Once upon a time, playing with blocks was considered mere child’s play. Now it has officially been deemed vital to the successful construction of children’s cognitive, spatial and mathematical skills. Drop by one of the many play-spaces in NYC that boasts a bevy of building blocks. Here’s the exclusive scoop on eight spots that feature all kinds of build ’em up and knock ’em down fun.

Image: Tina Buckman, Scandinavia House/The American-Scandinavian Foundation, 2011

A Sweet Spot for LEGO Lovers

Scandinavia House/ Heimbold Family Children’s Playing and Learning Center is inspired by the Nordic preschool model (remember how Finland was a big educational buzzword a few years back?). This child-centered space features both an active playroom with a special LEGO building area, and a sensory zone with non-harsh lighting and soft materials, including shapes, to build with.

Scandinavia House
Tickets: $15/child
58 Park Ave.
Murray Hill
Online: scandinaviahouse.org

Still looking for more building block fun? You may already know (because you read it here, first) about Imagination Playground, the Creative Dream Playhouse, and, of course, not only the LEGO flagship store, but also its outposts at Toys ‘R’ Us and FAO Shawarz. If not, click through to read all about them!

Where does your kid like to build towers in the city?

–Alina Adams