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TOP 20 LEGO ALTERNATIVES FOR KIDS & ADULTS

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CHEAP (AFFORDABLE) LEGO ALTERNATIVES

We tend to always refer to building block sets as LEGOS, but in fact, LEGO is a brand, not the actual toy. That is why LEGOS are more expensive than other building blocks. The cost of these building blocks is the reason why we buy LEGO alternatives.

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When our son was born, I said from the beginning that I wouldn’t buy LEGOS because they are small and will end up all over the house, and I’ll likely be the one stepping on them all the time. Well, we ended up buying them, and I’ve stepped on too many to count.

Now that our son is a toddler, we’ve found LEGO alternatives at an affordable price, plus they’re great to travel with kids. Here is our list of the best Lego alternatives for toddlers, older kids, and even adults.

Related Post: Best Travel Toys for 2-Year-Olds

LEGO ALTERNATIVES FOR TODDLERS

This section is all about toddlers. Being that we travel with our two year old son, we have a suitcase dedicated to his learning activities and toys.

Here are our favorite Lego alternatives for toddlers.

Bristle Blocks by Battat

Bristle Blocks by Battat

Bristle Blocks by Battat are one of our favorite Lego alternatives because they are easy to connect, versatile, have a significant amount of pieces, and are affordable.

There are over 100 pieces in this set for less than $20. That’s a deal I’d take any day, especially since I know our son will lose at least 20-25 pieces.

What makes these building blocks so unique is that they can connect at any angle. If your toddler is anything like ours, he gets frustrated when he can’t get the pieces to fit, so these are easy to connect and can connect anyway.

Your little one can let their imagination run wild to create airplanes, cars, houses, trains, or anything else they can imagine.

I highly recommend this set for two to four-year-old’s. You can take these on road trips, in restaurants, or on an airplane with your toddler.

Pros

  • Affordable
  • A lot of pieces
  • Easy to connect
  • A lot of different shapes

Cons

  • Not for kids under 2 years old
  • Older kids may not enjoy
  • No storage container

Magnetic Blocks

Magnetic Blocks

Magnetic Blocks are fun building blocks with magnets inside. With 40 pieces the possibilities are endless with this building block set.

These area great alternative to Lego, since they are more affordable, easy to connect, portable, and fun for toddlers. The magnet can be connected on all sides, so your little one doesn’t get frustrated while building.

Although there aren’t a lot of pieces, there are enough for your kids to build anything. You can buy different color sets to add to their collection.

Magnet blocks are the perfect gift for three-year-olds who love to build. As they get older, you can use these to help with their math skills.

Our son is approaching his third birthday, so my wife has started using blocks to help him learn additional and subtraction. As your toddler becomes preschool age, these blocks can become a learning tool.

Pros

  • Connects on all sides
  • Affordable
  • Great learning tools
  • Great for travel

Cons

  • Limited colors
  • Magnet could be stronger
  • Not as durable as other blocks

LeapFrog LeapBuilders

LeapFrog LeapBuilders

LeapFrog LeapBuilders is one of our favorite Lego alternatives. I purchased three different sets of these building blocks before we started our family gap year.

Our son has been using these blocks since he was 14-months-old. What I love most about these blocks is the smart star cube, which helps toddlers learn. Your little one can learn shapes, colors, object recognition, and identification.

Not only do your toddlers learn, but they can also build different objects. A few of the sets we have are pet pals, vehicles, and train sets. This is how our two-year-old learned his numbers and became obsessed with trains.

I always recommend anyone with a baby to buy these Lego alternative building blocks for their little ones. Kids as young as 12 months can play with these blocks.

They are large, so you don’t have to worry about choking hazards. Your baby will also work on their motor skills and hand strength so they can connect and disconnect without a lot of effort.

Pros

  • Help toddlers learn
  • A lot of different models
  • Easy to connect
  • Large for smaller kids to hold

Cons

  • Requires batteries
  • Only a few pieces included
  • Need to buy several sets

Our Favorite LeapFrog LeapBuilders

Related Post: Best Road Trip Toys for Toddlers

Magna-Tiles

Magna-Tiles

My wife got our son a set of Magna-Tiles last year when he was 16 months old, and he’s been playing with them ever since.

We use these when we go out to eat as a distraction while we wait for our food. They are one of the best travel toys for toddlers.

We’ve been using these for well over a year, and I am happy to report he only lost four out of the set of 32 tiles. Babies as young as 12 months old can play with these building tiles. 

Your toddler will have a lot of fun with the magnets while creating anything they can imagine. 

During quiet time, our toddler takes these in his tent to play 30-40 minutes a few times a week. Honestly, if you have a toddler that likes to build, these are the best building blocks for your toddler.

This is one of the few building blocks on our list that older kids will enjoy, as well as toddlers. Your kids can play together with this set.

To reduce the fights, you may want to consider getting more pieces, but either way, everyone will have fun creating their own masterpiece.

Pros

  • Compact
  • Babies can use
  • Pieces always connect
  • Great for older kids
  • A lot of different shapes

Cons

  • Expensive compared to other building blocks
  • Can break if dropped often

Magnet Tile Sets

Melissa & Doug Wooden Building Blocks

Melissa & Doug Wooden Building Blocks

Our toddler has the Melissa & Doug Wooden Building Blocks. If you have been reading this post, you’ll notice he has several different building blocks on this list. My aunt got these for him before we moved to Mexico, and he loves them.

I’m a huge fan of Melissa & Doug toys, when it comes to learning toys for toddlers, they are one of my favorite brands. We feature several of their products on our website because we purchase them for your toddler.

My aunt bought the 100-piece set, but we only took 30-40 pieces with us because he already has too many toys.

We’ve taken these building blocks with us to Guatemala, Orlando, and Cleveland. They are our go-to activity when we need to keep him busy in a taxi or at dinner.

In the last year these building blocks have been through some rough times, but they still look brand new. They’re durability is remarkable, especially with our rough toddler.

For parents looking for blocks for their young toddlers these are the best alternatives to Legos for kids 18-months and older.

Pros

  • Affordable
  • A lot of pieces
  • Bright colors
  • Durable

Cons

  • No cons

Mega Bloks

Mega Bloks

Mega Bloks are one of the most popular products similar to Lego. I remember my younger cousins having these growing up and building with them when they were toddlers. These are the perfect alternative Legos for babies and toddlers.

I may sound like a broken record, but our son got these building blocks from our friends in Mexico for his 2nd birthday. We play with them together to see who can build the best structure (I never win).

The pieces are large enough not to be a choking hazard but small enough for little hands to hold them. If you have a baby over 10-months-old, these are the perfect Lego-like blocks for your baby or toddler.

What I love is the storage bag that comes with the blocks. When our son finishes playing, he can put the blocks back in the bag. There is a reason Mega Bloks are the most popular building blocks for preschoolers.

Pros

  • Affordable
  • Storage bag included
  • A lot of pieces/shapes
  • Character sets available

Cons

  • Older kids will not enjoy

Mega Bloks Sets

Foam Building Blocks

Foam Building Blocks

Foam Building Blocks are the best Lego alternative for babies over 12 months.

The soft foam is great for them to check on, but some parents may be nervous about a potential choking hazard. I recommend waiting until your little one is at least 18-months-old.

Our son’s god mom got him a small set similar to this, and we removed the smaller pieces so he could play with the larger ones. He chewed on them for a little while until he was old enough to start building.

Our son started playing with these building blocks at 14-months-old, and he loved them. Honestly, these are the best cheap building blocks for babies and even infants.

Pros

  • Soft for babies
  • Affordable
  • Portable
  • Durable
  • Improve motor skills

Cons

  • Could be a choking hazard

Related Post: Best Travel Toys for 1-Year-Olds

BESTAMTOY Stacking Stones

BESTAMTOY Stacking Stones

I included BESTAMTOY Stacking Stones because they are different from the other blocks on our list. They aren’t technically Lego-type toys, but they are unique stacking “blocks” for toddlers. 

Our son loves playing with rocks, so having a toy that resembles rocks is different and fun. We haven’t purchased these yet, but we’ll see how he does with his current building blocks.

These blocks would be great for kids starting to stack objects. They provide enough of a challenge for your little one to begin problem-solving and critical thinking.

The age recommendation is three years old and up, but I’m sure kids as young as two years old can play with these stones. If your toddler is still testing things out by putting them in their mouth, I’d recommend waiting until they have passed that stage.

Pros

  • Helps brain development
  • Bright colors
  • Smooth surfaces
  • Challenging

Cons

  • May be choking hazard for babies
  • Toddlers can get frustrated

LEGO ALTERNATIVES FOR KIDS

Tinker Toys

Tinker Toys

If you want a set of building toys that will spark your little one’s imagination, then Tinker Toys are a classic that your kids may love.

The pieces are durable, so they can withstand a rough toddler. The quality of these pieces is on par with Lego. They are easy to click together and will stay together.

There are 65 pieces in this set, making it easy for your kids to create a helicopter, train, race car, or animals. Your kids will have a blast building with these connecting sticks.

This set is great for strengthening their problem solving skills, hand-eye coordination, and foster their creativity. There is a storage set included, so your kids can cleanup after playing with this building set.

I recommend this set for kids over fives year old. Although the pieces are easy to put together, it could be frustrating for toddlers.

Pros

  • Easy to connect
  • Pieces are washable
  • Promotes creativity
  • Storage box included

Cons

  • Not a lot of pieces
  • Not for younger kids

Kid K’nex

KID K’NEX

Kid K’nex is one of the Lego alternatives that nearly has a perfect Amazon rating. Your kids can create wacky animals with this 100 piece building set.

This is the perfect Lego alternative for kids between 6 and 10 years old. The different rods and connectors helps their imagination come to life.

My favorite thing is the reusable storage tub, so it’s easier for the kids to clean up after themselves. This building set puts your preschooler on the path to understanding the fundamentals of science, technology, engineering, and math.

Your kids can hear the pieces click as they build. If you are looking for something fun and unique, this is it.

Note: If you have missing or damages pieces, you can contact customer service to get replacements. They will make sure you get everything you need for your little one to keep building.

Pros

  • A lot of pieces
  • Encourages learning
  • Storage tub included
  • Instruction manual to help build

Cons

  • A lot of small pieces
  • Likely to lose pieces

Brain Flakes

Brain Flakes

If you are looking for toys similar to Legos, Brain Flakes are the perfect alternative. Your kids can build anything, as long as they have the imagination.

The recommended age is five, but most kids three and older can play with these discs. There is so much you can do with these brain flakes.

It’s the perfect activity for siblings, especially if they are close in age. We got a few flakes from a good friend, and they were a lot of fun.

They are easy to lose because the few that we did have disappeared. To encourage kids to get excited about learning. Building activities are a great way to foster creativity, imagination, and engineering.

They are perfect for keeping your kids busy during a long road trip, on flights, or even have family-quality time.

I’m sure parents will appreciate how painless they are when stepped on, so you won’t get hurt in the middle of the night if you step on them.

Pros

  • Lot of pieces
  • Easy to connect
  • A lot of colors
  • Instruction book included
  • Storage bucket included

Cons

  • Get lost easily
  • Can be difficult for some kids

Lincoln Logs

Lincoln Logs

Lincoln Logs are an old-fashion log building set for kids. It’s the perfect Lego alternative for kids that love to build, play farm, and loves animals.

Your little one can build an entire town complete with a general store, barn, house, pasture, and even furniture. There are so many different ways to create a mini-city. It’s the perfect activity for families to do together.

This is the only building set on our list that is wood instead of plastic. If you are looking for more sustainable toys for your kids, this is the perfect Lego alternative.

Some parents complained that the quality isn’t the same as the old Lincoln Logs. We all know toys aren’t like they used to be. Everything these days is made with plastic to save money, so that sets these blocks apart from the other ones on our list.

Pros

  • Can build a town
  • 100% wood
  • A lot of pieces to build
  • Instruction guide included
  • Money-back guarantee

Cons

  • Pieces could fit better

EMIDO Building Blocks

EMIDO Building Blocks

EMIDO Building Blocks are fun discs that kids can click together to create works of art. There are over 100 pieces for them to use to create anything that comes to mind. It’s the perfect Lego alternative for kids between 6 and 10 years old.

These locking discs help inspire not only creativity but help kids understand STEM principles. Your little engineer can build anything they can think of. The storage bag is great for these traveling toys.

I don’t recommend these connecting discs for younger kids. The pieces can be difficult to connect, so toddler can get frustrated. Also, the pieces are small, so they can be a choking hazard for young kids.

Pros

  • Lots of pieces
  • Storage bag
  • Click together easily
  • Idea guide included

Cons

  • Choking hazard for small kids

Mega Construx Halo

Mega Construx Halo

Halo is a popular game that many teens and adults play, so it makes sense that there are Lego-style building blocks to recreate the game. Mega Construx Halo is a 450-piece set to recreate the battles.

This set includes the bricks, but there are action figure characters to bring the scenes to life. Kids and parents can enjoy building together, then acting out the scenes.

I’ve never played HALO, but my younger cousins talk about it all the time. I wish I had the time to get into a game, but our toddler keeps the TV occupied with Storybots or CocoMelon.

If your kids are older, I’m sure they would love these building blocks. They are the perfect Christmas gift or even traveling toy for kids. Put the pieces in a Ziploc bag, and they can build on the go.

Pros

  • A lot of pieces
  • Different scenes
  • Action figures included
  • Affordable

Cons

  • Pieces are small

Veatree Magnetic Building Sticks

Veatree Magnetic Building Sticks

Veatree Magnetic Building Sticks are fun products similar to Lego, except they are sticks and balls. These Lego-like toys take 3-D form, so your kids can build life-like models.

This set comes with over 100 pieces, which include sticks that connect to magnetic balls. There are ten different colors, which makes it fun to build fun structures.

What many parents love about this set is how challenging it is for their kids. It’s the perfect activity to do to enjoy family time. These building sticks are the perfect alternative to screen-time for kids.

If you have babies, you have to make sure your little ones put the pieces away. The magnetic balls can be a choking hazard for babies and some toddlers.

These are unique building blocks on our list, especially if your kids are older. It’s the perfect STEM building block for inspiring imagination and creativity.

Pros

  • Can build 3-D models
  • A lot of pieces
  • Storage bag included
  • Challenges kids
  • Great for families

Cons

  • Small pieces
  • Can be choking hazard for smaller children

COGO Dream Girls Building Blocks

COGO Dream Girls Building Blocks

It looks like all of the blocks on our list are meant for boys, so I included the COGO Dream Girls Building Blocks for girls that love to build. This is a great off-brand budget Lego set for not just girls, any kid that wants to build a castle.

Legos and building bricks aren’t just for boys. These sets help kids with problem-solving, imagination, creativity, sharing, and organization. There is so much that kids can learn while building.

Although these building blocks are similar to Lego, the quality isn’t the same in terms of connectivity. Some of the reviews complain of the bricks being hard to connect, but this set is fun for kids who love to build.

Pros

  • Affordable
  • A lot of pieces
  • Instructional manual included

Cons

  • Small pieces
  • Harder to connect

LEGO ALTERNATIVES FOR ADULTS

Kids aren’t the only ones that love building block sets. Some adults love to build with lego-like blocks, so we included a section in this guide for adults who love to make their creations come to life.

These toys are similar to Legos but are more affordable compared to the name-brand model. Here are the best Lego alternatives for adults.

Erector by Meccano SuperCar 

Erector by Meccano SuperCar

Erector by Meccano SuperCar is a fun car that parents can build with their mini car enthusiasts. This is the perfect project car for having quality time with your kids while having fun.

Everything you need is in the box, plus the tools included. When you finish building this high-speed car, you can take it for a test drive.

After building, you can take the car apart and rebuild it a different way. There are 25 different ways to build this car, so the good times never have to end.

Pros

  • Fun for parents and kids
  • A lot of ways to build
  • Car drives
  • Promotes STEM learning

Cons

  • A lot of pieces
  • Batteries required
  • Requires tools (included)

Sluban Merkava Tank

Sluban Merkava Tank

Another Lego type toy is the Sluban Merkava Tank. This set has over 300 pieces, plus the tank and characters are functional.

For parents that love to build with their kids, this is the ultimate challenge. Many reviewers complain about the difficulty, but if you love to create with building blocks, this is the challenge you need.

The pieces to this set are small, so if you have little ones, it’s best to keep them out of their reach since they can be a choking hazard.

If your kids are interested in military or combat toys, there are more tank models to build. These sets are the perfect gift for military weapon enthusiasts.

Pros

  • Functional
  • A lot of pieces
  • Different models available
  • Action figures included

Cons

  • Can be hard to put together
  • Choking hazard for small kids

Sluban Military Series

Panlos Robot

Panlos Robot

With over 500 pieces the Panlos Robot is a challenging Lego-like set that can be built in 25 different ways. The robot can turn into 12 vehicles, with each one taking two different forms.

This is the perfect building set for parents to play with their kids. Take the time to build each of the models, along with the different versions.

Although the age on the box says six year and up, I recommend this budget Lego set for teenagers. Since the pieces are so small, most kids may have a difficult time getting them to click together.

Pros

  • Versatile
  • A lot of pieces
  • Challenging

Cons

  • Small pieces
  • Reports of missing pieces
  • Difficult for younger kids

dOvOb Micro Mini Block

dOvOb Micro Mini Block

dOvOb Micro Mini Block are cheap Lego alternatives for builders. This is one of the few budget Lego alternatives that comes close to the creativity of LEGO.

The bricks are of good quality compared to other Lego knockoffs. These bricks click together well, as well as have incredible detail. For serious builders, this will be one of their most challenging building projects.

This brand offers budget Lego bricks that can become a masterpieces. They have several challenging builds such as, the Titanic, the Statue of Liberty, the London Tower, and the Burj Khalifa. You can build some of the most iconic building in the world at the fraction of the cost of Lego building bricks.

If you want to take on a project as a family, this is the best one on our list. You can enjoy quality time with your kids, while building one of these iconic landmarks.

If you have a teenager that loves to build, but you can’t afford the high price tag of Lego building bricks, these are the perfect budget Lego alternatives.

Note: If you are missing pieces, you can contact the seller and they will ship the missing pieces. Don’t get discouraged.

Pros

  • Very detailed
  • A lot of pieces
  • Good quality bricks
  • Great for teenagers

Cons

  • For serious builders
  • Difficult
  • Pieces are very small

Micro Mini Block Structures

Last update on 2021-07-29 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API

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