Skip to main content

What age should your baby be able to stack blocks?

When you’re a new parent, wondering when can babies nest cups or stack blocks is the last thing on your radar. But the moment someone gifts your child their first set of blocks, you become obsessed with baby learning and when they should be able to stack blocks. While stacking blocks are an important developmental milestone for babies, it’s also one of those things that evolves with time and practice. Sitting down to play blocks with your little one is an open-ended game that teaches children physics, resilience, and fun. Here are some general guidelines so you know how to measure your child’s development by blocks and avoid stressing out or setting unrealistic expectations for your baby.

Baby playing with multicolored blocks
Oksana Kuzmina/Shutterstock.com

6 months

At this age, your baby is still too young to play with blocks. Any attempt to teach block stacking would be premature or could end up in accidents. It’s perfectly normal for your 6-month-old to gnaw on blocks or simply hold one.

12 months

This is the stage of banging items against each other and blocks aren’t the exception. If you offer your child blocks, don’t expect them to build anything. But keep in mind that knocking things down is a favorite activity of 1-year-olds. More likely than not, they’ll be happy to destroy any block tower you build. If your little one can’t get enough of knocking down a stack of blocks, rest assured that they’re right on schedule.

18 months

When can babies nest cups? Here you are. By a year and a half, stacking is the name of the game. After all, your little one is now officially a toddler and proud of it. If you haven’t done so already, this is a great time to introduce baby blocks. At this point, most kiddos are able to stack two or three blocks on top of each other with ease.

2 years

Don’t be surprised if your baby’s block buildings start to get taller by age 2. With improved coordination, your child shows better stacking skills and may be able to balance up to seven blocks on top of each other. This is also the beginning of sorting for many young children. If they’re now stacking masters, go ahead and challenge your budding genius to sort their blocks by color or separate them in groups.

3 years

Free play takes a life of its own by age 3. At this point, blocks are much more than meets the adult eye. Your child’s imagination is flourishing and they’ll start to build tunnels, bridges, or forts with just a few blocks. This is the perfect moment to introduce your toddler to teamwork. If the two of you work together, it’s easier to build tall towers and solve construction problems.

The benefits of stacking blocks

Two toddler grls playing with blocks
Oksana Kuzmina / Shutterstock

Blocks are deceivingly simple. Where most adults see a square shape, children see a world of possibilities. These exploratory toys are only the beginning of more complex tasks that your child will face later on in life. These are a few of the benefits children get from stacking blocks:

  • Hand-eye coordination
  • Pincer grasp
  • Fine motor skills
  • Cognitive development

The evolution of block play

There’s no need to stop playing with blocks once your child reaches age 3. In fact, this is when the fun is just starting! As their name implies, these cubes are the building blocks of math, science, and speech. If you’re looking for ways to take block play to the next level, here are some ideas to turn this classic game into imaginative play:

Give your child options: As they get older, it’s normal if stacking blocks gets old. But if you incorporate different shapes and build out a whole town, the games take on a new level. And when vertical construction gets old, line the blocks up to see how far they can go.

Speed stack: As your child’s movements become more controlled, they’ll be able to stack more blocks in a shorter amount of time. Without turning it into a stressful situation, see how quickly your little one can stack blocks and encourage them to do it even faster.

Nesting cups: When blocks are no longer a challenge, give nesting cups a shot. These hollow shapes bring a whole new element to the game once your child understands that they can be stored inside each other. Figuring out sizes and placing them in order will fascinate your baby.
There’s a reason why classic toys never go out of style and building blocks are no exception. These essentials of infant playtime are more important to your child’s development than you might think. Their creative and STEM potential are important to your little one’s physical and cognitive growth. While they’re no scientific measurement of progress, these play starters are a fun way to teach your child useful skills and complex tasks they’ll use throughout their life.

Editors' Recommendations

Are baby walkers safe? 5 dangerous reasons you shouldn’t add one to your registry
Learn why baby walkers may be unsafe
Infant in baby walker

Baby walkers used to be a popular gift and toy, but their popularity has shifted over the years and studies have found they can be quite unsafe. This can be disappointing for some parents looking to give their little ones a bit of independence while also allowing them to be hands free.

Even though you may have used a baby walker as a child yourself, in this day and age, there is quite a bit of information about just how hazardous baby walkers can be. If you're considering getting a baby walker, adding one to your registry, or if you already have one in your home, keep reading before you pop your toddler in.
Are baby walkers safe?

Read more
Is your kid screaming for no reason? Here are ways to deal with a screaming child’s behavior
There are easy ways to handle this behavior if your kid has hit this stage
Young girl is screaming with fingers in her ears.

Unfortunately, temper tantrums are a natural development phase for most kids, but some children take it to the extreme. When your kid won't stop screaming and you don't know why, it makes you want to scream, too. Tension is high, frustration is bubbling, and parents can feel like they've lost control. If the behavior happens repeatedly, it's enough to drive you up the walls. Dealing with a screaming child's behavior is definitely one of the least favorite things for a parent.
Don't worry, there are ways to deal with this situation so you'll both feel better! Your child is feeling just as frustrated as you are, and with patience and understanding, you'll get to a place where you both remain calm. With these tips and expert advice, your house will soon be quieter. A screaming child's behavior doesn't have to leave the whole house in tears, so here's some help.

How to get your child to stop screaming

Read more
Your teen got a job interview. Now, what to wear?
Should teens dress to impress for a job interview?
Teen at a job interview

They say you should dress for the job you want, not the job you have, but does that apply to teenagers? With summer vacation approaching many teens will be eagerly (or not so eagerly) submitting job applications and resumes with the hopes of landing a summer job. First impressions matter, and so does what your teen wears to their job interview, regardless of what the job is for.
While most prospective employers aren't expecting a young person to show up in a business suit, what a teenager wears to a job interview can tell a hiring manager a lot about them, so it's important to pay attention to the details. If your teen has a job interview, here are some tips and tricks on what they should wear to help them make the best first impression possible.

What should I wear to a job interview as a teenager?

Read more