The 9 Best Building Toys and Blocks of 2020

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Our Top Picks

Best Overall: Lego City Advent Calendar at Amazon

"Gives special little figures and pieces, absolute gold to any Lego fan."

Best Budget: Lego Duplo All-in-One-Box-of-Fun Building Kit at Amazon

"Similar to Legos but larger and easier to work with."

Best Blocks: CitiBlocs 100-Piece Cool-Colored Building Blocks at Amazon

"Comes with 100 pieces, a good starting point for kids of any age."

Best Wooden: Melissa & Doug Solid-Wood Building Blocks at Amazon

"Great for babies to stack and knock down."

Best for 3-Year-Olds: Kaleido Gears at Walmart

"Comes with connectors and various colored gears."

Best for 4-Year-Olds: Crazy Forts at Amazon

"Can provide support for the bedsheets and blankets of a fort."

Best for 7-Year-Olds: K'Nex 3-in-1 Classic Amusement Park Building Set at Amazon

"Kind of like modern-day tinker toys."

Best Alphabet Blocks: Imagination Generation Alphabet and Number Blocks at Amazon

"The addition of letters and numbers gives added play and learning value."

Best Logs: Lincoln Logs at Amazon

"May be old-fashioned but they still offer great building fun."

Our Top Picks

Best Overall: Lego City Advent Calendar


Lego is probably the most popular of all building toys. And Lego City is a good entry point into the world of Legos. The everyday objects and places of Lego City (think auto garage, cement mixer, camper, etc.) can mingle with other playsets. And with some imagination they can integrate into other types Lego sets like Indiana Jones or even Star Wars.

The pictured Lego City Advent Calendar gives special little figures and pieces, absolute gold to any Lego fan. Also, the Lego City sets’ age ranges are usually around 5-12, while some of the more complicated Star Wars sets might start at age 7. Kids at the younger end of these age range may need adult help in putting together the sets.

Best Budget: Lego Duplo All-in-One-Box-of-Fun Building Kit


Duplo Blocks are made by Lego. Similar to Legos but larger and easier to work with, the blocks are a good introduction to Lego building toys. Many Lego sets such as Lego City are designed for ages 5 and up, and though your 5-year-old may feel ready to graduate, hang on to the Duplos for a while.

Keep the Duplo set handy while you are working, even if your child is older than 5 because at this age some of the Lego sets are still frustrating without adult help.

This Duplo set is a great way to start. It comes with a buildable wagon base with rounded edges and wheels, a boy figure, a dog figure, numbered bricks and lots of extra bricks.

Best Blocks: CitiBlocs 100-Piece Cool-Colored Building Blocks

Deceptively simple, these building blocks have tons of potential. The fact that they are all the same size (but not the same color) may seem limiting but that makes for developing intricate patterns in older kids. This set comes with 100 pieces, a good starting point for kids of any age.

Best Wooden: Melissa & Doug Solid-Wood Building Blocks


Babies can stack wooden blocks (and then delight in knocking them down again). But these building toys will last well past babyhood.

As a child grows other toys will inspire more excitement than blocks, but they will still get used creatively.

Older kids will knock them down too by crashing cars into them and use them as perches for army figures, as trestles on train layouts, as backdrops for Lego creations and whatever else a child's imagination can cook up. The pictured 60-piece wooden block set by Melissa and Doug is a good starting point.

Best for 3-Year-Olds: Kaleido Gears

Kaleido Gears

Courtesy of Walmart

Think outside the blocks! This different kind of building toy keeps kids engaged by letting them experiment with cause and effect. This building set with 55 pieces of interlocking soft plastic plates and meshing gears comes with connectors and various colored gears.

Best for 4-Year-Olds: Crazy Forts

OK, now think big—as in life-size. Kids love to build forts, but they can sure make a mess. So, instead of moving chairs all around for supports for their forts, these large interlocking, ball-and-stick pieces can provide that support for the bedsheets and blankets of a fort. Then they can be stored neatly later.

Best for 7-Year-Olds: K'Nex 3-in-1 Classic Amusement Park Building Set


Kind of like modern-day tinker toys, K'Nex building toys are various spokes and hubs that can go together into things like roller coasters, ferris wheels, and amusement parks. Many sets come with wheels to make vehicles.

Best Alphabet Blocks: Imagination Generation Alphabet and Number Blocks


These blocks are all the same shape (a cube) which makes elaborate buildings more difficult. But the addition of pictures, letters and numbers gives added play and learning value. This 50-block set (with a white cloth storage pouch with velcro closure) complements the classic wooden block set.

Best Logs: Lincoln Logs

Speaking of classics, Lincoln Logs may be old-fashioned but they still offer great building fun. They make a great addition to wooden train sets. Kids can build cabins alongside the tracks.

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