Close up of child's hands playing with colorful plastic bricks at the table. Toddler having fun and building out of bright constructor bricks. Early learning. stripe background. Developing toys
Last updated: June 19, 2020

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For many decades when we think of kids construction toys, one word comes to mind right away: Lego. LEGO is a Danish toy company that was founded in 1930, and since 1949 they have been building the famous blocks that we have all played with at some point throughout our lives, maybe even more recently than an adult would like to admit. In Canada today, you’ll find it difficult to find a toy store that doesn’t have a wide selection of lego sets.

These coloured blocks come in a wide variety of sizes and shapes such as the basic geometric blocks, and more specific pieces like wheels and figurines in the shape of characters from movies or animals. Themes are constantly emerging and they include the most basic blocks, which is LEGO Classic, to all kinds of building projects, such as Star War battle ships and Lego Ninjago motorcycle models.

Key Facts

  • These toys come in all sorts of themes and shapes, which makes it easy to find sets that are appropriate for all ages, interests and levels of difficulty. Some of the best selling ones in Canada are LEGO Ninjago and Star Wars.
  • There are LEGO toys adapted for toddlers as young as one year old. These sets have larger piece to prevent any choking hazards, these models include LEGO DUPLO. LEGOs are often used well into adulthood, always with more complex models and a very advanced number of pieces, such is the case of LEGO Creator Expert.
  • LEGO is a company dedicated to the construction of toys and its products have given it worldwide recognition. Today, the blocks are made from bioplastics, which means its made of plant based materials.

The best LEGO sets on the Canadian market

If you are looking to purchase LEGO building blocks, we made this list of the most popular and sought after building sets in Canada. Among these you will find the most basic blocks, designed for the smaller ones in the house, and we have also included some more advanced sets to challenge the growing mind and imagination of your son or daughter. The best way to find the perfect set, is to choose one in accordance to your kids age and interests.

LEGO Duplo — My First Fun Puzzle (ages 1½ – 5)

This is the perfect starter kit for the youngest of toddlers. Since it’s an easy and entertaining start to matching, building and stacking blocks for very young children. Create and connect with your preschooler as you help them sort the building blocks of this learning puzzle into colours and stack them up in the right order, to complete these easy-to-build favourite animal puzzles for kids. Then knock them all down, mix them up, and inspire imagination and learning through play as you encourage them to come up with goofy animal creations of their own!

DUPLO bricks are specially designed to be safe against choking hazards and for little hands to handle with ease. With this set, the young ones in the house can build 5 bright and colourful 3D animal block puzzles for toddlers from chunky LEGO DUPLO bricks, then mix and match them to express their creativity. Young children will enjoy stacking blocks on top of each other to make the flamingo, tiger, crocodile, giraffe and zebra jungle animal puzzle toys. Each animal measures over 4” (12cm) high, 2” (6cm) wide and 1” (3cm) deep. This 15 piece educational toy is meant for boys and girls ages 1½ and up.

LEGO Juniors — Cars – Mater’s Junkyard (ages 4-7)

As your toddler begins to hone their motor skills this LEGO Juniors kit will become accessible. LEGO Juniors is an age-appropriate build and play experience for boys and girls ages 4-7. Includes a Mater character from DisneyPixar Cars 3 in his classic pickup form with a crane on the back. Furthermore, it features an Easy to Build junkyard with a movable crane, Tow Mater sign and box. Your kids will be able to hang the video screen on the crane to help Mater stay in touch with his pal Lightning McQueen!

This set will encourage your child to play out fun scenes with these popular characters from DisneyPixar Cars 3 as it includes Easy to Build models with some bigger pieces and a simple guide to get kids building and playing quickly. The accessories and elements include various car parts, a video screen with Lightning McQueen image, Tow Mater sign and a fence. The Mater tow truck measures over 1” (5cm) high, 2” (7cm) long and 1” (4cm) wide. This set is ideal for young kids that love to engage in role play and those who love DisneyPixel Cars movies.

LEGO Classic — Medium Creative Box Set (ages 4-99)

This is the classic LEGO set that has inspired generations of open-ended creativity and play worldwide. Kids of all ages will spend hours engaging in pretend play with this medium-sized building kit. This build-your-own play toy allows kids to create trains or tiger toy figurines with this classic collection of LEGO bricks in 35 different colours. This creative toy for boys and girls includes windows, toy eyes, 18 tires and toy wheel rims that can be placed on a green baseplate for kids to role play and create form the ground up. Moreover, the container conveniently doubles as an extra prop os it can also be used as toy storage.

The great thing about this set is that kids can use their imagination to bring to life any building toy they want with these colourful toys, fostering kids playtime and building creativity throughout the process. Kids won’t have to stop the role play with just the LEGO Creative Brick play-set as these building toys are compatible with all LEGO construction sets for extending creative play. In this creative kit with 484 pieces the green baseplate measures over 3” long and 6” wide; for boys and girls between the ages of 4 and 99 years old. This is a truly versatile set and a great addition to any existing LEGO collection.

LEGO Star Wars — Darth Vader’s Castle (ages 9+)

This larger model includes more peaces and is thus more difficult than previous build kits in this list. It will help you set the scene for creative play on planet Mustafar with this LEGO Star Wars 75251 Darth Vader’s Castle. This construction toy of Vader’s menacing-looking fortress features lots of building bricks and lots of great details, including a brick-built lava flow, an underground hangar with mouse droid and docking station, ancient Sith shrine, racks for extra ammunition, and secret compartments hiding more Sith relics.

The hangar also houses a buildable TIE Advanced Fighter model with stud shooters and space to sit the Darth Vader LEGO Star Wars mini-figure. There’s also a tank which is Darth Vader’s meditation chamber with a holographic communication unit, and a meeting platform at the top with a defensive stud-shooter cannon. This packed set also includes 5 LEGO Star Wars mini figurines: Darth Vader, Darth Vader (bacta tank), 2 Royal Guards and an Imperial Transport Pilot. This building brick set comes with 1060 pieces and is made for boys and girls aged 9+ and for Star Wars fans and big kids of all ages.

LEGO Ideas – Old Fishing Store (ages 12+)

You’ll put up the ‘Gone Fishing’ sign up and spend hours lost in this exciting LEGO Ideas Old Fishing Store set. LEGO Ideas sets have been inspired and voted for by LEGO fans and this popular and beautiful set gained the required 10,000 votes for approval in just six weeks! This model features a shop with fishing-themed elements, watchtower, and a viewing balcony. It really stands out from the rest of the LEGO assortment due to its unique colour scheme and its authentic details. All of the LEGO Ideas sets have a great story behind them of a regular LEGO fan who wanted to create an awesome buildable model for kids and adults to play with and display.

This set includes 4 mini figurines: a captain, a fisherman, a fisherwoman and a child, plus a cat and three seagull figures. It is a complete set that has spared no details and is sure to transport the builder into the world of the this fish-store. Like other LEGO sets, LEGO Ideas brick building toys are compatible with all other LEGO construction sets for extending creative building and play. This Old Fishing Store measures over 12” high, 9” wide and 9” deep and it comes with 2,049 pieces making it considerably more difficult and thus set for boys and girls ages 12 and up.

Shopping Guide: Everything you should know about LEGO

Nowadays, everyone has heard the word “LEGO,” knows what this product is about or has played with it a little or lot during their childhood. However, if you are going to buy it for your own children, there are a few important things that are good to know beforehand. The following section explains the basics of these famous little building blocks:

Little blond child playing with lots of colorful plastic blocks indoor. Kid boy wearing colorful shirt and having fun with building and creating.

Numerous studies have shown that construction toys bring great benefits for children. (Source: Irina Schmidt: 37580318/123rf.com)

What is the history of LEGO?

Back in 1932 the toy company LEGO was created in Denmark. It wasn’t until 1949 however, that they bean to use plastic to mass produce their world-famous brightly coloured building blocks. Today, LEGO continues to make products meant to encourage children’s creativity.

The word “Lego” comes from Danish word”Leg godt,” which in English means “Play well”. Today they are the third largest toy manufacturer in the world, they even create blocks for adults called “Lego Creator Expert”.

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This product has gone down in history as being one of the most loved toys for many generations.

What ages are LEGOs suitable for?

The amazing thing about LEGO blocks, is that there is an endless quantity of shapes and products to choose from. You’ll find the most basic sets from LEGO Duplo, to the most complex building kits like LEGO Creative Expert. Therefore, as we showed in our ranking, you’ll always be able to find something for younger ages right through to adulthood:

Ages Characteristics
From 1 to 2 years Blocks that are larger and do not contain small pieces that can be swallowed. The colours are very bright and the pieces are characterised by their simplicity when assembled. You can build things like farms, small houses or animals, among many others.
From 3 to 5 years In this case the constructions are a little more complicated and with a greater number of pieces and details. Here there are models like the “Lego Juniors” and the basic style of building blocks.
From 6 to 8 years old As their interest grows and changes, this is where the thematic LEGO of superheroes from Marvel and DC, Disney and Ninjago come into play.
From 9 to 11 years The skill that they have acquired from years of constructing allows them to use much more elaborated toys, with more complicated assemblies to keep themselves entertained.
More than 12 years Finally, there is the most advanced constructions, with a greater number of pieces. In this age bracket you can even find mechanisms and lighting included.

What LEGO themes are there?

As you have seen, the LEGO range is very wide and as time progresses there are and will be new models that are increasingly elaborate. Below is a list of some of the most common types of Lego that can be purchased in Canadian stores:

  • LEGO DUPLO
  • LEGO Toy Story
  • LEGO City
  • LEGO Classic
  • LEGO Ideas
  • LEGO Disney
  • LEGO Star Wars
  • LEGO Marvel
  • LEGO Juniors
  • LEGO Jurassic World
  • LEGO Technic
  • LEGO Friends
  • LEGO Creator
  • LEGO Harry Potter
  • LEGO Creator Expert
  • LEGO Architecture
Plastic toy blocks on wood backdround

LEGO is a product that is not only designed for children, but it can also be enjoyed by adults. (Source: ANURAK TORACH: 76189800/ 123rf.com)

What are the benefits of playing with LEGO?

Numerous studies and experts have shown that building games, such as LEGO, not only bring great benefits for children, but they are also a type of basic childhood game that is a rite of passage for kids. We have summarised the main benefits of using building blocks such as LEGO below:

  • Encourages teamwork: There is nothing better than playing together to achieve an end goal such as building “the tallest tower!” The building process will help strengthen ties between children and help them acquire values of cooperation, communication, helpfulness or persistence.
  • Improves and encourages concentration: Children must concentrate and focus for longer and longer periods of time — tackling more complex kits each time — in order to be able to assemble the toy well and in order to play with it.
  • Help acquire better spatial awareness: As the assembly becomes more complicated with different models, children will need to use depth and distribution skills to build, for example, a small house.
  • It helps reduce stress: Building structures or sets can help kids relax whilst allowing them to immerse themselves in their play.
  • It helps to develop mathematical skills: In order to be able to construct something well, builders must count pieces and manage multiple types of pieces.
  • Increases and supports creativity: The beauty of these toys, is that the child is not obliged to build the one toy suggested, but instead, they can build anything they are able to imagine. The building process encourages self-esteem and self-confidence, as they must set a goal and strive to achieve it.
  • Improves and encourages fine motor skills: Kids must use their fingers with dexterity to hold the pieces.

What material are LEGO blocks made of?

Since 1949 the company LEGO has used plastic as the main source to build their toys. However, the company kept gradually evolving to achieve greater child safety by improving the composition of the blocks.

Since 1964 they had used ABS plastic, which is free of toxins and more resistant to high temperatures. Since 2010 they have been working with bioplastics only, which are plastics derived from vegetable products such as soya, corn or potato starch. As a result, they are a reliable and safe product for children.

Arina AktovaEarly Years Centre Coordinator at The Scots College

“Children practice dexterity as they connect Lego pieces of different sizes and shapes. This requires different amounts of pressure to assemble and becomes a wonderful exercise for little fingers which supports children in being able to control the pressure they apply while writing”.

Should I play LEGO with my children?

Just as building with others can improve teamwork and cooperation, you participating in your child’s play in this way, can have some benefits. Keep in mind that LEGO is a product that is not only designed for children, but it can be enjoyed by adults thanks to its ability to help you relax. Don’t forget about the fact that these toys can be collectibles and highly decorative.

When playing with your child with the blocks, it is advisable to always leave him or her some autonomy and time to solve the problem themselves. Sometimes they will ask for your help to get something assembled, but in other cases they will be able to do it on their own. It is a great way for them to learn how to persevere and solve challenges by being resilient.

Shopping Criteria

The world of LEGO is very big with so many models and types to choose from, it’s understandable that you could feel a bit overwhelmed and not really know where to start or what to choose. To find the right set for the occasion, whether it is for your son or daughter as a present or for yourself, you should start by taking into account the following purchasing criteria:

Child’s age

Probably the most important and obvious aspect to consider before purchasing a LEGO building block model is the age of the child. As we have already discussed, the age of the child determines whether the toy is more or less complex, with a greater number of pieces being more suitable for older children or teenagers

For example, as mentioned before when buying this LEGO for children from 1 to 2 years old LEGO DUPLO models are ideal. For older children from 6 to 8 years old there is LEGO Disney, LEGO Star Wars or LEGO Friends. As for the older, more experienced kids, we there is the LEGO Creator Expert, LEGO Harry Potter or LEGO Architecture.

children boys playing in playschool or at home

The LEGO world is huge, with a multitude of models and types of games. (Source: Oksana Kuzmina: 34648479/ 123rf.com)

Interests of the child

The interests of the child should also have a bearing on the product selection. Of course, there is the LEGO Classic, which is a great option if we want to make a gift and do not know much about the interests of the child. However, there is a great variety of LEGO themes to choose from that can make the child extra excited and result in more motivation to start building.

LEGO can literally become almost anything. If the child likes superheroes then there is LEGO Marvel and DC. If they like houses and buildings then there is LEGO Passenger Train. You can also find ninjas, animals, characters from movies, games, vehicles and buildings. As you can see, you can make this gift even better if you know a little about their interests.

Brick DaveBrick Blog

“When kids play, they learn new skills while perfecting old ones. This is true at any age, from 3 months old into their teen years. Legos are a great way to introduce them to basic colours and shapes”.
kid playing with block toys at home

Since 2010 LEGO has been made from bioplastics only, which are plastics derived from vegetable products such as soy, corn or potato starch. (Source: Oksana Kuzmina: 34615894/ 123rf.com)

Special Editions

Keeping in mind what we just said about how sets that have a defined theme can be better received by children. It’s important to remember that LEGO has numerous special editions in which it uses the same theme to create a variety of block sets. Some of the most famous themes available are Disney, Star Wars or Harry Potter.

It is also possible to find very limited editions which are hard to come by, since pretty much every collector would love to get their hands on it. For example, the LEGO VOLKSWAGEN T1, the SYDNEY OPERA HOUSE or the TAJ MAHAL are just a few of these legendary sets. You can even buy specialised limited edition figures from different films like Batman.

Number of players

If you are going to buy a LEGO set, it is recommended getting one that can be played by more than just one person. This will encourage teamwork, cooperation and socialisation. There are even a specialised sets for adults called LEGO® SERIOUS PLAY™, which are made with the aim of creating a better working environment by using these blocks in company meetings.

Best value for your money

When we look at the cost of LEGO, the quality-price ratio is very good, you can find models to meet all sorts of different budgets. For example, the medium classic brick box costs about $40 whilst a set with fewer pieces like the Dinosaur set is under $20.

Of course those sets with more pieces and a higher complexity tend to have a higher price. For example, Harry Potter’s Hogwarts Great Hall costs around $150 bucks. You can even find construction sets of around $230, such as the LEGO Technic Mack Anthem — and this is not even the most expensive kit on the market.

Summary

If we think of some of the world’s most famous toys, LEGO building blocks are definitely high on that list. Some of the most purchased and valued sets at the moment on Amazon are the “Classic Creative Brick Box” or the any from the LEGO Ninjago series. All these sets can build upon each other and will always be a well received among kids.

You now know that LEGO is built only with bioplastics, so they are not harmful to the health of children. Moreover, there are toys for kids from 1 year old onwards and they are adapted to each developmental stage and present great benefits to all kids. Even though there are so many different types of blocks sets available, you must always take into account the age and interests of the child in order to choose the best one.

We hope you have found this information useful and that it helps you find the best of these classic and versatile toys. You can share the article and comment with your thoughts below.

(Source of featured image: Ivanov: 55891654/ 123rf.com)

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