The Best Engineering Toys for Kids

By Rebecca / January 16, 2017
Best Engineering Toys for Kids

STEM stands for science, technology, engineering, and math. These particular toys are good to help build an engineering skill set for children so that they can learn relevant subject matter for future careers in these types of fields. Engineering toys for children provide them with a fun and educational experience that encourages them to learn beneficial skills while developing their minds.

Educational toys benefit children of all ages in their developmental process by doing the following:

  • Develop a child’s senses
  • Teach lessons concerning cause and effect
  • Increase their IQ
  • Retain their interest in learning
  • Increase a child’s social and emotional development
  • Encourage socialization as children can learn and play together

I have compiled a list of some of the best engineering toys available for three different age groups including toddlers, pre-k, and grade school children. I will list the benefits of each toy and include the links to make finding these great educational toys as easy as one simple click.


Best Toddler Engineering Toys

ETI Toys 92 Piece Educational Construction Engineering Building Blocks Set

The Construction Engineering Building Blocks Set comes with 92 pieces and is engaging fun for both girls and boys. These blocks are certified to be safe for children, and each piece is washable and easy to clean. The set comes with a storage tub for convenience. All of the pieces are made from non-toxic and high-quality materials.

  • To Play:

The children can take the pieces out and build their toys. The set comes with blocks of various shapes and sizes, screws and nuts, plates, wheels, connectors, wrench, and an idea sheet for lots of imaginative playtime fun. There is a potential choking hazard, so this toy is not recommended for children under three years of age.

Recommended Age Group                                                                 

3 to 6 years

Skills

Teaches social development, teamwork, and collaboration


Guidecraft Better Builders Grippies Building Set

The Grippies Building Set is an open-ended magnetic STEM building toy for toddlers that combines exploration with magnetic play to introduce your child to the wonderful world of engineering at a very young age. The thirty piece set features four soft matte textures in bright colors.

  • To Play:

The magnetic pieces make it easy for your child to put all of the pieces together without becoming frustrated. Your child will discover how much fun it is to build and take things apart.

Recommended Age Group                                                                                                         

18+ months and up

Skills

Tactile exploration, introduction to the basic principles of engineering and geometry


Fat Brain Toys Spin Again Toy

The Spin Again Toy was one of the first stacking and twirling toys that became available. The toy is made from sturdy and coated ABS plastic and is completely BPA free and safe for children. The discs are dual colored and stack from largest to the smallest. It is an incredibly visually enticing toy that will keep your child interested and engaged.

  • To Play:

To play, the child drops the discs onto the pole and watch as they spin around on the reversible base. There is a wobble base, or it can be turned over to become more stable. This toy stacks and spins and twirls and exposes your child to several different colors including magenta, lime, teal, and shades of lemon, red, and sky blue.

Recommended Age Group                                       

12 months to 5 years

Skills

Hand-eye coordination, baby engineering skills


Fat Brain Toys Squigz Starter Set Building Kit

The Squigz Starter Set includes 24 pieces and can be used in the bathtub, on the walls, windows, tabletops, and desktops. The pieces are made from a high quality 100% silicone rubber that is BPA and latex free. The pieces are all flexible, and, when assembled, can be transformed into rockets, vehicles, or even jewelry among other different fun things.

  • To Play:

Apply pressure to two of the pieces and the air will rush out. Your child can stick them to any non-porous and solid surface. Apply more pressure to pull them apart again. They will not damage any of your surfaces and can be removed and reapplied again and again.

Recommended Age Group                                                                                          

3 to 15 years

Skills

Encourages creativity, fine motor skills, interaction, and experimentation


Best Pre-K Engineering Toys

Blagoo Building Blocks-Car Toy Set

The Blagoo Car Toy Set is an educational building block toy with easy-to-build shapes and figures, animals, vehicles, buildings, and robots. The kit comes with 104 colored pieces that are made out of a durable plastic and non-toxic materials that are safe for children. The pieces include seven different colors and they all come in a convenient car-shaped carrying case, so the parts aren’t left strewn around the house.

  • To Play:

The case is on wheels and includes a rope and can be pulled around the house and be considered a second toy. There are build patterns included in the instruction booklet, but the possibilities are endless and are all up to the child’s imagination.

Recommended Age Group                                                                      

3 years and up

Skills

Building, mathematics, sense building through seeing and hearing


Tinkertoy Model Super Building Set

The Tinkertoy Super Building Set is a fun and colorful interactive building set with 200 brightly colored parts and includes spools, flags, washers, rods, and end caps. There are over 30 different building possibilities, and the plastic pieces are made to be durable and flexible. All of the pieces are 100% safe to use and all manufactured in the United States.

  • To Play:

All of the many pieces snap together and stay together. They are easy to assemble and disassemble. Each set comes with an instruction sheet and a sturdy portable box for convenient storage. The possibilities are endless, and some parts are flexible enough even to bend.

Recommended Age Group                                                                                                                                                                                                                     

3+ years and up

Skills

Analytical skills encourages children to use their imagination, building skills, hand-eye coordination, fine motor skills, and spatial awareness


Lincoln Logs-Country Meadow Cottage

Lincoln Logs are a tried and tested true classic. The pieces are made entirely out of high-quality maple wood that is stained to mimic the real finish on a cabin. The logs have indentations so that they can nicely fit together. This set includes a female figure, a pony, roof eaves, slates, a door, a door frame, and windows that are made of a durable plastic material.

  • To Play:

An instruction booklet is included with each set that outlines how to put the cabin together. Each piece is easy to fit together and stack up, and children can use their imaginations to create different cabin or house models that are completely customized by themselves. The parts can be conveniently stored in the box, so all the pieces remain together for the next round of play.

Recommended Age Group                                                                                                                                                                                                

3+ years and up

Skills

Cognitive skills, motor skills, critical thinking abilities, increase analytical skills, problem-solving skills, and spatial awareness


Kids First Amusement Park Engineer Kit

The Kids First Amusement Park kit includes a storybook manual that helps children through their very first engineering project. It includes 97 colorful building pieces and comes in a large plastic storage carrying case with the assembly instructions for over twenty different models. They help children answer the questions of “how does…?” and “why is…?”

  • To Play:

Children can go through the storybook manual to gain a better idea about engineering and what they need to do to create their very first amusement park all by themselves. Children will be able to build and fix the rides as they travel through the storybook and use their imaginations to experience the amusement park.

Recommended Age Group                                                                                                                                                                                              

3+ years and up

Skills

Develops fine motor skills, visual-spatial awareness, expand their imaginations, learn simple physics and engineering concepts


Best Grade School Engineering Toys

Hexbug Vex Robotic Arm

The Hexbug Vex Robotic Arm is a small hand-powered robot that can pick up and relocate items using a rubber grab hand. The crane can rotate 360 degrees. It takes an estimated four to six hours to build and has an intermediate difficulty level which makes it more suitable for grade school children.

  • To Play:

This robotic kit comes with over 350 snap-together pieces and does not require any tools to build. It is a fully interactive and hands-on toy that pushes a child’s creativity level while keeping them interested and engaged while learning important STEM concepts along the way.

Recommended Age Group                                                                                                                  

8 to15 years

Skills

Teaches gear reductions and power transfer through intricate gearing techniques


Snap Circuits Jr. Electronics Discovery Kit

The Snap Circuits Jr. Kit received The National Parenting Center Seal of Approval, Dr. Toy 100 Best Children’s Products, and the Dr. Toy Best Educational Products Awards. Children have the opportunity to build working models of a photo sensor, flashing light, and siren with more than 100 other projects. Children will also gain hands-on experience when it comes to working with designing and building models of electrical circuits.

  • To Play:

This kit includes an illustrated manual. It also comes with over 30 color-coded real circuit components that simply snap together to create working electronic circuits and devices. The pieces also include snap wires, slide switches, an alarm circuit, a music integrated circuit, and a speaker.

Recommended Age Group                                                                                                                      

8 years and older

Skills

Teaches building and how to follow instructions, education on how electrical circuits work


Thames and Kosmos Geckobot Wall Climbing Robot

The Geckobot Wall Climbing Robot can walk vertically up smooth surfaces such as windows, glass, and mirrors. There are seven different models in all that your child can build including the Geckobot. It uses a motorized air suction system, and your child can also create models of an industrial robotic arm with a vacuum suction cup gripper, a crawling inchworm, a smartphone holder, and more.

  • To Play:

This set comes with a 24-page full-color manual and includes 176 different parts and pieces. The gear system produces a rotating motion that makes the legs move back and forth and up and down. Two feet stay on the wall, while the other two feet move in alternating movements. The manual includes simple step-by-step instructions for each model which makes it easy for your child to build.

Recommended Age Group                                                                                                                    

8 years and up

Skills

Develops thinking and social skills, teaches tactile processes, and teach them how things work


The Learning Journey Techno Gears Marble Mania Alpha Construction Set

The Marble Mania Alpha Construction Set has over 300 colorful pieces and is tech-themed. Your child will be able to build structures that work and move, and this set is also compatible with all of the other Techno Gears sets. It includes a power lifter, dual marble tracks, electronic light and sound module, and spiral tracks.

  • To Play:

This set comes with very detailed step-by-step instructions to teach your child how to connect all of the parts and pieces. After building, they simply drop the marbles into the top and watch them go. There are spinning spirals; the marbles can launch down ramps, and glide through a vortex before they drop to the finishing point. The motorized gears keep the corkscrew turning, and this sends all of the marbles back up to the top.

Recommended Age Group                                                                                                                                      

8 to 15 years

Skills

Encourages motor skills, cause and effect learning, logic, and helps your child gain an interest in engineering


There are many other engineering toys available for children of all ages and are all good to develop a child’s fine motor skills, hand-eye coordination, and foster a love of engineering and science. There are so many benefits that are associated with STEM toys and they all allow the child to expand their imagination and learn how things work. So next time your child walks up to you and asks “why” and “how” you can pull out one of these kits and give them a hands-on learning experience that they will never forget. Happy Learning!