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9 best kids’ Lego sets that children of all ages will love

From Marvel to Harry Potter, there’s a kit to inspire every youngsters imagination

Siobhan Grogan
Monday 11 April 2022 16:00
<p>Our little testers aged 3-13 helped us decide which sets were the most fun to play with</p>

Our little testers aged 3-13 helped us decide which sets were the most fun to play with

Getting children away from screens is not easy, but the lure of Lego never seems to wane. Still one of the world’s best-selling toys, the timeless Danish brick encourages kids’ imagination and concentration, helps them practise fine motor skills and even teaches them how to follow instructions closely.

While parents love the fact Lego allows children to develop patience and shows them the value of sticking with a task to the very end, kids themselves love the range of sets they can get stuck into. Whether they’re obsessed with Harry Potter or fans of Frozen, there is guaranteed to be a kit that will interest them.

Little ones will adore building with bigger Duplo blocks, and older children may prefer sets that can be played with or have moveable parts to keep the fun going long after the build has ended.

Lego is also ideal for parents to join the fun and help with the building process (if your child will let you, of course).

While it is tempting to go all in on a big kit right away, we recommend starting small and buying a cheaper one first, mainly to ensure your child has the brick bug before splashing out on some of the pricier sets.

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How we tested

We roped in junior testers aged between three and 13-years-old to try a range of Lego kits and rate them for difficulty, the fun factor and how keen the children were to rip open the box and get started. Together, we judged every set on whether the build was engaging, whether the finished product could be played with once it had been created and if a child preferred to build solo or the set was one the whole family could join in with.

The best kids’ Lego sets for 2022 are:

  • Best overall – Lego mosaic maker: £99.99, Lego.com
  • Best for princess fans – Lego Disney Anna and Elsa’s ‘Frozen’ wonderland: £31.99, Zavvi.com
  • Best for Potter collectors – Lego Hogwarts moment defence class: £24.99, Lego.com
  • Best for active play – Lego City fire rescue helicopter: £24.99, Lego.com
  • Best for gamers – Lego ‘Minecraft’ the modern treehouse construction toy: £89.99, Zavvi.com
  • Best starter kit – Lego Classic bricks and houses: £17.99, Lego.com
  • Best for kids who don’t like Lego – Lego Dots big message board: £34.99, Lego.com
  • Best for small hands – Lego Duplo doctor visit: £17.99, Lego.com
  • Best for film buffs – Lego ‘Black Panther’ dragon flyer: £17.99, Lego.com

Lego mosaic maker

Best: Overall

Rating: 10/10

Not sure what Lego to go for, especially for an older child? This personalised set really wowed us and would make a fantastic present for anyone, even for a family or an adult.

Select Lego shops have offered a mosaic maker service for about five years using a passport photo-style booth in store. It’s now also available on the Lego website and is a doddle to use. First, upload a photo of yourself, your pet or the recipient of the set, then Lego will produce a pixelated print of the shot in moments to use as a guide for building. This can be printed out or simply followed straight from the screen, which we found helpful when we needed to zoom in on details. A generic set of more than 4,000 tiny square plates and one baseplate is then sent to construct a Lego version of the picture without the need for any written instructions.

It’s a painstaking process, and we made a few mistakes on the way that we had to correct, but this isn’t a Lego build to be rushed. Instead, it relies on serious attention to detail and a fair bit of counting bricks to get it exactly right. We also found it was better left out on a table to return to again and again like a jigsaw rather than a traditional build. Our junior tester loved watching the image of his face emerge in Lego and it would make fantastic bedroom décor if stored in a box frame. The best bit? Different photos can be uploaded any time and the set dismantled and rebuilt following a new guide image to make this something your child can use forever. Genius.

Lego Disney Anna and Elsa’s Frozen wonderland

Best: For princess fans

Rating: 8/10

Frozen fanatics love anything and everything related to Anna and Elsa, but this well-priced set is a great toy that will endure beyond the initial infatuation. It’s straightforward to build for children over four, with three smaller builds alongside the ice castle, so children won’t need to focus for too long on each creation. Our youngest Disney devotee loved the bits and bobs included, such as a bell jar, lantern and treasure chest complete with a crown and diamonds. There are also Anna, Elsa and Olaf figures, plus three Snowgie Lego figures.

The set is well worth buying even if your child isn’t keen on the building aspect because our tester continually returned to play with this after construction. It’s perfect for imaginative play or adding alongside other princess castles, with a slide the figures can whizz down, a sleigh to ride and a balcony for peering out into the unknown (get it?) through the tiny telescope.

Lego Hogwarts moment defence class

Best: For Potter collectors

Rating: 9/10

These portable playsets look like brick-built spell books but open up for play. Everything can be tucked away inside the book when your child moves onto something else – a godsend if space is tight. Each moment is a different Harry Potter classroom, and all can be played together. The defence class is one of the latest sets to go on sale and allows mini-magicians to re-enact a spell-casting lesson with Professor Mad-Eye Moody.

There are 257 pieces included, plus three mini-figures of Moody, Hermione Granger and Neville Longbottom, and several accessories such as potion bottles, a blackboard, a desk and chairs. Some elements, including the shelves and fireplace, are built-in for easy on-the-go play. The set is recommended for those over eight but our nine-year-old whipped it up in no time, so younger children shouldn’t find it too challenging. The stickers are trickier to add, though, so some children may need help.

Lego City fire rescue helicopter

Best: For active play

Rating: 6/10

The building is only half the fun with this set aimed at children over five. Once constructed, the brick toys are sturdy enough to play with, so they won’t need to stay stuck on a shelf. Our tester loved this kit’s hands-on appeal. There are stackable Lego flames to build a blaze, “water” cannons to put out the fire and rotating blades on the rescue helicopter.

As well as the helicopter, the set features a motorbike, a power station setting and three mini-figures, including Clemmons from the Lego City Adventures TV series. Additional accessories include a stretcher, firefighter helmet and wrench to encourage children to play with the set or use it alongside other toys for a bigger game. It’s great for kids to construct by themselves too, particularly using the interactive building guide on the free Lego app and the useful turn and rotate tools that help them figure out each step without assistance.

Lego ‘Minecraft' the modern treehouse construction toy

Best: For gamers

Rating: 7/10

Got a child who refuses to part from a screen? All is not lost. This substantial, 909-piece Minecraft-themed kit may just convince them to step away from the controller and test their building skills in real life rather than as part of the online game.

The treehouse has four different rooms with all sorts of Minecraft accessories so children can rebuild and change the house as they choose. Our nine-year-old gamer found the instructions fairly easy to follow and liked that he could have a go at customising the rooms afterwards – just as he would when playing Minecraft online. Extras included to inspire creativity are a panda skin, cat, chicken, a Charged Creeper figure and a zombie, and rooms don’t even need to be attached to the central tree for maximum versatility. For non-gaming parents, Lego Minecraft might look a little – dare we say – boring, but this is one strictly for the kids.

Lego Classic bricks and houses

Best: Starter kit

Rating: 8/10

This set has 270 pieces and can be used to build six homes, including a family house, a lighthouse, an igloo, a castle, a small home and a windmill. However, our testers far preferred diving into the pile of bricks to create something entirely random from scratch, especially trying to build their “dream bedroom”. This kit would work better alongside other classic brick kits for real flexibility, but it’s still a great first set for younger children starting to develop a Lego collection. Just add a Lego Classic white baseplate (£7.99, Lego.com) if you’re buying this as a gift to give them something sturdy to build on.

Lego Dots big message board

Best: For kids who don’t like lego

Rating: 9/10

We’re big fans of the Lego Dots range, which makes excellent quirky gifts, helps kids personalise their bedrooms and suits children who love crafting but might not be Lego fans. Budding builders don’t need to follow set instructions to create an image on the front of the box but can instead add their own touches to invent unique items including pencil holders, bracelets and boxes.

This message board set would be a great addition to any bedroom and features four plates, two hanger elements, blue frame elements and a mountain of different flat bricks for a child to decorate the board however they fancy. Our Lego-indifferent tween tester loved changing the words on the largest 51cm wide board to spell out different messages and also liked the Lego Dots bag tags (£24.99, Lego.com) to create her own bespoke accessories. It’s the gift that keeps on giving.

Lego Duplo doctor visit

Best: For small hands

Rating: 8/10

It’s not always easy keeping younger hands away from dangerously small Lego bricks in houses with older siblings. Get your little ones their own version and you might at least stand a chance, and inspire a lifelong love of Lego.

The chunky Duplo bricks in this set are designed for children over two, and the doctor theme is perfect for those starting to role-play so they can act out their own stories using the 34 pieces. They could also provide a fantastic way to help nervous children prepare for any impending surgery visit or be a great way to reward them (aka bribe them) after seeing the doctor. The playset includes three Duplo figures, a doctor, father and child, plus accessories such as a height chart, washbasin, chairs, sofa, suitcase and a teddy bear. There’s also a flexible stethoscope your child will love that is permanently attached to the doctor figure, so you won’t need to worry about them losing it or putting it in their mouth.

Lego Black Panther dragon flyer

Best: For film buffs

Rating: 8/10

Marvel aficionados will love this set straight from Avengers: Endgame. Aimed at those over eight, the kit builds an authentic recreation of Black Panther’s aircraft and has plenty of detail to thrill junior superhero experts. The Wakandan flyer has four adjustable wings that move in every direction, two stud shooters and an opening cockpit that minifigures can sit inside.

The entire aircraft measures about 22cm long and 28cm wide, making it the perfect size to play with once it’s built, especially alongside other Marvel Avengers sets. Our tester was particularly delighted with the three included mini-figures of Black Panther, his sister Shuri and an evil Chitauri warrior, and these enabled him to launch into a game straight away. Though it’s not especially taxing to build, it’s just fiddly enough to hold a child’s attention and leave them feeling suitably chuffed when it’s completed.

The verdict: Kids’ Lego sets

We loved the Lego mosaic maker for its personalised aspect and the fact it can be rebuilt over and over with new photos. It’s a great talking point when displayed at home too. If storage space is tight or you want Lego that can be played with wherever you are, choose the Lego Hogwarts moment defence class. It’s a well-priced set that will make your child want to collect them all.

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