Best Blocks For Toddlers – Promote Imaginative Play and Early Math Skills

Kids' Gear

Best blocks for toddlers

They are one of the simplest, and quite possibly, one of the oldest children’s toys still around today—a set of building blocks. We played with them. You most likely played with them. Your parents probably did, too. 

There are many reasons why they've been able to stand the test of time, and even more reasons why you should pass the torch down to your next of kin.

Not only do they help develop motor skills, they also give young minds some exercise in physics and gravity, helping them become aware of the world around them.

Building blocks can also be part of a group effort, enabling your child to socialize with her peers and also with adults. They can accomplish a planned goal and take pride in creating something together.

In general, there are no small parts to worry about and no sharp edges. Safety is easily one of this toy’s best attributes. Be on the lookout for the right materials, such as smooth, finished wood,  softened plastics, and cardboard. 

To help you pick out the best set for your child, we’ve compiled a list of the best blocks for toddlers. Don’t worry, you can thank us later!

Before we reveal our top picks, check out the table below for a quick look at your best options.

Quick comparison: Best blocks for toddlers

Blocks 

Features we love

Rating

Buy it now

Melissa & Doug Wooden Building Blocks Set

- Set comes with 100 blocks
- Four different colors, nine shapes
- Great bang for your buck

- Teaches early math
concepts and creativity​

Mega Bloks 80-Piece Big Building Bag

- Compatible with other
Mega Blocks sets
- Comes with 80 pieces
- Bag included for easy
storage and transport
- Comes with special shapes

Melissa & Doug Deluxe 10-Piece Alphabet Nesting and Stacking Blocks

- Sturdy construction
- Teaches the alphabet,
colors, and animals
- Easy to store
- Nesting and stacking help
teach  problem-solving skills

Battat Bristle Blocks

- Available in different size sets
- Interlocking bristles means blocks stock together at any angle
- Compatible with other
Battat block products
- Comes with wheels, so kids
can set their creations in motion

Melissa & Doug Jumbo Extra-Thick Cardboard Building Blocks

- Set comes with 40 blocks
- Super lightweight, ideal for kids
- Made of extra-thick cardboard
- Sturdy and withstand lots of use

For the full story on our favorites, check out our in-depth reviews below.

Melissa & Doug Wooden Building Blocks Set

First on our list is this Melissa & Doug set.

Made of wood and finished with four different colors and nine shapes, they are inviting and pleasant to look at when you have them on display. There are 100 included, so you and the kids will have endless possibilities when play time rolls around.

Kid’s building blocks like these are perfect for quality bonding time, and you won't have to worry about any large messes or complicated set-up.

And like any building blocks, they teach and develop early math skills for the younger kids, and work the creative muscles of older ones. Build towers for hours!

You're getting a tremendous value for this set. The blocks themselves are durable but also lightweight, creating a nice balance of form and function.

Another perk is the fact that, unlike other brands, Melissa & Doug have managed to create a set of blocks with no paint smells.

We also love how you can take them on the go! A convenient carrying case is included, so taking them over to grandparents' house is easy as pie.

While toddlers will most likely get the most enjoyment out of these, the recommended age of use is 36 months to eight years. But that also doesn’t mean that adults can’t enjoy toy blocks again too!

Pros

  • Lightweight
  • Durable
  • Safe for young children
  • Teach helpful, basic skills
  • No off-putting chemical aromas

Cons

  • Blocks have a tendency to be uneven, making them harder to place properly

We love these blocks because...

The carrying case is an efficient and attractive option for transport and storage. We love that you can pack these up and take them on vacation, to a relative's house, or just about anywhere!


Mega Bloks 80-Piece Big Building Bag

Next up is the Mega Bloks set, which comes with 80 blocks!

Instead of wood, these are made of plastic, which ensures there will be no potential jagged edges or splinters. They're larger in size compared with the wooden ones, but this makes them easier to handle for toddlers, as the grooves in their design allow for safe use.

All 80 pieces fit inside the wonderfully spacious and lightweight carrying bag.

You can choose from three different styles of bags and blocks including blue, pink, as well as light blue.

This is a very economical set of blocks—a great option for your toddler and your wallet! And of course, blocks help little kids get a grasp of math skills, not to mention sparking imagination and encouraging hands-on exploration.

The recommended age for these blocks is one to five.

Pros

  • Low price
  • A choice of colors
  • Plastic material
  • Built with toddlers specifically in mind

Cons

  • Size of the blocks can make them difficult to connect

We love these blocks because...

The value you get from this brand is unbeatable. A total of 80 pieces, a high-quality, durable bag, and your offspring’s appreciation, for a bargain price.


Melissa & Doug Deluxe 10-Piece Alphabet Nesting and Stacking Blocks

These blocks by Melissa & Doug are a little bit different from the last two. Building blocks for toddlers can be generally similar in their design, but this product is more unconventional.

These nesting and stacking blocks are made of cardboard instead of wood or plastic, and they feature letters, numbers and kid-friendly animal illustrations, so your little one will become an expert in many different fields!

They have so many benefits, from helping develop hand-eye coordination and fine motor and problem-solving skills to promoting cooperative and independent play, this is a great set of blocks for any toddler's toy repertoire.  

Although this set only has 10 blocks, they have proven capable of maintaining a toddler's attention span quite well, and beyond that, the cardboard is surprisingly durable. In short, this set is truly unique, and kids love it.

The storage container is compact and lightweight, so you can take these on the go, and the recommended age for these blocks is 24 months to 4 years.

Pros

  • Great value for money
  • Bright, eclectic colors
  • Unique presentation

Cons

  • Cardboard isn’t as durable as wood or plastic
  • Not as much variety as other brands

We love these blocks because...

They are amazingly compact. The “nesting” design allows each block to stack inside one another, which is perfect for storage, so you won't have to worry about them taking up lots of space.


Battat Bristle Blocks

Battat is a trusted name in toys that has been in the business for over a century. When you buy Battat, you know you're getting a quality product that, as the company says, is either "didactic or nurturing."  

These building blocks are available in various size sets: 50, 54, 56, 85, 112, and 113. 

As the name suggests, these blocks have a special design to them, utilizing tiny bristles to help kids connect them to one another. These interlocking bristles allow for the blocks to stick together at any angle, which can reduce a child's frustration.

Another cool feature is the inclusion of wheels, so kids can build more than just buildings or towers. They'll love being able to add motion to their creations. The bigger the set, the more wheels.

Bristle blocks allow for creative freedom, and the comfort of knowing they will all stick together! They're sturdy, versatile, and parent-friendly!

The recommended age is 24 months to 15 years.

Pros

  • Bristles give blocks staying power
  • Different size sets available
  • Include wheels
  • Durable

Cons

  • Smaller pieces may not be as safe

We love these blocks because...

We keep saying it, but the bristles are simply the best! No other kind of block offers more safety and security.


Melissa & Doug Jumbo Extra-Thick Cardboard Building Blocks

Here is a totally fun set of Melissa & Doug blocks made of extra-thick cardboard. And what makes this version stand out from the rest is their size.

These jumbo blocks are ideal for kids as far as safety and accessibility. The set includes 40 lightweight blocks in three different sizes. They come in bright colors and are, therefore, visually appealing, not to mention stimulating!

Blues, reds and yellows add a nice touch to these terrific pieces. The cardboard is surprisingly sturdy, and the red blocks can hold up to 150 lb! Though they have to be assembled, the set comes with step-by-step instructions, and these can be wiped clean when dirty.

These are a staple in many preschools because of their simplicity, size and weight. Just make sure you have enough space in your home to house these special blocks.

We love them because they encourage hours upon hours of imaginative play, as they allow kids to build life-like structures—bridges, forts, walls, chairs, you name it! They also develop teamwork and motor skills. 

The recommended age is 24 months up to 5 years.

Pros

  • Lightweight
  • From a trusted brand
  • Surprisingly sturdy

Cons

  • No carrying/storage case

We love these blocks because...

They are easily stacked due to their size. Any kid who uses them will enjoy being able to flex her little architect muscles by building life-size structures. Fun times are guaranteed!


There's no shortage of great options for toddlers out there, from trains and rocking toys to scooters and sensory toys, all with their own advantages and benefits.

But blocks are in a class of their own, offering different lessons and experiences to little ones. Those featured on our list ​are some of the best blocks for toddlers on the market.

If you’re looking for something traditional or something more unconventional, this list offers some perfect options.

Whichever you prefer, rest assured knowing that blocks are a great learning toy for your child, no matter which set ultimately decide on.

Plastic, cardboard, nesting, interlocking—no matter which one you choose, you can be confident that you have picked up a worthwhile and exciting toy for your kids.

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