If You Build It…

If You Build It…

Although the cardboard box remains the most essential component to any young builder’s toolbox, these blocks and other architectural wonders will make worthy additions.

Wooden Building Set: Four Elements
1 & up

What it is: An innovative building set of organic forms.

Why we like it: These beautifully colored shapes are eco-friendly in materials as well as longevity.

Block Builders
5 & Up

What it is: Within the box are six cubes that look identical. When you pick them up, you will discover that each hinged block opens up to form a unique configuration. The fifty Challenge Cards in three degrees of difficulty show the shape to be built and the number of blocks to use. The solution is provided in an exploded view on back of the card. Each card also includes an architectural term, style, fact, or noteworthy building.
Why we like it: One could spend joyful hours opening, closing, rotating, flipping, and stacking the blocks into endless structures. They serve as a new way to challenge builders.

CitiBlocs Little Builder Rattle Blocs
2 & up

What it is: 22 wooden blocks that double as rattles
Why we like it: 
Testers jumped right into building skyscrapers and whole villages, putting the steps in front of the buildings and adding the roof. The rattle inside of the blocks made for a fun addition to play. “Instruments!” exclaimed one boy when he heard the rattle. A great gift for city dwellers.


K’NEX Rippin’ Rocket Coaster
9 & up

What it is: This K’NEX construction toy, Rippin’ Rocket 2 Coaster, uses 545 pieces to build a huge, impressive, death-defying roller coaster.

Why we like it:  The more than four foot high, almost five feet wide and two foot deep structure shimmies and shudders as the motorized launcher shoots the single car up the vertical wall then down along the twisting, looping, flexible track, only to be sent upward again.

LEGO® CITY Harbour
6 to 12 Years


What it is: This LEGO City Harbor set imitates a real working loading dock, complete with a large floatable cargo ship, a full-service dock with transport truck, conveyor belt, and working crane
Why we like it: There are lots of details in this set, from sleeping quarters for the captain onboard to a fisherman on the pier, that encourage creative play. Children will also learn a bit about how products (in this case play food) get from farm to table.