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12x construction toys reviewed: Construction toys 1 to 7 years

by Joost Nusselder | Updated on:  31

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There are so many construction toys for sale these days. It can be difficult to choose what suits your child's age. Which they will not soon get bored of.

For example, the best in the test for toddlers and preschoolers were this Kid K'Nex Zoo Friends. What fun things even a three-year-old can make with that! Lots of replayability and creative play.

I've done all the research for you for this guide to the top picks for different ages that I know your kids will be building with in no time.

20x construction toys reviewed

For the sake of convenience, we have divided it into age categories so that you can find fun toys for your child:

Best construction toys with sticks

K'NexKid Zoo Friends

This construction toy lets your child create different toys and figures using the rods, wheels, joints, flags and spools of different sizes.

Product image

Best Plastic Construction Toys For Toddlers

LEGODuplo Truck and Excavator 10931

With this set, they can create their own toy car and excavator with characters who drive their vehicle.

Product image

Best Cheap Plastic Building Blocks

MegablocksFirst Builders Big Building Bag

This set has 80 pieces, which is a good amount to stimulate your child's creativity.

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Best Gravity Construction Toys

HapeDynamo wooden dominoes

A prize-winning domino-set of special commands full of cause and effect.

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Best plastic construction toys for toddlers

Fat brain toysMini Squigz

They look a lot like colorful balls with suction cups so you can easily connect each piece. All your creations will remind you of those adorable chemical bond representations.

Product image

Best Cheap Wooden Toys

Melissa & DougBuilding blocks

With 100 blocks in 9 different shapes, your child can make different creations with this set.

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Best construction toys with magnets

MagformersBasic Set Line

Toddlers love to explore while playing, but also at a later age this set will remain interesting for a long time because of the many different shapes you can make with it.

Product image

Best construction toys with gears

Krazy GearsFunny Bricks

If you think your preschooler will enjoy a moving building toy, but you're worried that the K'Nex ones are too advanced, this Funny Bricks set is something you should check out.

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Best construction toys with tools, bolts, nuts and screws

Melissa & DougWorkbench

This toy consists of nuts, bolts, blocks and of course the workbench which gives your child a variety of items to build things with.

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Best construction marble track

EdushapeMarbulous Marble Run

Affordability aside, Edushape's Marble Run gives you a lot of value for your money, as it offers countless mounting options.

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Best construction toys for 6 year olds

ZOOBBuilderZ 250 pieces

This 250-piece 3D modeling playset is composed of pieces that resemble joints and balls that connect easily together.

Product image

Best construction toys for 7 year olds

K'Nex35 Models Ultimate Building Set

Really discover and really learn how things work. Here's the cutest construction toy for kids ages 7 and up.

Product image

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Fun play tips, activity books and more, with the first email being our free mini-guide "educational toys"

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Construction Toy Buying Guide

There are so many different building toys today that you can buy dozens of sets that are all very different in design and construction.

This makes choosing the best a challenge for parents who want the best for their child.

So, how did we come up with XNUMX of the best construction toys? The first thing we did was put quality first.

Because we want to guarantee only the best and safest play times, we've made sure to only choose toys that are thoroughly enjoyable, beneficial to your child's growth and safe.

The next thing we have definitely done is offer variety.

There are so many different construction toys available and we don't want to short-circuit anyone with limited options.

As you will notice, the products in this list come in different designs and gameplay, so you can definitely get all of them without worrying about redundancy.

Finally, we paid attention to product feedback.

Some toys may seem fine in theory, but there are many ways they can fail in real life.

We've made sure that all the toys on our list are well received and guarantee hours of fun, so you can be sure your child will get the most out of their playtime with these products.

Best 12 Construction Toys Reviewed

For the first time start exploring with big blocks and cheerful colors. This is the toy for children from 1 year.

Best construction toys with sticks

K'Nex Kid Zoo Friends

Product image
8.7
Toy score
Building
4.8
Replayable
4.1
Build
4.1
Best for
  • Unique click system with bars makes building fun
  • Finally building toys without buildings but with fantasy figures
Less good
  • Building is difficult for 3 and 4 year olds

Ideal For: Ages 3 to 15

If you think the K'Nex is a bit complicated for your little one, the Kid variant is an excellent alternative that you can buy.

The cutest animals to build from 3 years: Kid K'Nex Zoo Friends building toys for toddlers (plastic)

This construction toy lets your child create different toys and figures using the rods, wheels, joints, flags and spools of different sizes.

What makes it fun: This toy is suitable for preschoolers, so you can be sure it's simple yet challenging and fun, even for older kids.

There is so much they can do with this set and you can easily nurture your child's creativity while watching them introduces to science, technology, engineering, art and math concepts.

Best Plastic Construction Toys For Toddlers

LEGO Duplo Truck and Excavator 10931

Product image
8.8
Toy score
Building
3.7
Replayable
4.8
Build
4.7
Best for
  • Very nice for pretend play
  • Very solidly built
Less good
  • You can't build much with it yourself

Ideal for: ages from 18 months to 5 years

If you want to get your child to play early in construction, LEGO's Duplo line is an excellent option that can work for you.

Duplo is such a fun way for toddlers, and even your toddler when they are past 1 year, to get to know building blocks.

With this set, they can create their own toy car and excavator with characters who drive their vehicle.

What's great about it: These simplified LEGO sets are great for stimulating the

  • motoric,
  • spatial and
  • problem-solving skills of a child

Without overwhelming them with intricate parts and different pieces.

Since they are also very easy to assemble, they can boost your little one's confidence every time they build a toy car or truck themselves.

Best Cheap Plastic Building Blocks

Megablocks First Builders Big Building Bag

Product image
8.0
Toy score
Building
4.2
Replayable
4.2
Build
3.6
Best for
  • Lots of blocks for your money
  • Big blocks are well suited for the little ones
Less good
  • It's some cheap plastic

Ideal for: ages 1 to 5

Like LEGO's Duplo line, the Mega Bloks First Builders Big Building bag is a construction game for young children.

It is made of large stones that are safe for young children to use and play with.

What's Great About It: This set has 80 pieces, which is a good amount to stimulate your child's creativity and develop his motor, problem-solving and spatial skills from an early age.

Best Gravity Construction Toys

Hape Dynamo wooden dominoes

Product image
8.5
Toy score
Building
3.9
Replayable
4.5
Build
4.3
Best for
  • Award winning domino set
  • Learn about cause and effect
  • Fun to build
Less good
  • Not really building buildings or objects but a domino track

Ideal for: ages 2 to 8

A classic toy like a domino set will definitely get a spot on our best toys list. Why? Because they have already proven their worth.

This Hape set is an award-winning domino stone and accessory collection of wood.

What's great about it: As a domino set, the pieces of this product can be used to create the domino effect, full of cause and effect.

They can also be stacked on top of each other or used in a variety of other ways.

In addition, wooden toys are still very popular, as well our article with the best wooden toys does show.

I love that they are color coded that teaches kids different colors.

They are great for a child's imagination, and their motor, spatial and tactile skills.

Best plastic construction toys for toddlers

Fat brain toys Mini Squigz

Product image
8.1
Toy score
Building
3.6
Replayable
4.5
Build
4.1
Best for
  • The parts are small, easy to put in the bag between things
  • Original construction toys
Less good
  • Pasting can be a bit tricky sometimes

Here are some fun toys for children from 3 years old.

Ideal For: Ages 3 to 15

Cutest plastic construction toys from 3 years old- Fat Brain Toys Squigz

Squigz from Fat Brain Toys is another cute and unique toy on this list.

They look a lot like colorful balls with suction cups, so you can easily connect each piece together.

All your creations will remind you of those adorable representations of chemical bonds.

What's great about it: this toy is undeniably cute and interesting. The design alone will really excite your child and get their creative juices flowing.

What we loved the most are the suction cups. They make the balls more manageable and stackable.

Best Cheap Wooden Building Toys

Melissa & Doug Building blocks

Product image
8.7
Toy score
Building
4.3
Replayable
4.2
Build
4.6
Best for
  • 100 blocks in 9 different shapes
  • Good for hand-eye coordination
Less good
  • It's just blocks

Ideal for: ages 3 to 8

What would a “best building toys” list be without classic wood blocks?

This Melissa & Doug product is certainly one of the best options for construction games and it includes 100 different wooden shapes in different colors to entertain and educate your little one.

Cutest building toys: Melissa & Doug Colored Wooden Block Box

It is also one of the best wooden toys from our top list in that category.

What's great about it: with 100 blocks in 9 different shapes, your child can make different creations with this set.

There's no way to lock them together, though, so this set requires a good degree of precision, hand-eye coordination, and dexterity.

Best construction toys with magnets

Magformers Basic Set Line

Product image
9.5
Toy score
Building
4.8
Replayable
4.8
Build
4.6
Best for
  • Strong magnets that rotate so it always sticks
  • Great examples book
  • Greatly stimulates spatial insight
Less good
  • Very hard to build with
  • Won't be fun for every kid

Ideal for: Ages 3 and up

Perfect for kids who want to make seamless creations and don't want to be limited by standard cut spots.

The Magformers Standard Set allows them to create different masterpieces without worrying about the location of the couplings.

This magnetic construction toy set is made with flat pieces that come in a variety of shapes such as triangle, square, and pentagon.

What's great about it: Magformers use magnets to link pieces together, making them easy to handle for young users.

You can also use this toy to introduce your child to scientific concepts, making it a more attractive gift idea for small children.

Read more about it too in our article about the 16 cutest magnetic toy sets for kids

Best construction toys with gears

Krazy Gears Funny Bricks

Product image
8.1
Toy score
Building
3.8
Replayable
4.1
Build
4.3
Best for
  • 87 parts such as gears and building blocks
  • Stimulates creativity and thinking ability
Less good
  • There are only a limited number of building options

Ideal for: Ages 3 and up

If you think your preschooler will enjoy moving construction toys, but you're worried that the K'Nex ones are too advanced for them, this Funny Bricks set is something you should check out.

It is a unique construction playset as it uses gears to manufacture a variety of toys and figures.

With 87 parts such as gears and other construction pieces, your child can easily build different creations.

What's great about it: This toy set is designed to encourage your little one's creativity as the instructions included with each set only tell you how to make basic shapes rather than big, big works.

Your child can spend hours with these toys and be very proud of what they can make with their pieces.

Best construction toys with tools, bolts, nuts and screws

Melissa & Doug Workbench

Product image
8.0
Toy score
Building
3.9
Replayable
4.5
Build
3.6
Best for
  • Complete set with tools, bolts, nuts and screws
  • Good wooden set where many of this kind are made of plastic
Less good
  • Pushing too hard quickly leads to screw threads becoming paralyzed

Are your children getting a little older? Here are the best construction toys for kids ages 4 and up.

Ideal for: ages 4 to 6

If you want to take the construction game a little more literally, you can go to Melissa & Doug's workbench.

This toy consists of nuts, bolts, blocks and of course the workbench which gives your child a variety of items to build things with.

Melissa & Doug wooden workbench reviewed

What's great about it: This set is definitely not your typical construction toy.

Your little one should know more about putting things together, giving them a wide variety of challenges while promoting their imagination and motor skills.

It includes:

  • blocks where the screws can go
  • a workbench to attach things to with a real vice
  • boards that you can put together with the bolts and nuts

Really very lifelike and in addition to being educational, it is also just fun to do.

My son was the first to build robots from it…

sigh.

Best construction marble track

Edushape Marbulous Marble Run

Product image
7.8
Toy score
Building
4.2
Replayable
3.9
Build
3.6
Best for
  • Lots of pieces for a low price
  • Fun to assemble
Less good
  • Bit of cheap plastic
  • Rolling sometimes goes out of control because it goes too fast

Ideal for: Ages 4 and up

If you think your child will appreciate a construction toy with a game purpose, the Edushape Marbulous Marble Run is an excellent product to consider.

Composed of 202 pieces and 50 marbles, your child will have fun making the maze for the marbles to pass through.

While this toy is designed to be played with a purpose in mind, it doesn't mean your kids can't use their imaginations to enjoy this set too.

It will be a bit of a challenge for them to create their own obstacle course, but the construction will be fun and exciting for them.

And once they successfully create a fun job for the marbles to train, they will feel more confident than ever.

It is also one of the nicest marble tracks we have have already reviewed here, which also includes a lot of construction kits.

What's great about it: I love the versatility of this game.

It can be a great toy for structured and guided construction play, but it can also be a challenging set for free play, earning it a place in any growing child's toy collection.

Best construction toys for 6 year olds

ZOOB BuilderZ 250 pieces

Product image
8.3
Toy score
Building
3.8
Replayable
4.6
Build
4.1
Best for
  • Unique system with balls and joints
  • Infinitely creative things to make
Less good
  • Pretty hard to come up with things outside the book

Your child continues to develop and can already start putting real things together. This is the most fun construction toy for children from 6 years old.

Ideal For: Ages 6 to 10

Another excellent alternative to building blocks is the ZOOB BuilderZ.

This 250-piece 3D modeling playset is composed of pieces that resemble joints and balls that connect easily together.

What's great about it: This set comes with a tutorial for building specific figures, but a creative child will find more ways to play with these toys.

You can also create figures with moving parts with parts that click together.

This allows your child to better express their creativity and discover more ways to learn and have fun.

Best construction toys for 7 year olds

K'Nex 35 Models Ultimate Building Set

Product image
8.6
Toy score
Building
4.5
Replayable
4.3
Build
4.1
Best for
  • Challenging toys, also for later ages
  • Many creative constructions possible
Less good
  • You still have a lot to help 7-year-olds

Really discover and really learn how things work. Here's the cutest construction toy for kids ages 7 and up.

Ideal for: ages 7 to 15 years

As many parents will know, K'Nex is not like any other toy manufacturer building educational toys that are truly challenging, exciting and unique.

The 35 Model Ultimate Building Set is a great proof, because it contains 480 parts that allow your child to make various interactive creations.

What's great about it: Ideal for older children, this set also comes with a booklet with instructions on how to make 35 unique toys and figures such as trucks, helicopters, dinosaurs and rockets among many others.

It's also expandable so your child can make more things and learn more in the process.

What do children learn from construction toys?

Building blocks are some of the most popular toys for children.

Most people think this is because they are very simple, and for the most part it is true.

These toys are very basic. There are not a lot of rules about playing with the sets, so little kids just do their thing while playing.

What many people don't know, however, is that these toys are more than just the ability for your child to stack a few cubes together.

Look for example to LEGO Architecture that helps recreate real historical structures and is even used to visualize ideas.

Building blocks and other building toys are actually packed with many benefits for a child's development.

This makes it very important for you to give a few of these toys to your little one as they can really help their growth.

But what exactly are these benefits, you may ask? Let's get into details below.

Mental stimulation is the first thing your child will appreciate through this toy. The colors alone have major effects on their brains.

They also have to figure out how to play with them with stackable blocks to work with.

When they stack the pieces on top of each other, their logical reasoning and creativity are immediately activated.

Translating what they have in their head with the help of the blocks is another challenge that they have to think about, getting their mind to work.

This is where their problem solving skills can also be honed.

If they want to create a certain shape that they have never made before, they will have to find ways to deal with it.

This can also practice their spatial skills as they will definitely need to work out the shapes in their mind before deciding which pieces to use for their masterpiece.

Motor skills are also developed by building toys.

As your little one will use his hands in creating a structure from their colorful imagination, their grip and muscles will be strengthened and refined.

If there are smaller parts for them to cling to, so will their fine motor skills be the target.

Their hand-eye coordination will be tested and even honed every time they play with building toys.

Your child's math skills can also benefit from construction games.

Because most of these toys are processed in numbers, they can easily learn to count.

Some toys also come in different shapes and lengths, so they can learn geometry and sizes too.

Scientific concepts can also be introduced to young children with the help of construction toys.

Read also about our top picks of educational toys, where you will also find many building toys.

Gravity is one of the most prominent concepts they can get to know as it can help them understand why their pieces are falling down.

Social skills are also developed by building toys.

Because these sets of buildings can be easily shared with other children, this encourages the play together .

This will help your little one learn how to interact with others, which will help them know how to share and work with other kids.

This can also help develop their language skills as they can practice communicating with other children their own age in their own way.

Building toys is also great for your child's confidence.

Since construction play actually lets them create something, they will feel better after setting a good example of what they can do.

With some positive reinforcement, you can also encourage them to enjoy the activity more and feel better about themselves.

These are just a few reasons why you should let your child play with building toys.

With so many benefits that can come from their construction game, you should definitely let your child take advantage of what these toys have to offer.

Conclusion

If you're looking for ways to add variety to your little one's playtime, the best building toys can help.

We hope our top 20 picks will help you find the right products, as we believe construction games should be encouraged for its many benefits.

Also fun to put together these top rated marble tracks for toddlers, wooden and on a budget

Always something to do for the holidays or rainy day?

Play Choice now has the ultimate activity book collection, with over 60 pages of fun coloring pages and educational puzzles.

Joost Nusselder, the founder of Speelkeuze.nl is a content marketer, father and loves trying out new toys. As a child he came into contact with everything related to games when his mother started the Tinnen Soldaat in Ede. Now he and his team create helpful blog articles to help loyal readers with fun play ideas.