It all starts with stacking the building blocks
As babies and toddlers develop their hand-eye coordination and pincer skills, they begin with building play: making towers of almost anything. They enjoy simple wooden building blocks or other construction sets that can safely be stacked up – and of course, knocked down! Popular building toys for 3-year-olds and 4-year-olds feature chunky, easy-to-handle blocks and bright colours, like the interconnecting bricks in LEGO, DUPLO, building sets and MEGA Bloks building toys. Often these construction sets are based on kids’ favourite characters or series and often feature vehicles like toy cars, Monster trucks, and toy train sets to add special interest to imaginative play. Other features of popular construction toys include textured surfaces like bristles that stick together and pull apart easily, or click-and-stick magnetic pieces, both of which offer frustration-free building fun for younger builders. Preschoolers’ frequent fascination with heavy machinery and vehicles also makes CAT construction toys – and even ride-on vehicles – popular choices.
From blocks to bricks play toys
As kids gain confidence and dexterity – around 6 years old or 7 years old – they may enjoy both the structure and open-ended nature of interconnected bricks like those in LEGO building sets. This best-selling building toy brand has a vast variety of sets across a range of skill levels, interests, and themes. These include sets based on favourite movies, TV shows and characters, like LEGO Star Wars, LEGO Harry Potter, and LEGO Superheroes sets, as well as the brand’s original series such as LEGO Friends and LEGO NINJAGO sets. These popular building sets run the gamut from small builds of a few dozen pieces to create small vignettes or characters, to massive and sophisticated builds of many hundreds, even thousands, of bricks. Experienced builders and collectors can choose from STEM toys that are focused on mechanical construction kits to create working, remote-controlled cars, and highly detailed models; more artistic sets that function as room décor or display pieces; or fan-focused building sets, like models of iconic supercars, sneakers, guitar brands – even famous works of art.
Building toys make more than just models
Construction toys help even very young kids to build spatial skills, to understand concepts like gravity, and cause-and-effect: building a tower and knocking it down is more than just a fun way to make some noise! Toddlers and preschools who love to see big machines at work can mimic those activities with construction vehicle toys and with their collections of blocks and bricks, developing storytelling and problem-solving skills. Fun, freestyle building from bins of assorted building blocks or bricks – to make a Halloween scene, a Christmas decoration, a party centrepiece – allows kids to use their imaginations, experiment with structures, and exercise their creative muscles. Following the instructions of even a very simple building set or educational model kit teaches kids valuable STEM skills and demands focus and rigour. The more complex and sophisticated the building kit, the greater the challenge as kids explore principles of engineering and physics.