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Best LEGO sets for kids

A brand-new box of LEGO bricks is always guaranteed to put a smile on any child’s face - and most adults too. Here’s our pick of the best.

By Mumsnet HQ | Last updated Jan 7, 2022

Children playing with Lego

LEGO toys never go out of fashion. They not only allow children to learn to build, but also help them to learn how to follow instructions, read carefully, improve fine motor skills, collaborate and let their imaginations run wild.

But with almost 90 years of history, keeping on top of what’s new in the world of LEGO sets is a mind-boggling task. The internet is awash with new and improved sets, and even standing in one of the LEGO stores to browse can feel a bit daunting. 

We’ve scoured the virtual shelves and the wide selection of LEGO toys available to bring you the very best LEGO sets to buy right now, with something for every age and interest. So put your feet up, get a cup of tea and peruse the best of the best in bricks. 

LEGO sets for 1.5 years and over

1. Best LEGO set for toddlers: LEGO DUPLO My First Number Train Toy For Toddlers

Lego Duplo number train set

“We have about six LEGO DUPLO sets that we’ve collected over the years and they are all mixed together now. The items my four- and two-year-old play with the most are the cars, the windows and doors, the animal figures and the people.”PerditaNitt

You might recognise an earlier version of this classic set from your own childhood and the 2021 version is still a hit today. 

The set consists of a train (with a removable roof so you can pop a driver in there), three carriages, two people, one dog, and 10 numbered and coloured bricks to put on the coordinating coloured carriages. 

It’s a great way to teach your child some of the key skills they need for early years education, from number and colour recognition to fine motor skills, and they can have lots of fun along the way too, taking their people (and dog) on a drive around the playroom floor. 

The Number Train is aimed at children from 18 months and is very much a first set. As they grow, they’ll want sets that encourage more role play and imaginative games. But this first set will sit well with later DUPLO Town sets, so they won’t so much grow out of it as incorporate it into more complicated sets later on. 

Reasons to buy

  • Helps teach early numeracy skills
  • Helps teach colours
  • Combines easily with other DUPLO sets
  • Includes three character figures

Key specs

  • Age: 18m+
  • Pieces: 23
  • Set number: 10954

2. Best value LEGO set: LEGO DUPLO Classic Deluxe Brick Building Box Set

Lego Duplo brick building set

“DS is five at the end of November. He likes the little LEGO sets for following instructions and building, but we get the most play value out of DUPLO bricks because they’re more robust for actual games.” - SemiFeralDalek

If you want your child’s play to really take off, what you want is a big box of assorted  bricks in different shapes, colours and sizes. And that’s exactly what the DUPLO Deluxe Brick Box offers. 

It’s got a bit of everything - numbered bricks, flowers, cars… even a cake - to excite, engage and educate young minds. A bit of a must for any would-be master builder. 

Reasons to buy

  • Lots of pieces
  • Builds number skills
  • Open-ended play
  • Encourages imaginative building

Key specs

  • Age: 18m+
  • Pieces: 85
  • Set number: 10914

3. Best LEGO DUPLO set: LEGO DUPLO Town Race Cars Toy for Toddlers

Lego Duplo Town Race Cars

“[My child] likes the vehicle sets best.”StrangersToLove

The DUPLO Town Race Cars is a great play set for one or more children to play with, particularly in that developmental stage where they begin to play with other children rather than always just alongside them. 

The set comes with two push-and-go cars that can be raced against each other and two chunky racing driver figures with helmets. There are pit stops to build and lots of accessories, from tools to fix the cars and refuel to an impressive trophy for the winner. 

The building is easy to do and comes with clear instructions that a toddler will be able to follow themselves with a bit of direction and encouragement. Chunky pieces are easy for small hands to manipulate and will help with the development of fine motor skills and with building strength in the fingers. 

The set is also great for role play and pretend play, and can be easily joined up with other DUPLO sets to extend the play. 

Reasons to buy

  • Includes two DUPLO racing driver figures with helmets
  • Cars have a push-and-go feature
  • Building instructions include a fun picture story
  • Helps to develop motor skills as well as creativity

Key specs

  • Age: 2+
  • Pieces: 44
  • Set number: 10947

4. Best Marvel LEGO set: LEGO DUPLO Marvel Spider-Man Headquarters Building Toy

Lego Duplo Spiderman set

There’s loads of fun to be had with this easy-to-build set that includes Spider-Man, Miles Morales and Ghost Spider figures, a bike for the heroes to ride on and their own HQ for making plans to save the world. 

A slide, rope swing and bike provide plenty of scope while their imagination does the rest. We love the giant Spidey-themed HQ, which would look really cool in any child’s bedroom when built. 

Based on the Disney+ TV show for preschool kids, Spidey and His Amazing Friends, this toddler-friendly DUPLO superhero set combines the fun and adventure of the TV programme.

LEGO DUPLO toys for toddlers put open-ended fun, self-expression and joyful learning into preschoolers’ hands, so parents and their children can share many precious developmental moments together.

Reasons to buy

  • Inspired by the Disney+  TV show  
  • Comes with three figures and a vehicle to build
  • Different types of building to conquer
  • Lots of ways to play
  • Improves fine motor skills

Key specs

  • Age: 2+
  • Pieces: 36
  • Set number: 10940

5. Best Disney LEGO set: LEGO DUPLO Disney Princess Frozen Ice Castle Toy Set

Lego Frozen set

“My four-year-old has the LEGO DUPLO Frozen castle and plays a lot with it alongside the Minnie Mouse LEGO DUPLO house and cafe.” - AnnaSW1

Recreate scenes from Frozen with this sparkling ice castle playset, which comes with Elsa, Anna and Olaf figures. 

There’s lots of building practice to be had with this set, and young children will get a real kick out of following the instructions to build an entire castle, and should be able to do so without too much adult intervention. 

With a multicoloured light brick feature illuminating the castle at the push of a button, you and your little one will have endless enjoyment recreating scenes from Disney’s Frozen movie and dreaming up stories of your own with this sparkling Ice Castle toddler toy building set.

Parents should be aware that this includes a button battery, which is safely encased inside the brick, but you might want to be a little more watchful than you would ordinarily. That aside, it’s a great set and children will love lighting up the castle themselves. 

The set also includes a table and chairs and some kitchen equipment to give the characters a snowy tea party outside the castle gates, as well as a slide to exit the castle (well, who wouldn’t want a slide out of their own castle?).

Reasons to buy

  • Includes a light-up button-operated brick
  • Comes with three figures
  • Encourages roleplaying and storytelling

Key specs

  • Age: 2+

  • Pieces: 59
  • Set number: 10899

6. Best LEGO set for imaginative play: LEGO DUPLO Town Garbage Truck & Recycling Toddlers’ Toy

Lego Garbage Truck

What toddler isn’t fascinated by the comings and goings of the refuse collectors each week? If your toddler is on first name terms with the dustmen, they’ll love this sweet little building play set that includes two figures (one child and one adult), a tip-up dumper truck and three differently coloured bins with coordinating bin bags for your child to sort. Once they’ve helped sort the rubbish, they can use the little broom to sweep up as the truck drives away. 

With just 19 chunky pieces, this is a nice and easy set to build, if perhaps a little too easy. While we would like to see a bit more challenge in there, it’s good for confidence building and it offers lots in terms of imaginative play too, whether they’re playing alone or with you or a friend. It’s also a brilliant introduction to the idea of recycling and remembering to put your rubbish in the bin. 

Reasons to buy

  • Develops colour-sorting skills
  • Good for fine motor skills
  • Introduces the concept of eco issues
  • Includes two figures and a truck, 3 bags, 3 bins and a broom

Key specs

  • Age: 2+
  • Pieces: 19
  • Set number: 10945

LEGO sets for 6 years plus

7. Best LEGO set for a six-year-old: LEGO Super Mario Adventures Luigi Starter Course Toy

Lego Super Mario set

“We got our youngest a starter pack and power up pack for his fourth birthday. He absolutely loves it. It's by far and away the thing he plays with most. And it's really engaging for me, DH and his older brother to play with him, so we've got him a few more sets today.” - NeighNeigh

Super Mario fans will love this super LEGO set. This set features a LEGO Luigi interactive figure that gives instant expressive responses via an LCD screen and speaker. Players earn digital coins for helping LEGO Luigi complete spinning seesaw and flying challenges, interactions with Pink Yoshi and defeating Boom Boom and a Bone Goomba. 

The Mario Starter Sets have baffled a few Mumsnetters  - this definitely isn’t your classic LEGO set. But tech-focussed kids will love it and it’s all done quite cleverly. If you’re feeling that your child spends too much time staring at a screen, this is a nice way to get them back into ‘real world’ play again. 

Reasons to buy

  • Interactive figure with LCD screen and speaker
  • Earn digital coins
  • Instructions in the free LEGO Super Mario app
  • Expansion sets available

Key specs

  • Age: 6+
  • Pieces: 280
  • Set number: 71387

8. Best LEGO Friends set: LEGO Friends Andrea's Family House Dollhouse Playset

Lego Friends set

“My daughter never got into regular LEGO toys but got hooked on LEGO Friends sets when a friend got her a small set for her birthday. She's not a girly girl, but I think the assortment of characters/animals did it for her.” - BayeuxT

We’d all like to be in Andrea’s family. This beautiful LEGO Friends dollhouse (part of the Heartlake City series) has two storeys, a family of LEGO people to live in it and lots of fabulous additions, from solar-powered panels on the roof to art on the walls and an outdoor oven set. 

It’s nothing short of a dollhouse of dreams with its heart-shaped pool, music studio in the garage and covetable balcony, and is sure to provide hours of entertainment. 

Help Andrea make cupcakes, chill in the bunk beds in her bedroom or put on a rock performance for the neighbours in the music studio garage. 

With more than 800 pieces, there’s lots of building involved and loads of detail to take in as you create the house, so there’s lots of play value in it even before it’s up and running. 

The number of pieces may be a bit overwhelming when it’s time to take the doll house down, so invest in plenty of zip-lock bags and plastic tubs. But fully built, in all its LEGO Heartlake City glory, this is a set that any child of six or over would be thrilled to share a bedroom with. 

Reasons to buy

  • Lots of detail
  • Removable second floor for play
  • Includes five mini dolls 

Key specs

  • Age: 6+ 
  • Pieces: 802
  • Set number: 41449

9. Best Minecraft LEGO set: LEGO Minecraft The Pig House Building Set

Lego Minecraft set

“[DS] had a Minecraft top for his birthday and Minecraft LEGO sets also went down well.”Allthepinkunicorns

For kids addicted to Minecraft, why not take them back to what is, let’s face it, the original and best Minecraft, and get them building with real blocks again? 

Nothing makes the transition from screen to dining table easier than one of The LEGO Group’s own stylish Minecraft sets, with their appealing Minecraft-style characters and familiar colours. 

This 490-piece set builds into a Pig House, with a room behind the removable side panel and a lift-off roof that reveals more room to play. The set comes with an Alex figure, two pigs and a creepy Creeper. Just make sure to put all your people back in your pig house before nightfall.

Reasons to buy

  • Specially designed Minecraft style 
  • Good alternative to screen play

Key specs

  • Age: 8+
  • Pieces: 490
  • Set number: 21170

LEGO sets for 9 years plus

10. Best LEGO set for 9 years plus: LEGO Creator 3-in-1 Medieval Castle & Dragon Toy Set

Lego Creator castle

“The three-in-one creator sets are great for beginners or get a big box of LEGO bricks and a few minifigures.”AgnesBrownsCat

We think the Creator 3-in-1 LEGO sets represent excellent value for money. Each is three different builds, but the pieces can be used in an imaginative way to create your own build too. 

For kids who like following instructions, this is great fun and will keep them busy for hours. It’s also nice to see a set that encourages some knocking down and rebuilding. Many LEGO sets are so good for role play and pretend play that, once built, they rarely get put away and built again.

The set’s main build is a two-storey medieval castle with a moat, drawbridge, openable gate, water mill, prison and king’s room. The back is hinged to allow your child to open it up for play inside the castle. Once they’re tired of that, they can rebuild it into a castle tower with a catapult or a busy medieval marketplace with a watermill, tower and a prison.

The pieces are really detailed, with lovely medieval styling and - best of all - a LEGO dragon for the castle dungeon. It also works really well teamed with any other random LEGO knights, damsels and the like that you already have in your collection.

The main castle build needs a bit of skill and younger children might need some help. There are also a LOT of pieces to keep track of so you’ll want to supervise fairly heavily when they take it down to rebuild. But there’s so much play value and skill-building in this set, we think it’s a brilliant buy for kids aged nine onwards. 

Reasons to buy

  • Works as three models in one
  • Comes with three minifigures and five brick animals
  • Lots of play value
  • Develops building skills
  • Great value for money

Key specs

  • Age: 9+
  • Pieces: 1,426
  • Set number: 31120

11. Best Harry Potter LEGO set: Harry Potter LEGO Attack on the Burrow Set

Lego Harry Potter set

“My six-year-old is getting a Harry Potter LEGO set this year and I know I won't get a look in - he will build it all himself. He's been building the 12+ sets since he was four with very minimal help - some children just click with LEGO toys.”MimsyBorogroves

Fans of the Harry Potter books and movies are sure to fall in love with this fabulous set. With 1,047 pieces, there’s plenty to challenge keen LEGO builders and some really beautiful detail, including a transforming floo powder fireplace, an owl and tiny pigs for the Burrow’s garden. In fact, the whole thing is just perfectly represented here in plastic bricks. 

The front of the house is removable to make playing with the tiny figures and furniture that bit easier once it’s built. But by far the best thing about this set is the eight minifigures it includes: Ron, Ginny, Arthur and Molly Weasley, Nymphadora Tonks, Bellatrix Lestrange, Fenrir Greyback and Harry Potter minifigures. 

Reasons to buy

  • Will delight Harry Potter fans
  • Includes eight minifigures
  • Hours of building time

Key specs

  • Age:  9+
  • Pieces: 1,047
  • Set number: 75980

12. Best Star Wars LEGO set: LEGO Star Wars Millennium Falcon Building Set

Lego Star Wars set

“My family loves working together to make the big LEGO sets. We have made the Death Star, Imperial Space Cruiser and Millennium Falcon. Usually, the LEGO sets take over the dining table, using all the serving bowls and take all of us three days per set to complete. They’re then put proudly on display (out of the way).”BobbyGentry

This is an iconic LEGO set that any Star Wars fan, young or old, would be overjoyed to see on Christmas morning, or indeed any other morning. 

It’s a helluva build so make sure you’ve got a good film to watch in the background as you go. The build isn’t difficult by any means, but we’re not sure many nine-year-olds would have the patience to do this one alone. 

Once built, there’s lots of play value in this set. The Millennium Falcon incorporates a cargo area, two containers, a hidden smuggling compartment, a navigation computer with rotating chair, a rotating gun turret with spring-loaded shooters, a lowering ramp and opening cockpit and the Dejarik Hologame table. It also has five minifigures plus D-O and R2-D2 figures. 

Reasons to buy

  • Lots of building time
  • Five minifigures included
  • Lots of moveable pieces

Key specs

  • Age: 9+
  • Pieces: 1,353
  • Set number: 75257

What is the best LEGO set to buy in 2021? 

There’s so much new to the LEGO toys market this year, from new Harry Potter and Star Wars sets to Super Mario Starter Sets and Creator builds. Which you go for depends very much on the age and stage of your child, so we’ve picked a best buy for every age.

For toddlers of 18 months and up, we think the set that offers the most in terms of play value and education is the LEGO DUPLO Number Train, which will help bring on their colour, number and shape recognition skills as well as setting them off on their LEGO-building journey. 

For the six-years-plus age group, the Super Mario Adventures with Luigi Starter Course is a great buy. It’ll gently encourage children towards real-world play when the pressure for screens is high by letting them build with their favourite computer game characters and play in an interactive way. 

And for children aged nine and over, we think the LEGO Creator 3-in-1 Medieval Castle will offer more than enough to keep older kids occupied, with lots of beautiful detail as well as three different builds to master. 

How we chose our recommendations

Anyone who’s a parent probably has a pretty good grasp on what makes the best LEGO sets, but when you’re trying to choose between, literally, thousands of products, nothing beats a bit of crowd-checking. 

We turned to the Mumsnet forums to find out which LEGO sets they’d bought and how they’d gone down with their children. We were looking not just for stories of wide eyes and cheers on Christmas Day, but also feedback on value for money, how challenging the sets were, whether they offered enough in terms of play value once built, and opinions on the style and design of each one. 

We also talked to Smyths Toys about which they considered to be the best LEGO sets and which were the top-sellers in their stores and online, as well as consulting customer reviews on various other sites, and reading consumer reviews from the last year.

We collated all this information to come up with this list of the best LEGO sets for every age group and budget. 

What The LEGO Group has to say

“The LEGO Group’s mission is to Inspire and develop the builders of tomorrow through the power of play. The LEGO® System in Play, with its foundation in LEGO bricks, allows children and fans to build and rebuild anything they can imagine.

When you explore the huge range of LEGO playsets, building toys and minifigures, you can see why the brand is loved by kids and adults alike. From LEGO DUPLO toys for toddlers to LEGO® Architecture sets for adults – there’s something to excite all ages and interests in between.

From LEGO car sets to dollhouses, trains, animals, dinosaurs, action figures, superheroes and everyday heroes with police and fire rescue toys, it’s almost impossible to not find a LEGO set you love. You can even mix and match any sets you already own with new sets to create a whole new adventure!”