GIFT GUIDE FOR TOTS: Best of Building
BEST OF BUILDING
CADE + CAL TESTED & APPROVED
Our favorite building toys of 2018 for kids like us ages 2-6. From basic building blocks to 3-D magnetic sculptures here's our holiday best of building gift guide.
The Areaware Balancing blocks by Fort Standard are as much for kids as they are adults. The modern faceted stone shape blocks can be built into a variety of mini sculptures that look more like art than a kids toy. The blocks are priced at $48 for a set of 10.
Sometimes the simplest of toys are always the best. These standard unit building blocks by Melissa & Doug are one of Cade and Cal's favorites. The set contains 60 wooden blocks, that are pretty much indestructible and are nicely contained in a slim wooden box.
Magformers and Magnatiles are the most popular brands of magnetic building tiles in the market. Yes, they are on the pricier side, but they never disappoint. I've tried the cheaper version of the tiles, and the magnets just aren't as strong as these.
First we will take a look at Magformers, the pieces are all hollow in the middle, with magnets along the exterior edges. They offer a large variety of vehicle, gear, animal building sets which are great as the kids get older. If your kids are on the younger side I recommend the standard building sets which I have linked below. The prices on the magformers website range from $25 for 14 pieces, $60 for 30 pieces, and $100 for 62 pieces. Luckily, they are much cheaper on Amazon! I found a set of 30 for $35, see link below.
Even though we are listing them second we love the Magnatiles just as much as the Magformers. The biggest differences are, Magnatiles have flat solid shapes and are not offered in as many specialized building sets like Magformers. However, as I mentioned above the basic building sets are all you really need. The prices range from $30 for 15 pieces, $50 for 28 pieces, $75 for 48 pieces, and $120 for 100 pieces. Amazon seems to have the best prices currently, linked below is a 30 piece set for $50.
We love these magnetic wooden building blocks that seem to defy gravity at times. The building combinations are endless and they come in a variety of sets. The 14 and 24 piece sets are great starters, which we found for $27 and $50 on Amazon. See links below.
Janods wooden magnetic vehicle building kits are great for your toddlers on the the younger side of 2-6. Each piece magnetically connects and is great for building fine motor skills. The average price is around $20 for each set.
The boys love these Take-Apart Vehicles by Battat. Each set comes with a battery powered drill and 3 bits that are used to assemble and take apart each vehicle. My mother and law found these and it's the first toy my boys run to when they are at her house. The average price for a kit is around $20.
I'm also going to have to give my mother in law credit with this great find of Mix and Match Vehicles by Popular Playthings. Each vehicle is connected by the same magnetic connector which allows for kids to explore their imagination and mix and match parts of different vehicles to create their own.
PLUS PLUS BLOCKS
We saved the best for last, it's possible I may like playing with them more than my kids. The Plus Plus blocks come in two sizes Big and Mini/Midi. The big size are great for ages 2-4 and the mini size seems to be more appropriate for kids ages 4 and up. Scroll down to the picture below to see a comparison of sizes.
Each block is shaped the same (like a hashtag) and is great for creating flat mosaics or 3D sculptures. They are the perfect size for travel, and the best part it if you lose a few you won't break the bank buying a new set. A 300 piece set of minis sells for just $20.