There's no denying that LEGO is the most popular building toy for kids around the world, but just because it's widely loved, doesn't mean it's the only option. In fact, there's a whole world of educational building toys out there, including different types of building blocks toys, and building toys that don't use blocks at all.
Want to hear about some great building toy alternatives to LEGO? Then stick around for today's post as we present 8 of the very best (and yes, one of them is LEGO)...
Common Building Toy Types
Of course, building brick toys are some of the most popular building toy types, but there are many alternatives too, all of which bring different educational benefits to children. We'll talk more about the educational benefits below, but for now, let's just take a quick look at a list of the most common building toy types out there:
- Bristle blocks
- Foam blocks
- Wooden building blocks
- Giant blocks
- Lincoln Logs
- Plastic blocks
- ABC blocks
- Cloth blocks
- DUPLO blocks
- Pattern blocks
- Cardboard blocks
What Are The Benefits Of Construction Toys?
As well as being fun, all building/construction toys bring some educational benefits too. Not only do young children and toddlers develop their motor skills by building these construction toys, they get to develop their imagination, communication, and spacial awareness skills as they do so too.
They also help with expressing ideas, learning balance techniques, math and categorizing/sorting skills, and early STEM skills which really help young children develop an interest in science, technology, engineering and math as they grow.
Truly, construction toys are some of the most beneficial toys for toddlers and young children when it comes to early childhood development, and that can be said of all 8 of the best building toys for kids we'll cover below!
Best Building Toys For Kids
Ready to hear about the best building/construction toys for kids and toddlers? Then read on below.
Funwhole (us) seems like a pretty good place to start, since our building kits come with lights, something we all know young children and toddlers love, right? Of course, our building kits are probably more suited to older children than toddlers, if we're being honest, but the benefit of our kits is that they're designed to be built and played with socially, whilst following a series of instructions to teach kids how to think things through rationally before starting a big task.
As a parent or guardian, you can easily pick out one of our amazing building kits with lights and build it with your children, teaching them different skills to do with the blocks themselves and the lighting as you go. Our building kits are filled with fun and educational opportunities for kids, and spending time building with your little ones is one of the best ways to bond in our experience!
Magformers are another great option for kids, because these magnetic building tiles allow little ones to put together shapes in ways that are totally unique, since these magnetic tiles aren't all 90-degree blocks like most building toys. It's also an awesome opportunity to teach the kids something new about the way we can build things. They don't need to know the ins and outs of magnetism, of course, but just making them familiar with it from a young age will help them in the future.
Magformers' sets are fun and educational, and they also encourage little ones to be more resilient and patient in their building. Magnetic tiles aren't designed to last forever once the see-through structures have been made, and tearing them down and starting again to create something new is a great life lesson for all those future engineers and architects who need to design, redesign, and design some more!
Tegu is actually really clever, because they combine the familiar look and feel of wooden blocks with magnetism, helping children experience a different style of construction toy altogether. Because of the magnets, it also allows Tegu to push the limits of what's possible with simple wooden blocks, so now children can defy gravity and get more creative than ever.
But perhaps our favorite thing about Tegu is that they don't release any instructions with any of their products. It's left entirely up to the children to get the most out of these sets, and that pushes them to think differently, be creative, and strategize! With you helping them along the way, Tegu can be great fun and a key toy to help with your little one's development.
Lincoln Logs need no introduction from us, because they've been a staple in the US for years now. The unique structures you can create with Lincoln Logs are second to none, and we'll all remember playing with these as kids and thinking they were awesome because of how real the structures could look. The obvious log cabin is where most of us started, but our imaginations took over after that, and we created some awesome builds.
If you remember the nostalgia of Lincoln Logs, too, then you'll know how brilliant this construction toy is for your little ones. They'll have a blast, create lasting memories, and develop some great imagination, planning, and motor skills as they put their Lincoln Logs together in creative ways.
OK, it's time for the big guns - LEGO. And hey, they're so successful for a reason! LEGO created a product that was so simple in design, but so effective when it came to capturing the hearts and minds of children everywhere. But more than that, LEGO also captured the attention of parents, educators, and researchers alike.
Of all the construction toys on our list today, it's LEGO that has the most scientifically backed data to show just how much of a difference LEGO can make to a child's development. There's their motor skills, social skills, imagination skills, creative thinking, scientific thinking, spatial awareness, resilience, emotional development, and just about everything in-between - and LEGO helps with it all. And on top of all of that, they link with some of the biggest brands to make kids love them even more. Geniuses - the entire company!
Bristle blocks offer something entirely different yet again, but based on the success of other construction toys. You see, their bricks are incredibly textured because of how they're designed to fit together, making them especially popular with parents whose children might need extra support in their sensory development.
But even away from the sensory benefits, the different sizes, shapes, and designs of their blocks make Bristle Blocks a really interesting brand. The objects, structures, and shapes you can build with bricks like these are unlike any others, and this allows children to really push the boundaries of what's possible when playing with construction toys to think outside the box.
Mindware Marble Run
Mindware Marble Run offers something unlike any of the construction toys so far. Why? Because the whole point of their toys is that you build a marble run - a course for your marbles to roll down. In theory, that sounds simple enough, but in practice is requires your children to think differently, and try to create a course that's fun, unique, and workable.
The twists, turns, dips, and drops they add in all come from their own imagination. Then they get to test their designs by running marbles down the track. Didn't work? That's ok. Why didn't it work? From there, your children can problem solve, redesign, and then go again. It might frustrate them a little, but it's all character-building and, at the end, it teaches them the value of hard work, pushing through, and a job well done when the Mindware Marble Run is a success!
Blockaroo Foam Building Blocks
Finally, we have Blockaroo Foam Building Blocks rounding out our list of the best educational building toys for kids on the market today! Arguably, foam building blocks might just be the best building blocks for toddlers because they're exactly what they sound like: foam blocks. That means little ones can build leaning towers and precarious structures without risking injury.
They'll have to get creative from a young age as they create different structures and objects with their new foam blocks, and this will keep little ones entertained for hours. This creative play calls for bags of imagination and is filled with opportunities for learning and social development too, so Blockaroo Foam Building Blocks will certainly benefit your preschoolers (and even some bigger kids who are still young at heart)!
Of course, we hope you'll give us a try here at Funwhole because we specifically want our building kits to do more than look good and be fun to build. We know there's limitless potential for our building kits with lights to go out into the world and educate children and help them develop some vital life skills for the future.
But we'd be lying if we said we didn't want you to pick out something from all of the brands on today's list, because they all have something to offer your children and toddlers when it comes to their development.
After all, the best way to ensure your child has the best chance of a well-rounded, fun, and developed childhood is to give them as many opportunities to learn and develop their skills as you can - and if that means trying out the best educational construction toys for kids to help them get there, then so be it!