Few toys offer the versatility and long-term enjoyment as blocks. Sure, baby blocks seem simple, but that's the beauty of it! A staple of Montessori classrooms and playrooms , (and daycares, preschools, doctor's offices..) blocks offer children of all ages an unparalleled way to learn and explore.
From building spatial awareness and fine motor skills to helping them develop problem solving and hand-eye coordination, even the youngest babies benefit from playing with blocks . (Yes, that includes gnawing on them!) As they grow, blocks offer toddlers a way to be creative and spark imagination while also teaching simple (and even complex!) math skills.
Whether you're on the hunt for soft blocks for newborns or more traditional wooden toy blocks that can endure the rough and tumble play of toddlers, here are some of our favorites.
Best Blocks for Baby
From day one, these soft-stuffed blocks offer a variety of ways to entertain and engage your baby. The colorful 3X3 square blocks (made from varied textures like satin, corduroy and cotton) feature peek-a-boo flaps that lift to reveal cheerful characters or mirrors along with crinkle, rattle and jingle sounds. The triangular blocks, with high-contrast black and white patterns stimulate newborn vision, keeping their interest long before they can stack them. As they grow, the blocks become a safe toy for stacking and building. We also appreciate that they come in a reusable vinyl bag to keep them neat and organized.
Ages: 0-36 months
This six-block set gives little ones a lot to discover! Each block includes a different surprise—a mirror, kaleidoscope, rattling ball, yellow plexiglass, bell and red push button—to help explore cause and effect while building motor skills and coordination. And while they're great on their own, they also integrate seamlessly with a growing block collection! They're made from sustainable beechwood and non-toxic water-based paint, so no worries when they end up in their mouth.
Ages: 12 months and up
So many concepts are packed into this classic first toy. They'll learn colors and shapes and develop problem solving and fine motor skills as they work to fit each one through the sorter on top. Then they can take off the top, dump the blocks out and begin the fun all over again!
Ages: 6 months and up
We admit that we love these gorgeous blocks as much as our kids do. Heirloom quality and brilliantly simple, Tegu's wooden blocks are designed with magnets inside to make them stick together, frustration-free. The starter set comes with slim and chunky shapes including tall and short planks, parallelograms, cubes and columns to build everything from bridges and houses to dinosaurs and ninjas. (There's also a growing catalog of colors and sets to build an impressive collection.) The smooth finish is coated with non-toxic, water-based lacquer in soft hues that won't chip or wear off. And if all that isn't enough, they're eco-friendly and support the brands social mission, creating jobs and responsible sourcing in Honduras.
Ages: 12 months and up.
One way babies learn? By putting everything in their mouths. That's one reason we love this set so much. Perfectly sized for little hands, these soft and squishy BPA-free blocks are made to be gnawed on with fun textures to explore on each side. Each of the eight blocks feature colors, numbers, animals and shapes to engage them while they build or bite. One important thing to note, however, is that they are not designed for water play as they can develop mold inside.
The Lovevery Block Set is an entire system of 70 wood pieces, all designed to work together to create 20 stage-based challenges and activities, all in one beautiful wooden box. Build towers and bridges or work hand-eye coordination by lacing blocks with the wooden dowels and string. Four solid wooden people expand their imaginative horizons as they craft houses and buildings. Bonus: The included wooden box is not only ideal for neat and tidy storage, but also converts into a play car!
Ages: 18 months and up
Ubiquitous for a reason, these interlocking colorful blocks are a longtime favorite of kids and parents alike. Not only do they allow for endless creativity, the way they stack together keeps frustration to a minimum. The set includes 80 blocks of various sizes and colors—which may only be the beginning of a gigantic collection.
Ages: 12 months and up
Best Blocks for Toddlers
Few toys are more versatile than a big ol' box of wooden blocks. And while there are thousands of sets out there, we recommend this simple 100-block set from Melissa & Doug. The colorful blocks come in a variety of shapes that are perfect for building anything they can imagine and durable enough to hold up for generations—all for a budget-friendly price tag!
Ages : 3 and up
These colorful blocks are great for encouraging open-ended, creative play and developing math, science, spatial and fine motor skills. The magnetic sides will inspire beginning builders and help more experienced builders think "outside the box." There are tons of different sets to add on as the obsession grows and don't be surprised if you find yourself wanting to play with them after the little ones go down for the night!
Ages: 3 and up
With their jumbo size and lightweight cardboard construction, these are the blocks toddler dreams are made of. The set includes 24 durable blocks in three different sizes that are easy to assemble and impressively support up to 150 pounds. Set up a wall to crash through like the Kool-Aid man! Race to build the tallest tower! The possibilities—and fun—are endless.
Ages: 2 years and up
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