Updated: May 9, 2015

Building Block Reviews:

Want your kids to build and use their creativity? How about building blocks? Building block sets are great and definitely worth the investment if you have younger kids. Stay away from Legos for as long as you can since their sets are $10 to $150 and once they are built kids typically get bored of them. Wooden or plastic building blocks are perfect for the little ones in your house. Block sets can be given as a gift to those that are only 1 year old. The blocks build on concepts like shapes, colors, sizes, and more. Something is in our genes when it comes to building stuff. Kids are the same across the world when it comes to building things with blocks. It allows them to bring their own ideas to the table and create things that their minds eye sees. There are dozens of quality block sets on the market and we have tried to include as many as possible in our reviews down below. We get into prices, brands, where to buy, and what other parents are saying about the product. Expect to spend at least $10, but nothing more than $60 for a durable, set of blocks.


Choosing Building Block Sets - What material are you looking for in blocks? Wood, plastic, cardboard? Do you want different shapes and sizes to get your kids started? One of the first sets parents considers for their littlest ones is the Mega Bloks Big Building Bag, 80-Piece (Classic) which sells for about $15. You get the primary classic color scheme designed for kids 1 years old and up. Great way to start the spatial awareness when it comes to building anything and the blocks are large enough and light enough for any child to maneuver. Next up are the Melissa & Doug Deluxe Jumbo Cardboard Blocks (40 pc) which sell for $25 and allow for larger building structures but still in a safe manner as they are made with cardboard. The building combinations with 40 pieces are nearly endless. The blocks are large enough you can build life size structures. Many parents asked us for something related to architectural building and the one set that stands out amongst them all is the Structures 200 Plank Set at $45. Designed for those 7 and older, the wooden planks can be stacked to form monuments, buildings, etc. Kids will learn balance, building design, and proportion. What we like is the 24 page idea booklet that comes with the product. Kids can follow along and build amazing structures. The one negative on this product is that some parents mention that their younger kids get a little frustrated with the balancing of the planks. It's not easy, but it will build patience and overall design techniques that will be great when your kids use other building materials (like Legos). Reviews - There are 3 great websites for finding high quality reviews on almost all the available products in building blocks. We found Toysrus.com, Amazon.com and Walmart.com offer 100's of owner comments and feedback giving you all the information you need to make an informed buying decision. You can browse the best selling building block sets here.

Best Building Blocks:

RECOMMENDED - The #1 seller everywhere you look is the Melissa & Doug 60-Piece Standard Unit Blocks for $50. These classic wooden blocks are what kids have played with for decades. As a parent, you want a toy that incorporates independent thinking, creativity, organizational skills, spatial concepts, and even a little math. That is what the 60 piece block set will give your child. The set includes various shapes and sizes to the wood blocks so your child will learn many skills while building with the blocks. Shapes include rectangles, triangles, circles, cylinders, columns, and arches. The size is perfect for little hands and fingers to handle. The wood box the blocks come in is ideal since you can use it as a base to build towers or walls. We have seen these sets in homes, daycare centers, preschools, and even at our childrens kindergarten classes. Teachers and parents can't say enough about this set and we completely agree that the block set is well worth the money. Comments posted online include 'every child should have these' and 'great starter block set for kids'. The best part is that the blocks are very durable and will last for generations of use. Melissa and Doug also have accessory blocks and sets that you can purchase to add to your childs creation. Many kids choose to build towns with the blocks - so adding people and wooden vehicles is only natural.


Jumbo Cardboard Blocks:

RECOMMENDED - We found this set years ago while on vacation. The kids were playing in the Kids Club at a resort and they couldn't get enough of the Melissa & Doug Deluxe Jumbo Cardboard Blocks (40 pc). When we came home I instantly went online to find this product. They are really fun for those ages 2 to 6. The one drawback is that you will have to put together the cardboard blocks - there is some assembly required. Doesn't take that long and once together the blocks will hold up really well. The 40 pieces allow your child to build fairly large structures - certainly ones that are taller than them. My kids love building stuff and then watching it crumble to the ground. The blocks are lightweight so no risk of injuries. The cardboard is heavy grade (someone described them as what you would find a pizza box made with) - your small child can literally stand or sit on the blocks. While the wooden blocks are great, I have found that smaller children don't mind when the cardboard blocks fall over (it's almost like part of the game), but when they build with wooden blocks it's not so fun when they come down on accident. Parental comments posted online include 'great for creative play' and 'terrific block set'. A few parents even mention buying a 2nd set of 40 blocks since they found that the original 40 just wasn't enough.