Gift Guide: 11 Most Amazing Building Toys That Are Not LEGO
Want to try new and engaging building blocks that are not traditional LEGO? All the building toys listed are the award-winning and one of the best build and play toys out there. All of these design and build toys are open-ended toys. So kids can get creative with imaginative, hands-on play to create anything they can imagine. Building toys represent STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering, and Math) principles and help in fine motor, problem-solving skills, and spatial concepts.
A few months back I had decided to break away from using classic Lego building blocks(for some time!; It’s like giving Lego’s a break from my kids). So when I started exploring and testing a few products out, I was amazed by the number of choices we have. While LEGO’s are still a part of my kids build, design and play, they had come to love these new build and design building blocks, and they are so much fun for both parents and kids!!. So without any delay, 11 Most Amazing Building Toys That Are Not LEGO
11 Most Amazing Building Toys That Are Not LEGO
Updated with more options as we got to explore more fun and new building sets.
Grippies Builders (For kids ages 15 months+)
First up we have, Grippies Builders! Grippies Builders by Guidecraft is the Winner of the PCAwards Silver Honor, Parents’ Choice STEM Toys and is the best toy for toddlers. Grippies Builders are open-ended, magnetic building toys with colorful rods and balls.The Soft plastic grips with 4 unique soft-touch textures provide sensory touch and feel. Kids will learn the difference between linear and round shapes.The best part is they are “Magnetic’! The quality, finish and most of all the entertainment they provide the kids gets an A plus! Toddlers will definitely have amazing fun. Read my complete review here.
Guidecrafts’s Junior Rainbow Building blocks (For kids ages 15 months+)
Guidecraft’s Junior Rainbow Building block set is yet another impressive and ingenious toddler activity. Guidecrafts’s Junior Rainbow building block set took the building blocks to the next level. The inset colored acrylic windows are very attractive. Bright colors are visually stimulating, and they capture children’s attention. Guidecrafts’s Junior Rainbow Building blocks provide exploration and visual Stimulation in Children. You can read my complete review here.
Guidecraft IO Blocks Travel Set ( For kids ages 3+)
GuideCraft IO Blocks is the 2016 Toy of The Year Finalist in Preschool category, winner of 2015 Tillywig Brain Child Award, 2015 Parents’ Choice Award. With the GuideCraft IO blocks, you could create people, animals, architecture, robots, vehicles and more. GuideCraft IO blocks were open-ended interlocking construction blocks. So the possibilities were endless. Any model is a creation. My Son had tons of fun and was totally occupied. An icing on the cake was my 15-month-old started playing with them. Innovative augmented reality IO Blocks App acts as a virtual build guide. You can read my full review here.
Guidecraft Mini IO BLOCKS (For kids Ages 5+)
Winner of the 2016 Tillywig Creative Fun Award the Guidecraft’s IO Block Minis (Quarter-size Mini version of the award-winning IO Blocks) an open-ended building toy, whose 12 unique shapes inspired by the digital world’s 8-bit pixelated design provides unlimited fun. These are small, colorful, soft-touch matte plastic pieces securely interlock with the unique, friction-fit system. You can use the enclosed tracker pad and free IO Blocks App which provides 3D augmentation of the models and is available for your smartphone and tablet for additional building inspiration. Suggested Age: 5+
Guidecraft PowerClix (For kids ages 3+)
With, the award-winning PowerClix magnetic Building sets there is no end to creativity. The PowerClix frames are bright and translucent. The 120 pieces set comes with 8 different shapes and construction possibilities are endless. Kids can Create cubes, pyramids, and other geometric shapes. Very hands-on.
If you need something more exciting take a look at the Powerclix Construction vehicle set. The PowerClix Vehicles set can be used to build a sturdy front loader, dump truck, bulldozer or endless open-ended vehicle combinations using the simple click-on pieces. If you have a trucks’ fan at home this is going to be one fun design and build set she or he would love to play with.
K’NEX Building Sets (For kids Ages 3+)
Let’s talk K’NEX!!. The connectors and the classic K’NEX rods makes K’NEX an ultimate building block sets for kids ages 5+. If you are just introducing these to your kids for the first time, I would suggest you start with a simple set Like the K’NEX Helicopter or TINKERTOY(part of K’NEX family) would be Idle for Preschoolers. Super simple and super fun. Older kids love challenges. So models like K’NEX Thrill Rides – Double Doom Roller Coaster Building Set or a K’NEX Star Shooter Coaster Building Set will provide great fun for them. They could build a two-car roller coaster that stands over 3 feet high and would also have a battery-powered motor and dual coaster cars!
Can’t get enough? Read on!
ZOOB, Build it, Move it Zoob it: Open-ended Designers (For kids ages 6+)
If you have a very imaginative little mind in your house these ZOOB Designers will be fun! ZOOB pieces are colorful, expandable and compatible with all other ZOOB sets. With these open-ended connectors, kids could create people, robots, animals, vehicles and more.
Polydron (For kids ages 2+)
This is my latest find, and this could very well be our next toy! Bright colors and huge blocks; these will be super fun for kids ages 2+. From what I read and explored, the Giant Octoplay primary Colors (Set of 20) have textured surfaces and make the shapes very tactile and connecting them is straightforward and easy to do. Looks like each piece measures 9 1/2 ” across. The Giant Polydron with Wheels (32 Piece Set) features two different sized freely rotating wheels, 4 squares, 8 triangles, 16 gear squares, 2 small wheels, 2 large wheels, and a picture guide. These seem to be suitable for outdoors or indoors. How fun?!
Magna-Tiles (For kids Ages 2+)
How can we not include Magna-tiles to this list!!! Magna-Tiles easily connect and provide hours of open-ended play. Magna-Tiles was, in fact, the first set of building blocks I bought for my kids other than Legos. These are Clear, colorful pieces and appropriate for children ages 12 months to 7 years. Create fun shapes, buildings and more! Magna-Tiles are expensive but worth every penny. A 100 piece set would do justice when the kids construct and play. Magna-Tiles with fewer pieces might not provide much fun as they are only a few pieces. We discovered Magna-Tiles at my son’s preschool, and it was one of the most played toys and was his absolute favorite.
Tegu Magnetic Wooden Block Set (For kids ages 3+)
Tegu Magnetic Wooden Block sets are open-ended, and it incorporates unique shapes, and some sets have magnetic wheels. I love the fact that they are magnetic!! Very attractive perfect for bringing in the imagination! They are a bit expensive. You could go with the lower number of blocks the 14 Piece Tegu Magnetic Wooden Block Set like I did and used as on the go activity and would be great as stocking stuffers!
Kid K’Nex K’Nex came up with a great building set for younger kids ages 3-7 years old. These are great. Will update more with a new post. My daughter spends a lot of time coming up with her own monsters or structures.
Lauri by Playmonster, These playsets are durable, multi-functional, affordable, educational and most importantly enjoyable. You can check the post Learning with Lauri by Playmonster for the different playsets we loved exploring. most of these are recommended for kids ages 2+. I would say kids ages 2-5 would love these.
These are our favorite Building Block sets we love. What do you use? Would love to hear from you. Let us know we could add them to this list!
***Disclosure: I had received some of the products for review and some of the products I bought for my kids. I was not compensated for any of these. All opinions are honest and 100% mine. You can check my Review process here.