Toys are a very important part of our childhood. They make several memories for us. The best option for a toy would be one that is fun but also gives the child a window to be creative and expressive. Building toys are very versatile and they also help the child to hone several skills some of them being problem-solving skills, spatial skills, and mathematical skills. Building toys can be very beneficial to the overall growth of your child, and that’s why they are the perfect gifts for your kid. For that purpose, you need to find the best building toys in the market!
Factors To Look Out For When Buying Best Building Toy For Your Child In 2020
The number of building toy sets that are available in the market can is huge. If you go on to purchase one, you might get extremely confused. Thus, you might end up buying something that does not match your expectations. Plus, because it is your child and his/her skill-building, you need to be very careful and meticulous throughout the whole purchasing process. Here are a few criteria that you need to look for in order to make a smart purchase.
It should be fun and colorful. Color may seem like something insignificant, yet it is very important to your child’s growth. It is important for the child to be able to be well versed with colors from a very young age. Plus, bright colors also capture longer attention span in children.
It should be challenging. If the building toy is too easy to work with or simple, your child might get very bored. Hence, you need to buy something challenging enough to keep your child engaged for a certain amount of time. It should have many blocks of different shapes and sizes. If your child plays with a variety of shapes and sizes, he/she will be able to be more creative and flexible while playing.
The size of the blocks is important. The blocks that you purchase should be in sync with your child’s age. If your child is too young, you may want to opt for bigger blocks which they would not be able to swallow. For kids who are slightly older, smaller blocks might be more appropriate.
The toy should be of high quality. Blocks made up of cheap plastic and other toxic materials can be very harmful to your child’s health. Hence, you should always make sure that the blocks are made up of non-toxic and safe materials. Try to opt for a biodegradable option.
Look out for the price factor. Building toys are not very expensive. Yet there are few such toys in the market that are on the higher end. Do not invest too much in building toys because you will surely find something of your choice that fits into the lower price range.
Choose an appropriate theme. The building toy sets are available in a variety of themes. Choose a theme which will interest and excite your child. This will encourage your child to play with the blocks. If your child is not very interested in any particular theme, you can buy a simple one with more pieces. Make sure that the set you choose falls under the category of STEM toys.
What Is STEM?
STEM is a learning process. It is an abbreviation for Science, Technology, Engineering, and Math. It is an education process. Yet, this method is a lot more than just the four subjects. It talks about the subjects and how they relate to the real world. This process subliminally teaches these subjects to children through methods of games and other practical approaches.
It is a practical-based learning process that kids of this age would be able to relate more to. This includes processes of problem-solving, logical reasoning, etc. taught through simpler methods rather than just sitting in a class and following the conventional learning technique. This is also very effective in the age where attention spans are reducing drastically.
What Are STEM Toys?
Any toy that teaches the child any of the four subjects (Science, Technology, Engineering, and Math) is known as a stem toy. These toys are used to enforce learning while playing. They are all over Amazon and all of physical marketplace. Toys that deal with weather, dinosaurs, science, medical kits, robots, technology, math, puzzles, science sets; everything falls under the category of STEM toys. Building toys are also considered stem toys because they can teach the child mathematical concepts, engineering concepts and also concepts of physics. Hence, building toys can also contribute to a holistic learning process.
Types of STEM Toys
Broadly, STEM toys can be segregated into four different categories.
These are the toys that deal with weather, space, dinosaurs or any other scientific concept. They are one of the most popular categories for toys. Science kits and chemistry sets are the most popular ones. You can also find toys which describe the structure of a scientific object or a celestial body. Plus, the added benefit is that parents approve of these toys!
This category has a very versatile market. With the rapidly growing technological advancements, this category also grows very quickly. Digital watches, robots, tablets, other electronic learning devices have flooded the whole market. Plus, if not a toy, there are several apps available in the App Store and the Google Play store which provide such lessons on technology.
There are the construction toys and the building toys. Building toys are mostly considered to fall under this category. These are undoubtedly the most famous STEM toys. These hone your engineering skills at a very young age. You can improve your imaginative powers and your skills using these blocks.
A lot of the STEM toys overlap with this category. Building Toys are considered to fall under this category as well. As the name suggests, this category deals with numbers. These toys make the addition, subtraction, counting and other mathematical skills more refined in a person. Your cash registers, number games, and other such games are a part of this category.
How Do STEM Toys Help Kids?
Kids tend to spend most of their time in front of a television or a mobile. Hence, it is essential to divert their minds towards something more substantial and productive. This is where the STEM Toys come in. They are fun but are also subtly educational. This is how these toys benefit the kids in building a strong mind with a multitude of skills. They undoubtedly prepare the children by inculcating the basic skills in them at a very early age. Here are a few very important skills that a child develops while playing with these toys.
1. Problem Solving
STEM toys are known to enhance the problem-solving skills in a person by making them do analytical thinking. The kids learn to develop multiple courses of action in their minds and find the best solutions for their problems.
The children concentrate on their games and focus on solving puzzles or winning a game or building a structure. This keeps their minds engaged for a long time. They focus only on their game or toy for that particular time period. This is very beneficial as it helps the children to increase their levels of concentration and focus on their work. Children who play with STEM Toys are known to perform better in their academic circles as well.
3. Critical Thinking
By trying to solve a puzzle or play a certain level of intensive and analytical thinking is imperative. They often brainstorm while playing with these toys. This adds a skill on to their skill set because the kids start to apply this skill to other aspects of life as well.
4. Base For Future
STEM toys add so many skills to the child’s skill set that it sets off the child for the future. They clear out a lot of basic concepts which later on help the kids for much more complicated work in their desired field. It helps them in their professional as well as personal life. These basic concepts form the base for any other type of learning.
These toys also give the kids the scope to be very innovative with their thoughts. They learn to build new things, they learn how to solve problems in an innovative manner and they conceive new ideas which can go on to impact the world. The children also become more experimental as they try out new methods to play with the toys.
Top 10 Best Building Toys for Kids 2020
1. Mega Bloks Big Building Bag, Trendy
This is an 80-piece building block set. It is meant for children aged 1 to 5 years. Each piece in the set is large-sized hence it will not be hazardous for your child. The size enables the children to assemble the pieces easily as they smoothly fit on to each other. This set is compatible with all the other building blocks sets of Mega Block company.
The set is very brightly colored and the kids can build all they want with their imagination. The blocks come in a plastic bag with a zipper. You can store all the blocks into the back into the bag and zip it up until your next play hour. This set is also environment-friendly and so is its packaging. Another added benefit for this set is that it is quite inexpensive as well. This is one of the best building toys for toddlers!
2. Tinkertoy 30 Model Super Building Set – Best for 5 Years Olds
This set includes 200 pieces. The pieces are shaped as spools, flags, rods, washers, end caps, etc. With these flexible pieces, your child can engineer castes, houses, bicycles and so much more. The pieces are easy to put together and easy to disassemble as well. The pieces are also flexible enough to be imaginative and create unique structures. The pieces are made of green and waste-free materials hence you do not have to worry about harming the environment!
The set is also extremely easy to store. It comes in a sturdy box which is also very travel-friendly and durable. This set is slightly more expensive than other ones on this list. This is because of its versatility and all the different kinds of pieces it includes! It is definitely a good by for your child’s imagination and problem-solving skills! This toy is built to enhance your child’s STEM concepts. The plastics are authentic, safe-to-use and non-toxic.
3. Viahart Brain Flakes 500 Piece Interlocking Plastic Disk Set
This one is not exactly the conventional building toy set but it can still be considered one of the best building toys for kids. This set has more than 500 pieces which are very bright and vibrant in color! Instead of rectangular blocks, this one has flakes resembling the shape of gears. These are very thin flakes which click and interlock very easily. The disks measure about 3 centimeters. Because it is relatively smaller in size, it is recommended for children above the age of 5.
The disks are lightweight and safe. Plus, the set is meant for both girls and boys above the mentioned age. The disks are made of polythene. The disks are packed inside a reusable PET plastic jar. The set is known to be one of the most effective STEM toys. This unique set claims to improve your spatial skills, problem-solving skills, and creativity. It is one of the inexpensive on the list. This is one of the must-haves!
4. Fat Brain Toys Original Squigz Deluxe 50-Piece Set
This set consists of two alternatives. The first one is a standard set consisting of 24 pieces. The second one is a deluxe set which consists of 50 pieces. This set is also unlike the conventional sets. This one consists of suction cup builders. It is available in 8 different shapes and bright colors. The pieces are made up of silicone and hence are extremely safe. This set is also a winner of several awards such as Best Toy for Kids Award, Parents’ Choice Approved Award and many more.
This set is recommended for kids above the age of 3. The child can play different and versatile games with this set. It is very unique and portable as well. It inspires motor skills, sensory stimulation etc. Its strong suction power enables it to stick to surfaces such as windows yet it does not leave behind a single mark. The packaging is also hassle-free! It is one of the more expensive ones on this list because of its versatile features and its quality.
5. Dinosaur Toys Take Apart Toys With Tools
This is one of the more uncommon ones on the list. This one consists of six dinosaurs. 2 T-rex dinosaurs, 2 Ceratops dinosaurs, and 2 brontosauruses. It also includes a set of 12 tools which help to assemble all the parts. Plus, it has 6 screwdrivers and 6 wrenches, all summing up to a total of around 218 pieces. This set is specifically to design dinosaurs.
This is a theme-based building toy. It is easy to assemble, disassemble and reassemble again. It is fun to play with yet it is also quite challenging to put all the parts in the right places. The Lambeosauruses come up to 7 inches tall, the T-rex is 6 inches tall and the Triceratops are about 5 inches tall. Since the pieces in this set are a little small, it is recommended for children of the age of 3 or above. It is priced at a reasonable rate.
6. Melissa and Doug Wooden Building Blocks Set
This block includes 100 solid wood sets colored brightly. The blocks come in a variety of shapes such as rectangles, prisms, cubes, half circles, triangles, etc. these blocks do not get interlocked with each other but are made to pile up one over the other. This one is to specifically design buildings, towers, castles, and whole towns! This helps the kids to develop motor skills and spatial skills.
The children can be as creative as they want to with this exceptional set. The blocks are lightweight and have smaller and rounded edges to avoid any kind of injury. It is made for children ranging from the ages of 3 to 8. The quality of this product is excellent and it fuels your imagination. This set is also very decently priced and it is totally worth it. This set also comes with a 100% happiness guarantee. It has also held the title of “The Gold Standard in Childhood Play” for more than 30 years!
7. Learning Resources Gears! Gears! Gears! Deluxe Building Set
These are gear-shaped building blocks which get interlocked with each other and take the shape of whatever you wish to create. These are versatile and scientific. This particular set includes 100 pieces. 46 pieces are colorful gears, 26 of them are green square pillars, 21 of the blocks are six-way axles, 6 base structures, and 1 crank handle.
These are easy to use but if looked at closely, one would realize that this is helping your child to hone multiple skills. It enables children to learn to design, balance, sort, group and improves their mental skills. These blocks also improve their problem-solving skills. The child also gets to learn colors. This set also supports the STEM system of the child by catering to all the aforementioned skills. All the pieces are compatible with all the sets of this company. This set is meant for kids above the age of 3. The price of this set is also quite reasonable.
8. Lego Duplo 10816 My First Cars and Trucks
This set is from the LEGO company. This is a theme based-building block set. It consists of decorated blocks which are specifically designed to create cars, trucks, and tractors. You can decorate your vehicles with different colors, windows using different themes. This can help your child to stimulate role play and be vivid with his/her imagination. This is also one of the very popular STEM Toys.
There are 36 pieces in the whole set. This set consists of the blocks to build your vehicles, the base sets to build your car upon, 3 wheelbases, window seats, etc. to build cranes, cars, and trucks. You can mix and match all the pieces to give your creativity a boost. This set is designed for kids aged 5 or above. The set is priced slightly higher than the other ones. Yet it is one of the most suitable building toys for 5-year-olds.
9. Soyee Magnetic Blocks | STEM Learning Toys – Best Building toy for 5-12 year Olds
These are cylindrical magnetic building blocks designed to enable kids to be as creative as possible. The blocks are made up of non-toxic ABS plastic. They have rounded and smooth edges to ensure that your child does not injure himself or herself. There are in total of 56 pieces in the set. There are 24 triangles and 32 squares in this set. This particular set is for children aged 3 or above especially kids who are hyperactive.
It comes equipped with a very user-friendly storage that stacks the pieces compactly. The pouch enables compact storage which is also portable while going around and traveling. The pieces are compatible with all the other sets from the same brand. Your child can build different structures and shapes using this set and it will strengthen your child’s sense of color and shapes while they are engaged in making structures. It also improves your child’s hand-eye coordination, interpersonal skills, logical and spatial thinking. This is quite affordable as well.
10. Magformers Log Cabin
This set by Magformers is specifically made to design a log cabin and different versions of it. You can build tree houses and lake houses as well. The whole set consists of 87 pieces. It consists of miniature wooden fences, roof pieces, trees, bases to build the house on, grass and much more. Your child can customize and make your own miniature log house. The child can decorate the log cabin by making balconies and walls. Windows, ladders, fences, and trees can also be added. It is very versatile and a lot of fun.
The set consists of four shapes in total and 10 different log cabin accessories. The pieces are magnetic and made up of Neodymium Rare- Earth Magnets which ensure connectivity. Plus, this material is non-toxic. It is compatible with all other Magformers sets. The set is made for kids who are 3 years old and above. The set is priced quite higher than the other ones on the list. This is because of its unique theme and its quality. This can be one of the best gifts for your kids, especially for a festive occasion.
Benefits of Building Toys
Toys are a lot of fun but they also subliminally help you to build a lot of skills as a child. Psychologists say that the toys contribute positively to the child’s development. It enables the child to go physically, mentally, socially and emotionally. Yet, not all toys can have such a substantial effect on your overall development. A few specific ones are definitely more beneficial to the whole developmental process as opposed to others.
Building toys are most certainly one of the best toys which facilitate the developmental process of a child. Kids’ building toys are available in a wide variety. They come in different shapes, sizes, brands, themes, etc. You can never run out of choices and options. Here are a few benefits that these building toys offer, contributing to your child’s overall developmental process.
1. Motor Skills
When kids start playing with building toys at a young age, it enables the child to exercise control on different muscles. While picking up and joining a block to another one, the muscles of the arm and used extensively. Plus, there has to be a certain distance between the thumb and the forefinger and it has to be held in a certain position as well. Learning this at an early age can help the child to master this skill later on and use it in fields like sports and medical surgery. This is because this skill is extremely essential in these fields.
The building blocks are extremely versatile toys. Your child can build just about anything and many variations of it. Your child will have the scope of expressing himself or herself using the different colors, shapes and build a multitude of structures. the kid unconsciously focuses on making different structures every time. In this way, they exercise their creativity quite a lot. They will see the potential of building many things from just small units of blocks. This skill will help them in field they hope to pursue later on in their lives. They will see an innate potential in everything and grow up to be innovators.
3. Engineering and Building Concepts
While using the blocks, the kids understand the concepts of mathematics. They have to use a certain number of blocks and pile them up in a very specific shape and size so that the structure built by them can be sturdy. They will make alterations to make their structure more stable. They also focus on aesthetics and design. They understand about all the shapes and structures that will not support a whole structure. They understand concepts of fluid dynamics subliminally in the practical sense. These are all engineering concepts and skills which they can learn while playing with their favorite toys!
4. Testing and Experimentation
The kids can build the structures which are available with their instructions and steps. They can also add editions to the existing structures. Plus, they can build entirely new structures using their imagination. they can add and reduce blocks to give it more stability. They also subconsciously make an effort to make their structure look more aesthetically appealing. They experiment to understand what works better for their structure. They keep altering the different parameters to build a sustainable structure. This is a very important skill in every field of life.
5. Understanding Patterns
After fidgeting with new toys for some time, the children ultimately go on to build something substantial. They refer to the building manual and start building structures. In the whole process of building, they follow recurring patterns and design which would enable their structure to be more stable. In this way, they also become more organized. They can become more observant in this way. This skill is important to detect criminal activity. By playing with the building toys, they begin to recognize patterns in everyday activities and chores.
6. Cause-Effect Relationships
The children build a structure using the toys. Sometimes these structures last, sometimes they break. If a structure collapses, they will try to find the cause of it. They will find out that their actions will result in something else. Not only will this help them in building a more stable structure but they will also understand the relationship between an action and its consequence. They will understand that by adding bricks on the top of another will increase the height of a building and also add on to its weight. If the blocks are not piled up properly, the structure might break. This also contributes to the kids understanding of logical reasoning.
7. Spatial Reasoning
This is the ability to understand the relation of space between or among two or more objects. These skills are actively developed while playing with building toys. The children develop a deep understanding of navigation, understanding and estimating distance. They focus on the distance between two blocks while creating an entrance to their toy house and while building the four edges of the walls to create a structure. For children who later go on to pursue architecture, aviation or such fields, these skills will pay off.
8. Hand-Eye Coordination
The child also needs to be precise with their structures. He/she needs to ensure that the structure falls in the right place. The child needs to concentrate on his/her hand movement. Plus, they need to be very precise about where to place the block. Hence, coordinating hand and eye is crucial. This skill is very important later in life. It improves your navigating skills, your motor skills. This is a very important skill for sportspersons.
No child is ever born with a lot of patience. They need to practice and build patience as a skill which will serve them throughout their lives. Patience is needed in the simplest daily chores to the most complicated academic subjects. Building toys test and improve the patience of a child. The children have to place one block carefully over another. They also have to build patience if their structure breaks apart. In both the situations, they learn how to be patient. In this process, they also become very focused and careful.
When your child completes building his/her first structure, they will be filled with the feeling of pride and happiness. They will become more confident. They will believe that they can achieve thing son their own and create meaningful things. Boosting confidence at an early age is very important. After this, they will go on to create more things and be more efficient and effective in their lives.
11. Cooperative Play
Blocks can also be played with friends. Therefore, it has the potential to bring kids together. They work together to make a structure that’s a string, sturdy and aesthetic. This social interaction encourages them to indulge in cooperative play. They also develop a sense of social relations. They develop a sense of teamwork. As a result, they learn how to self-regulate and build better relations.
12. Understanding The Design Process
They will get an insight into the design process and the basis. They will be compelled to understand that a structure can only last if it has a stronger foundation. From ideation and then to the whole process of execution, they will gain a better understanding. This will prove to be very useful if they become architects, designers or creators in the future.
13. Family Bonding
The time spent with building toys can be a great opportunity for some cozy family time. Your child can sit with the entire family and build different things, structures and models together. This will give some space for family bonding while the child develops some new skills.
14. Problem Solving Skills
Kids may always not succeed in making a design that they had planned in their head. So, they adjust, readjust and alter their ideas till they come up with a sufficiently good structure. This will be very helpful for them in the future as they face more serious problems. They will find simpler solutions and be able to face their problems head-on.
15. Helps To Use Brain Instead Of Technology
This generation heavily relies on technology. For every little need, we pick up our phones and get our work done. Children are also exposed to electronic gadgets very early in their lives. This causes them to think lesser and accept whatever is presented before their eyes on these phones. Building blocks are a savior in this scenario. By playing with the blocks, the child is encouraged to think more and use more of his/her brain. This effectively increases the IQ of the child.
Frequently Asked Questions
How many sets should I purchase?
That entirely depends upon you. A few factors that you can consider are price, the number of blocks, your child’s interest, and your child’s age.
Price – If a single set purchased by your costs too high, there is no point in spending a fortune on a new set.
Number of Blocks- Some sets have over 500 blocks while some have only 50. Depending on the number of blocks, you can choose if you want to buy multiple sets.
Child’s Interest – If the child’s interest in building toys keeps faltering, there will be no reason to buy multiple sets. In this case, you can try to opt for other stem toys.
Child’s Age – If your child has grown above the age of 10, there is no use of buying a building toy set. Children get bored of building toys after a certain age.
Till What Age Should A Child Play With Building Toys?
Building toys are available for children from the age of 1 to the age of 10. The upper limit is slightly vague. This is because some people enjoy playing with building toys even as adults. It may depend on your interest and choice. However, most kids tend to not play with building toys past the age of 10.
How To Make My Child Interested In Building Toys?
You can take a few steps to try and generate interest in building toys in the mind of your child.
Play with your child. Spare some time and make an effort to sit with your child and encourage them as they play with building toys.
Use the blocks for educational purposes. For example, you can ask your child to practice addition and subtraction by counting the number of blocks.
Show them interesting figures and structures and challenge them to build it
Buy a building toy set with a theme which your child would love. This might spark interest in your child’s mind.
Appreciate them when they finish building a structure. Encourage them to build more.
Where Can I Buy Building Toys?
You can buy building toys at any toy store or departmental store. You can also find most of the brands online on websites such as Amazon. You will find more options, variations, and themes online than in the physical market.
Do You Play Alone Or With Friends?
This also completely depends on your child’s choice. Your child may want to play alone for personal development. He or she can also play with their friends in a group which will help your child to develop social skills and teamwork skills. You can also choose to do both; play alone sometimes and play with your friends sometimes.
Can You Mix and Match All Your Building Toy Sets?
If you have building toys from the same company, there is a high possibility of all the sets being compatible with each other. Yet, if the building toy sets belong to different brands, it is highly unlikely that they will fit with each other.
Why Are Building Kits Important?
They are fun and they also inculcate a wide range of skills within a child. All the aforementioned skills are benefits of these toys. There are several benefits. Plus, the STEM learning is also one of the most important points about building toys.
What Are The Skills That Can Be Learned From These Building Blocks?
There are a multitude of skills that a child can hone if they play with building toys. They are problem-solving, spatial skills, hand-eye coordination, motor skills, creativity, patience, design skills, social skills, logical reasoning, experimentation and many more.
Are Building Blocks Educational Toys?
Building toys help to build multiple skills. On top of that, they are STEM toys and fall under more than one category. They are engineering toys because they include building and designing. They are also mathematical toys because of all the logic and precision required to play with them. They can also be considered science toys because they help to understand the basic laws of physics. Hence, building blocks are certainly educational toys.
Building Toys – The Best Investment for Your Kids
These were a few of the best building toys in the market. These are not only a lot of fun to play with but they are also helpful as they enable your child to develop some very important life skills. These are a very good gift for children below the age of 10. These are the kinds of toys that your parents would also approve of because of all the benefits. There is a wide variety available in the market, hence it is essential to do your research and find something that is appropriate for your child. Another factor that should be taken into consideration is affordability. Make an informed purchase for your child and let them have all the fun!