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Best Blocks for Babies and Toddlers
Updated on
January 4, 2024

Best Blocks for Babies and Toddlers

By Babylist Team
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Best Blocks for Babies and Toddlers.
Here are our favorite block sets in all kinds of shapes and sizes.Best Blocks for Babies and Toddlers

Blocks may seem like simple toys, but their open-ended nature means they’re great at entertaining babies, toddlers and even older children.

As a baby, your wee one will bang the blocks together and chuckle with glee when they knock down the tower you built (this never gets old!). Once they’re a toddler, they’ll use problem-solving skills to figure out how to stack and balance blocks and, later, play architect and builder of their own unique vision.

The Benefits of Playing with Blocks

Blocks are not only fun to play with, but they’re also super beneficial for the development of both babies and toddlers. According to the National Association for the Education of Young Children (NAEYC), blocks provide development opportunities in all areas. This includes:

  • Fine and gross motor skills. From grasping to positioning in a stack, playing with building blocks requires all motor systems (both fine and gross motor skills).
  • Spatial awareness. Stacking blocks and building towers helps develop this perceptual motor skill, which is learning about how objects exist in space in relation to our own bodies.
  • Problem solving. Each time your little one’s tower falls down provides them with a new opportunity to figure out different ways to build another one.
  • Social-emotional skills. When playing along with other children, blocks can promote social-emotional skills by encouraging cooperation, turn-taking and developing friendships.
  • Imagination and creativity. Babies and toddlers love to play, and blocks are the perfect toy for an endless source of fun and possibilities.
  • Self-esteem and self-efficacy. Seeing your hard work pay off feels good! Feeling proud of their creations contributes to building self-efficacy (which is a measure of how capable people feel in their ability to do things and achieve their goals) which in turn boosts their self-esteem.

What to Look for When Shopping for Blocks

When picking out blocks, you’ll want to pay close attention to the age recommendations. This ensures the pieces are appropriately sized for your baby or toddler to prevent any choking hazards.

Another tip to keep in mind is that less really is more–as with any kind of toy, having too many things out at once can be overwhelming for little ones and actually counterproductive in encouraging play. Start with smaller sets, and as they get older you can build on to your block collection or simply put more out for them to play with.

It’s also a good idea to look for open-ended block sets as opposed to a set with a specific theme or configuration. This offers your baby or toddler truly endless ways to play.

Let the tabletop construction begin with these brain-boosting kits! Here are our favorite blocks for babies and toddlers.

Best Sensory Blocks

Right around one year old is when most babies get really interested in trying to stack objects and have a good enough grasp to handle their first set of wooden blocks. This six-block starter set features bright colors and fun extras to capture your little one’s attention—each block has a push button, kaleidoscope, jingle bell or other surprise at the center. And starting off with a smaller set means your tiny builder has just enough blocks to build shorter towers that won’t hurt toes if the blocks happen to fall on them.

Additional Specs
Child Guidelines Ages 12 mos+
Includes 6 blocks

Best Blocks for Babies

Babies will love these squeezable, stackable and super soft building blocks. They’re the perfect size for little hands that are still working on mastering grasping. Plus these blocks are big enough for younger builders to coordinate stacking.

Additional Specs
Child Guidelines Ages 0 mos+
Includes 12 blocks

Best Blocks for Toddlers

With interlocking pieces, diverse shapes and classic, bright colors, this block set is an all-time favorite among toddlers and parents alike. Have your little one build their own creation from scratch, or look up diagrams online for fun builds like trains, robots and giraffes.

Additional Specs
Child Guidelines Ages 12 mos+
Includes 80 blocks

Best Blocks That'll Grow With Them

The child development experts at Lovevery have done it again, this time with a super-versatile block set. If you’re a fan of Lovevery’s The Play Gym and The Play Kit, then you’ll definitely need to add these blocks to your child’s collection. With 20+ stage-based activities to promote imagination and fine motor skills, this set grows alongside your little one to fit whatever stage they’re at.

Additional Specs
Child Guidelines Ages 18 mos+
Includes 70 blocks

Best Soft Blocks

If you’re looking for blocks that are safe for your teething baby, this set is 100% non-toxic, squishy and a little bit squeaky, bringing your baby some serious teething fun. And when your kiddo gets older, they can stack the blocks and learn numbers and animals from the decorated sides.

Additional Specs
Child Guidelines Ages 6 mos+
Includes 10 blocks

Best Colorful Basics Block Set

Your future engineer is going to need a lot of blocks to build skyscrapers, bridges and cars. Don’t worry, this set comes with 100 blocks in a variety of shapes so kiddo can get to work.

Additional Specs
Child Guidelines Ages 12+ mos
Includes 100 blocks

Best Eco-Friendly Blocks

These toddler stacking blocks are made of eco-friendly plastic and are great for building. They’re lightweight, durable and easy for little hands to grip. The 18-piece set includes shapes for building castles, towers and whatever else their imagination dreams up. Green Toys uses 100% recycled plastic—primarily from milk jugs—making these a safe, eco-friendly block option.

Additional Specs
Child Guidelines Ages 12 mos+
Includes 100 blocks

Best Modern Blocks

Kids love that the magnets in these blocks make their creations stick together (no knocking these over!), while parents appreciate the gorgeous hues (made from non-toxic, water-based lacquers; and there are several to choose from) and the eco-friendly, socially conscious mission Tegu upholds. Because the blocks come in both slim and chunky shapes, your child can craft any number of masterpieces you’ll be happy to display.

Additional Specs
Child Guidelines Ages 12 mos+
Includes 42 blocks

Best Magnetic Block

These magnetic tiles will be your toddler’s next favorite thing. The translucent colorful tiles can make flat shapes or build 3D structures; the options are endless. They’re also great for holding up to a window or playing with on a light table for a fun stained glass effect. Magna-Tiles also makes expansion packs to add safari animals and even dinosaurs to your collection!

Additional Specs
Child Guidelines Ages 3 yrs+
Includes 32 blocks

Best Heirloom Blocks

If your playroom aesthetic is more on the neutral side, there are some beautiful natural-wood options for blocks. These stunning artist-designed blocks are made from solid beech wood and feature letters and numbers in playful fonts as well as delicate nature images, proving that toys can be fun, educational and beautiful.

Additional Specs
Child Guidelines Ages 18 mos+
Includes 27 blocks

Best Blocks For Language Learners

Blocks don’t just teach stacking skills—some of them also teach language! And while most basic sets will have English letters on the sides to kick off kiddo’s early reading skills, this set goes beyond a single language. Many experts agree that teaching your baby or toddler sign language can greatly benefit their communication skills, and if you’ve gotten your little one started on some basic baby signs, these American Sign Language blocks are a great next step for learning to fingerspell the ASL alphabet. Each of the blocks has five sides of written letters and one side with the corresponding letter’s sign.

In addition, children who learn a second language early on can have better development social skills and better cultural sensitivity (not to mention a head start on additional language skills). To help them get started, Uncle Goose also has block sets with lots of other languages, from Arabic to Danish to Korean to Cherokee.

Additional Specs
Child Guidelines Ages 2 yrs+
Includes 28 blocks

On-the-Go Blocks

Blocks aren’t well known for being portable toys; they’re bulky and can get pretty heavy once you have a decent-sized set. But thanks to the included wagon in this set, your kiddo can take their stacking and building ventures wherever these little wheels will go. The other benefit of this wagon: easy storage! No need to designate a special basket or shelf for all these blocks, just pop them right into the wagon to keep them out of the way of unsuspecting feet (ouch).

Additional Specs
Child Guidelines Ages 12 mos+
Includes 20 blocks & 1 wagon
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