Foster Creativity with These Modern, Architecturally-Inspired Building Toys

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By Jennifer Baum Lagdameo / Published by Jennifer Baum Lagdameo
Many parents find themselves on the constant lookout for creative and well-designed building toys for their children.

Toys that foster creativity and inspire learning as well as a good sense of design, get extra credit for being eco-friendly.  The following building sets meet all those criteria, and are aesthetically pleasing to boot. But most importantly—they will keeping the little ones entertained for hours.

Bokah Blocks

Bokah Blocks is an innovative hardwood construction toy with an inventive, patented feature: The Bendy Joints. The blocks can be connected with "bendys" to form flexible joints—making the block-constructions rotatable, portable, and wearable. Their natural wood grain finish, clear cut lines, and simple color palette make them sleek and stylish in addition to being a creative educational toy. The company recently launched a Kickstarter campaign to raise the funds to produce a smaller, more affordable toy package, the Explorer set.

Tsumiki Stacking Blocks

Tsumiki Stacking Blocks from Japanese architectural firm Kengo Kuma and Associates in collaboration with composer Ryuichi Sakamoto's forestry conservation organization, More Trees offer endless creative building possibilities for both little and big people. Crafted from sustainably sourced Hinoki (Japanese Cedar) they smell delicious too.

Mokulock Wooden Building Bricks

Inspired by LEGO®, and carved out of wood, the Japanese company Mokulock offers a natural and eco-friendly alternative to the iconic plastic building toy. Each set contains bricks carved from six types of Japanese trees: cherry, birch, maple, bigleaf magnolia, hornbeam and zelkova. 

Haba Architectural Blocks

Well-known for their classic wooden building toys, Haba puts an architectural spin on their building blocks with their architectural series. The beechwood blocks are available in different sets which allow kids to build versions of the Roman Colosseum, a Russian cathedral and even Egyptian pyramids. 

Shop for Your Design-Savvy Kid

Tegu Sets
Tegu Sets
Brothers Chris and Will Haughey made the decision to plant their company headquarters outside Tegucigalpa, Honduras to positively impact the local community. Tegu employs workers from the area and partners with local Honduran cooperatives to harvest mature wood for its collection of magnetic block sets. Featuring a variety of shapes that are designed to work together, Tegu sets come in a range of sizes and color schemes, allowing kids to create projects big and small. The blocks are non-toxic with a water-based lacquer finish and durable enough to pass down through generations. Photo: Talisman
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Cubebot from Areaware
Cubebot from Areaware
Robot toys are usually made of plastic and require batteries - but not all! Meet Cubebot, a poseable, playful fellow constructed of beautiful eco-friendly wood and powered by your imagination. Inspired by the Japanese Shinto Kumi-ki puzzles, the Cubebot is a non-traditional take on the toy robot which joins ancient Japanese traditions with contemporary toy culture. Cubebot's powerful hardwood frame can hold many poses, and his elastic-band muscles and durable wood limbs make him impervious to breakage. When it's time for him to rest, he folds into a perfect cube. An enduring classic that will withstand generations of play. Available in two sizes.
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Blockitecture City Building Blocks "Garden City"
Blockitecture City Building Blocks "Garden City"
Build the world you want to see with Blockitecture, a set of architectural building blocks by designer James Paulius. Cantilever and nest twenty hexagonal blocks to create towers, cities and dwellings. Blockitecture Garden City, the deluxe set, adds pavillions and garden terraces to original Blockitecture forms.
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