments – pounding the pieces together. The older kids build roads, towers and houses. And of course they’re used as weapons of war.
What I love: There’s no little pieces to manage. They’re toddler friendly which is more than I can say for the Legos! And they’re affordable and you can buy them in different colors.
What I dislike: I wish they were a little thicker so they could stand up like dominoes a little better. They require a little more imagination.
4. LITTLE TIKES WAFFLE BLOCKS
I’m not even sure this version is made any more (they make a really large waffle block for sale now) but I picked these up at a yard sale when our first was just a baby. We had these sitting next to the Duplo building blocks in the playroom and the Duplos were never used. These however were pulled out with all four of our children. They’re definitely geared towards younger kids and they are great for little hands. The blocks fit together to make a cube. (which ultimately will be thrown – I warned you!)
What I love: They’re easy enough for young kids to put together. It’s not that it requires a lot of creativity, but it’s helping the fine motor skills.
What I dislike: They are harder to take apart – the cubes have to be dismantled by someone older. They discontinued this size!
I’ve shared my favorite sets – what’s on your favorite building set list?
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