I don’t even need to tell you that blocks are awesome. You already know, because you played with them yourself.
Most building blocks never break, and they interest kids for years. They even have educational perks, helping 2-year-olds with spatial skills, fine motor skills, sorting and organizing, and even imagining (if my 2-year-old has even one block in his hand, it usually becomes an airplane – I don’t know).
The only downside of blocks is that they get scattered everywhere and require seemingly constant pick-up and sub-furniture-retrieval. But hey, it’s worth it if it keeps your kid entertained for a while.
So, which blocks to choose?
Made by the Lego company specifically for younger kids, Duplos are very popular blocks, and not just with my son; almost all the sets I’ve seen on Amazon (including the ones listed below) have solid 5-star ratings. I can vouch personally for the construction set, too: it has been a big hit since right before my son turned 2.
This can also be a nice place to direct family for gift ideas since all Duplo toys are compatible.
Mega Bloks, larger and more lightweight than Duplos, are also very popular building blocks for toddlers. Many Mega Bloks sets, like the one pictured here, even come with their own storage, which parents will love.
Some other great Mega Bloks gift options if you’re looking for something more exciting for your 2-year-old than just the blocks:
Mega Bloks Caterpillar Lil’ Dump Truck $12
Mega Bloks First Builders 123 Learning Train, $20
Mega Bloks First Builders Wacky Wheels, 70 Pieces (includes a bag of blocks with parts for a firetruck, airplane and digger, all with cute lil sticker faces) $27
I don’t have any of these yet, but I’d like to.
They get great reviews, and would be fun for a 2-year-old to figure out – a little twist on the typical block.
These little B. Spinaroos ($35) also look like a great idea – they’re bristle-block-based, but with colorful faces and bodies for kids to spin and twist around.
If you can spend a little more and want to give that special 2-year-old in your life even more building options, magnetic blocks are great.
The most popular brand on the market are Magna-Tiles® – they have unbelievable reviews – but the age suggestion starts at age 3.
The Magneatos pictured here are designed more for toddlers, are affordable, and also got good reviews.
Non Interlocking Blocks
Wooden continue to be a classic, aesthetically pleasing toy, even though I personally hate stepping on them and how much damage they can do as projectiles.
These larger, cardboard blocks are affordable and great for make-believe play if you’re cool with how much space they take up.
Nesting Blocks / Stacking Blocks
Toddlers can do it all with these toys: stack, sort, organize, count, identify colors and patterns.
The Djeco cubes shown here are fun because they show a different theme on each side.
A twist on the typical nesting blocks: this Melissa & Doug Nesting, Sorting Garages and Cars toy comes with little wooden cars to place in each block – a great idea for vehicle-lovers.