Reviews: Building Toys (18mo – 36mo)


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It’s no secret little people love to create. In my house we’ve seen Kota gravitate toward building, especially since dad has a surplus of tools himself. When my kid was born he definitely came out kicking and screaming a little boy despite all my best efforts to keep his stuff gender neutral… once he started exploring and playing with things he liked it became obvious he loved anything that had to do with building! So if your little boy (or girl) has a penchant for putting things together and taking them apart read on for suggestions…

“My First Welder Kit” not actually sold in stores

Since dad likes to build (uh, everything) and Kota is too young for his own “My First Welder Kit” – is that a thing? There’s a couple awesome toys I feel have gone the distance as far as his creativity goes.


I recommend the smaller set to start since they are pretty expensive. We ended up buying this one  (affiliate link) after he fell in love with it. Literally he builds them in all kinds of cool ways, like on his metal play table, off the side of the coffee table (testing the weight threshold of the magnets) as well as just building them up to knock them over, etc. I especially like this set because…

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Building me my dream house

1) They have them at daycare and his teacher had recommended them for fine motor skill enhancement!

2) The shape possibilities are endless, you can build a house for Mickey Mouse or a witches tower or a dance party platform. I feel like they do a wonderful job of inspiring creativity. I like to ask him what we should build etc.

3) These things are super sturdy! I mean aside from the scratches on a few I don’t see how they could actually break. They have been thrown across the room multiple times and alas, they can truly with stand the wrath of a toddler. Score!


  1. Originally we were gifted the Black & Decker kids plastic workbench with a bunch of miscellanous components, but Kota tore right through that. If you are looking for something a bit more heavy duty, this wooden bench by Melissa & Doug (affiliate link) gets my vote. It has all the same ideas for drilling and hammering as its plastic counterpart, however the wood makes it much more sturdy. And let’s face it, this little boy needs sturdy! I would be lying if I didn’t note that my little man uses a real screw or two on this set and occasionally dads hammer, not his wooden one (well supervised of course)…


What the Discovery Kids Construction Fort (affiliate link) is supposed to be used for…


I bought a set of these used off of eBay (my fave for recycling toys) after Kota had such a great time with them at a friends house. My mom friend swore up and down that these start as a toy and end up as a weapon…. “naaaaw, not my little angel”… I thought naively. Low and behold these were super great for about a month until they were reduced to a stick with a hard ball on them.


I loved the creativity they encouraged though. It started out as a spaceship, then a fort, then an umbrella, etc. Personally, I felt it pushed Kota’s creativity…. unfortunately he began to see them for their real potential. Back in the box for another day! An older, more reserved day…. these exist right?! Love that they are versatile, my only complaint would be that the sticks could be more heavy duty, a few of them broke at the tops in, uh, play…

I try my best to first buy used (to reduce my environmental impact) but if I’m buying new I tend to order from Amazon (because it’s super convenient for parents) & I only buy things I know will last. I’m really particular about not buying Kota junk toys and try my best to source out things I know are of good quality & will stoke the imagination.

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Can I get a job mang?

Where do you shop for kids toys now that Toys R Us is gone?!



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