One Toy Every Child Should Have

When it comes to a child’s cognitive and physical development, they actually need far fewer toys and tools than you think! In this article, we’ll look at the one toy the National Association for the Education of Young Children believes every classroom should have.

kids playing with blocks

If we told you that a simple set of blocks can enhance your child’s development more than almost any other toy on the market, would you be surprised?

Well, there’s a ton of research that highlights the amazing developmental benefits of block play and the National Association for the Education of Young Children believes that every classroom should have a set.

In this article, we’ll go over:

  • The benefits of block play
  • How parents can enhance children’s block play
  • The best block sets for children

Scroll down to learn more:

 

Developmental Benefits of Block Play

Blocks have been shown to help children develop their:

  • Gross and fine motor skills
  • Hand-eye coordination
  • Imagination
  • Creativity
  • Language and literacy skills
  • Problem-solving skills
  • Spatial reasoning
  • Mathematical skills
  • Cognitive flexibility (quickly shifting your focus from one concept to another)
  • Scientific reasoning
  • Social skills
  • Self-esteem and self-expression

While young children will benefit from having an adult demonstrate how to use blocks and engage in building with them, toddlers and older children will reap more developmental rewards if they’re left to engage in free play with their blocks.

 

How Parents Can Help Enhance Children’s Block Play

Parents can enhance their children’s block play by:

  • Asking open-ended questions such as, “What do you think would happen if you removed this block?”
  • Inviting them to create stories around their constructions.
  • Encouraging them to keep trying if their projects don’t turn out as they’d planned.

Depending on the block set, parents can also use blocks to help teach counting, color and shape recognition, and pattern making.

 

The Best Block Sets for Children

 

Raduga Grez Mountains Building Blocks 

 

Ethically made in Russia of sustainably sourced solid lime wood, this 34 piece block set is finished with non-toxic water-based paints and is free from glue and lacquer. Fun for classic block play, it can also be used as a puzzle or scene for imaginative play with small dolls!

 

Raduga Grez Mountains Building Blocks

Raduga Grez Mountains Building Blocks

 

$125

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PlanToys Sensory Blocks

 

Perfect for babies, the six piece sensory block set from PlanToys will delight their little senses while encouraging creative block play. Featuring 2 visual blocks, 2 auditory blocks and 2 texture blocks, they’re made from renewable rubber wood and painted with non-toxic vegetable inks.

PlanToys Sensory Blocks

 

PlanToys Sensory Blocks

 

$20

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Guidecraft Wooden Sensory Rainbow Blocks

 

This 18 piece sensory block set features bright colors and shapes designed to encourage the development of hand-eye coordination, visual perception, and color recognition. With frames made from FSC-certified wood, the inserts are primary-colored, transparent plexi windows filled with colorful beads, sand, or shimmering water.

 

 

Guidecraft Sensory Rainbow Blocks

 

Guidecraft Wooden Sensory Rainbow Blocks

 

$89.95

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Guidecraft Wooden Unit Blocks Set A

 

Made with smooth-sanded, FSC-certified rubberwood, this 28 piece set is intended to allow children to engineer exciting structures.

 

Wooden block set from Guidecraft

 

Guidecraft Wooden Unit Blocks Set A

 

$49.95

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Uncle Goose Classic ABC Blocks

 

Handcrafted in Michigan from fast-growing basswood and non-toxic, child-safe inks, this classic ABC block set adds the element of mobility thanks to the included wagon! Sure to be an heirloom set, your tot will love learning their ABCs, colors, numbers and more!

Uncle Goose ABC Blocks with Wagon AW19

 

Uncle Goose Classic ABC Blocks with Wagon

 

$58

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Modern Blocks Numbers Counting Blocks

 

Made in the USA of untreated wood, Modern Blocks’ unique sets are hand painted with non-toxic, organic paint and finished with an organic wax polish. Featuring high contrast numbers, shapes and letters, they’re fantastic sets to help strengthen eyesight and encourage early literacy and numeracy skills.

Modern Blocks Numbers

 

Modern Blocks Numbers Counting Set

 

$65

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Modern Blocks Counting Shapes and Alphabet Set

 

Modern Blocks Counting, Shapes & Alphabet Set

 

$65

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PlanToys 50 Unit Blocks

 

This classic block set from PlanToys features 50 pieces in numerous shapes. Perfect for building towers, castles, bridges and more, it’s a wonderful toy to encourage open-ended play.

PlanToys 50 Unit Blocks

 

PlanToys 50 Unit Blocks

 

$70

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Guidecraft Stackers River Stones

 

Made from super smooth FSC certified wood, these soft and stackable river stones allow children to construct nature-inspired structures for hours on end!

 

Guidecraft Wood Stacker River Stone

 

 

Guidecraft Stackers River Stones

 

$39.95

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Rock Blocks – Valencia Set of 16

 

Rock Blocks changed the game of block play when they came up with their abstract rock-shaped blocks! Available in different colors, these sets really challenge kids to think outside the box!

Rock Blocks Valencia Set of 16

Rock Blocks – Valencia Set of 16

 

$57.99

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Rock Blocks Frosty Set of 16

 

Rock Blocks – Frosty Set of 16

 

$57.99

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Guidecraft Wooden Rainbow Blocks

 

Designed with frames made from FSC-certified wood and transparent primary-colors acrylic windows, these unique blocks help develop hand-eye coordination, visual perception, and color recognition

 

Guidecraft Rainbow Blocks

 

Guidecraft Wooden Rainbow Blocks

 

$79.95

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Q Toys Tree Blocks

 

Made from solid, sustainably-sourced plantation timber and finished with non-toxic oil, this 106 piece block set features all different shapes, sizes and textures for kids to explore.

 

Q Toys Tree Blocks

 

Q Toys Tree Blocks

 

$100.99

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Continue exploring

  • As advocates of play-based learning, we’ve teamed up with expert early learning educators to create sets consisting of the toys and activities you need to help your tot reach developmental milestones, learn important life skills and build the confidence needed to enter a formal learning environment. Perfect for newborns up to Age 6, The Tot Play & Learn Sets are the screen-free educational tool you’ve been looking for.
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