Give a child a bucket of Legos, and they’ll spend hours tinkering with and building the colorful blocks. There’s a good reason why Legos are among the most beloved toys of educators, parents, and kids. Playing with Legos develops a child’s fine motor skills, problem-solving capacity, creativity, and patience.
There is no denying that building with Legos is both entertaining and educational. However, these blocks come with expensive tags; building your collection can cost a fortune. The good news is there are multiple budget Lego alternatives that can educate and entertain just as good as Legos can. Looking for affordable building blocks? Here are our top recommendations for the best lego alternatives for kids!
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Fits into Legos, but don’t cost as much – they’re the Lego clones. Clones are affordable Lego alternatives that are also Lego-compatible. Go for Lego clones if you want to build your Lego collection in an affordable way.
Is your young toddler showing interest in building and stacking blocks? They will love Mega Bloks First Builders! This classic building block set from Fisher-price is more of a Duplo alternative. The set features big, colorful blocks that can easily fit together and come apart – perfect for the small, delicate hands of your toddler.
For just below $20, you get 80 award-winning blocks you and your child can use to build and create trees, animals, vehicles, and robots. Your child can spend hours of meaningful, open-ended play. Mega Blocks is one of the best budget Lego alternatives for kids ages 1 to 4 years old.
If you are looking for a bulk of blocks you can buy for a lower price, Mega Construx is your best bet. Mega Construx carries a 790-piece tub – each piece compatible with regular Legos!
Banbao is a budget-friendly Lego alternative that is also Lego-compatible. If you’re looking for an affordable way to build your child’s Lego collection, Banbao is the answer.
The brand features real-life and fictional sets. Kids who love all things construction will love Banbao’s construction building kits. Each set is themed – kids who love space, cute houses, and helicopters will find these sets in Banbao!
If your older kids are starting to exhibit interest in intricate, complicated block creations, you can introduce them to Cobi blocks. Cobi features designs that give a nod to historical icons like the Titanic, war tanks, fighter planes, and battleships. Cobi is also Lego-compatible.
The Cobi blocks won’t just help improve your child’s creativity, dexterity, and fine motor skills. When the blocks are entirely put together, they create a figure that’s worthy of being made a decoration.
Sluban is Lego with a more affordable price tag. It is made to match most Lego pieces. The Sluban brand is an excellent pick if you’re looking for a more budget-friendly alternative that is also compatible with Lego.
The Kre-o brand is another Lego-compatible alternative for kids. Among the other Lego-compatible brands, Kre-o’s quality is almost identical to that of Lego’s. This product from Hasbro includes customized designs from popular franchises such as Star Trek, and the Transformers. Kre-o is the creator of Cityville – a set that allows young builders to recreate their little town of blocks.
Wanting to build your Lego collection but the price is holding you back? Let your kids build, and build with PlayPlatoon’s 1100-block set. For an affordable price, you’ll get a huge pack of Lego-compatible pieces. This budget-friendly Lego alternative for kids is a big steal!
Click and Snap Toys
Unlike Lego clones, click and snap toys do not look and fit like Legos but they do the same purpose – keep little hands busy with building. Click and snap toys could either be built by connecting magnetic strips, or interlocking bristles!
Kids love Magformers – they are colorful, easy to use, and the sky’s the limit when it comes to all the creations you can make with them. Unlike typical, stackable blocks, kids can create with Magformers by connecting different magnetic pieces. Comes in colorful pieces that kids will enjoy. The pieces easily attach and come apart – works for little kids who are just learning how to build.
With Bristle Blocks, there’s no limit to creativity. Legos can be frustrating, especially to young builders. Bristle Blocks is an excellent option for kids who are still learning how to build and stack blocks together.
Unlike regular construction blocks, Bristle Blocks feature soft, interlocking bristles that connect together at whatever angle – no more frustrated play! The set also comes with eight wheels to add motions to the figures made by kids.
Stack, lock, build, and create – Waffle Blocks works just as easy as that. With Waffle Blocks, kids can create 3D creations. The blocks also lock in different angles so kids can stack blocks in multiple directions. The easy-to-use construction system allows kids to become extra creative and imaginative during playtime.
The Waffle Blocks works for all ages! Its size makes it easy for little hands to build, even older kids will have fun with this set!
This affordable block set is like Lego, but smaller – it is an ideal choice for tweens, teens, and even adults. Each set features tiny pieces that help add intricate detail to finished products. Unlike Lego creations, a completed Nanoblock set won’t take as much space in your home.
The kits come in multiple themes – you can even find Pokemon-themed sets. Create musical instruments, famous landmarks, and iconic events with Nanoblock!
With just a set of IQ Builder, your kids will get a total of 164 connectible pieces to join, link, and fasten together to their delight. Each set includes wheels, balls, ball connectors, and wheel connectors, which kids can use to create different structures, vehicles, and animal shapes. If you have pretty imaginative kids, they can even make unique creations!
IQ Builder is ideal for ages 5 years old and older. The small pieces can be difficult for young kids to handle. You can download an e-book where you can find easy instructions on how to create using IQ Builder.
Create awesome 3D configurations with the K’Nex Imagine motorized building set. The motorized building set features 529 pieces, including wheels, rods, and connectors. Attach the battery-powered motor to your 3D creations to make them come to life! It comes with an easy-to-follow instruction guide that will help kids make amazing configurations with the clickable pieces.
Are your kids’ big fans of racing? Indulge them to an hour of building with the Meccano Erector Model Building Kit. The kit comes with high-quality nuts, bolts, and wheels to help kids feel like they’re actually assembling a car. The finished product? A sleek miniature replica of Ferrari’s best car.
When you avail of the Marble Genius Marble Run starter set, you’ll get 80 see-through marble run pieces. The set includes 6 solid bases that will help ensure your kids’ creations will have sturdy support.
My son loves building his own marble run design and put all the marbles in at once to see how they can get through the bottom.
Encourage STEM learning in your kids with the Gears! Gears! Gears! Super Set. Kids can enjoy hours of creative play with the set’s 66 pieces of gears. Includes square pillars, axles, interlocking bases, connectors, and crank handles.
The Gears! Gears! Gears! Set comes with a simple, easy-to-follow guide that will help your kids build in minutes!
If your kids love connecting pieces together, they will love Zoob. The Zoob set is composed of colorful hollow poles with socket-ended rods kids can easily connect together. With Zoob, kids can create 3D figures they can move. Zoob is for all ages – older kids can make intricate models, while little ones can create simpler figures.
Classic building toys like wooden blocks and logs are great Lego alternatives for kids. Building toys encourage kids’ creativity in a simpler way.
The Lincoln Logs set consists of 327 pieces of maple blocks kids can use to make their own little wooden community. Includes a step-by-step instruction sheet that will guide kids into making their first wooden cabin. The Lincoln Log pieces are designed to fit even small hands. Playing with log sets can teach kids hand-eye coordination, spatial recognition, and problem-solving skills!
Kids who love all things rockets and space will love this mission rocket! Kids as young as 7 can help assemble this super cool rocket ship equipped with lights and sounds. Young builders will get to experience how it is like to check and maintain the ship. With its aesthetics and sounds, the PLAYMOBIL mission rocket looks like the real thing.
Why Get an Alternative to Lego?
Perhaps you might be wondering, “If Lego has the best quality in the market, why do I need to bother for Lego alternatives for kids?” Two answers: affordability and options.
If you’re just after building the number of Lego pieces for your kids, consider buying a cheaper set of blocks. Some affordable Lego alternatives are just as good as the original – for half the price. If kids frequently misplace Lego pieces, more economical options come in handy.
Another reason why you should go for non-Lego blocks is because some of the best alternatives for Legos feature designs that Lego doesn’t have.
How to Choose The Best Budget Lego Alternatives for Kids
Does it have enough pieces to keep my child engaged?
If you’re choosing a set of blocks for your child, consider the number of pieces. A set that does not have enough pieces of blocks might bore your child. Go for a set that has the adequate amount of blocks to keep your child engaged.
Does it fit my child’s learning level?
Take the time to assess your child’s learning level, then review if the set of blocks is too easy, or too difficult for your child. Choose a set that fits your child’s learning level and interests.
Is it of good quality?
Although a lot of Lego knockoffs are good quality, some can be disappointing. It pays to check reviews before going for a set.
Is the set what my child likes?
You’ll be spending more if you buy a brand that does not capture your child’s interest and creativity. Before buying a Lego alternative, make sure it matches your child’s interest at the moment.
Does it encourage open-ended play?
Most of the recommended alternatives on the list above come with instructions on how to build them. Each set mentioned above also allows kids to make whatever they want to make. The recommended sets encourage open-ended play that will help boost your kids’ imagination, creativity, and problem solving skills.
Blocks can do wonders for your child’s fine motor, problem-solving, and creativity skills. But blocks shouldn’t always mean Lego. Help develop your child’s gifts without breaking the bag with these highly-recommended, affordable Lego-alternatives for kids.