Top 11 Construction and Engineering Toys for Kids, 2021

Construction toys have been around for ages with Tonka trucks being a popular toy since they were created in 1947 and Legos in 1932. With the surge in popularity surrounding STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics) and STEAM (Science, Technology, Engineering, Arts, and Mathematics) in schools, engineering and construction toys are also becoming a lot easier to find and more popular with the kids.

Since we have a soft spot for these two industries, we rounded up a list of the top 11 toys that will help little hands and minds grow and learn, too. So without further ado, here are the best gift ideas for your little ones this holiday season. 

Please note: While many websites make money off of the links they share for topics like these, this is not the case with our blog. If you click a link here, it is purely for demonstration purposes, and we do not get any money if you make a purchase. Thank you and happy shopping!

Lego Bricks

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Legos are an iconic engineering and building toy since they were introduced in the 1930’s. Made of plastic, they are lightweight and they are easy to understand. They help build fine motor skills, encourage creativity and imagination, as well as teach various skills such as problem solving and spatial awareness.

Magnet Tiles 

(Image from Target.com)

There are a variety of different magnet tiles available on the toy market these days, but they all share a few things in common; They are made of lightweight materials, they are colorful, and they are easy to build with in both 2D and 3D forms.

Because they can be used in both 2 Dimensional and 3 Dimensional ways, kids can learn how to design something (flat, 2D) and then try to build it (3D). These toys also help teach shapes, colors, counting, patterns, and more. 

Marble Runs

(Image from Amazon.com)

Just like with the magnet tiles, there are a ton of toy marble runs out on the market. They can be made from wooden tracks all the way to plastic tubing. Whatever you decide on, the key is being able to build a marble run in a variety of ways.

Kids love watching the marbles follow the path they made, and have even more fun when there are added elements such as wheels, drops, twists, turns, or maybe even water. Kids learn how to build and design their own tracks, problem solve, and more with these toys; all keys to good building knowledge. 

Snap Circuits Jr.

(Image from Amazon.com)

A toy you may or may not know about is the Elenco Snap Circuits Jr. SC-100Electronics Exploration Kit. This kit doesn’t require any tools and any of the kits can be used together.

Teach your children how circuits work and relate to their everyday life by building a siren, a flashing light circuit, a photo sensor, and much more with 101 projects included in this one kit. Great things can be built and learned by a small engineer-in-the-making!

Straw Construction Sets 

(Image from Amazon.com)

The big selling point for these sets is that straw construction kits can make larger, more impressive builds. Instead of making a castle out of wooden blocks on the floor, the kids can build a more kid sized castle that they can climb into.

This kind of toy helps build their imagination about what’s possible in real life, while also helping them develop spatial awareness and building skills. Hone their fine motor skills with the small straws, and help them problem solve by asking them to build different shapes. 

Think of them a little like tinker toys, but without the wood. They use four way pieces and plastic tubes (the straws) to connect to each other, making a super lightweight and easy to use building toy.

Wooden Blocks

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Wooden blocks will never seemingly go out of style. The easy to use, classic toys are simple and can last from one generation to the next while taking quite the beating. They can be colorful or not, and they are easy to add to. 

However, it wouldn’t be 2021 if there weren’t at least some improvements. In this day and age, these simplistic toys have been given a few upgrades that don’t take away from their uncomplicated nature. 

With some wooden blocks made with windows that can help teach colors and shapes and others that contain kid-sized tools and connections to hone fine motor skills and learn about different tools, the old wooden block has been given new life!

K’nex

(Picture from knex.co.uk)

K’nex (pronounced Kah-Nex, like “connects”) are a building toy that was introduced in the United States in 1992. The kits include easy to follow, step-by-step instructions so that little builders can easily bring their creations to life.

Combining wheels, gears, pulleys, and more, these sets can easily become your child’s favorite building and engineering toy. Build roller coasters and learn how different pitches can create different speeds. Add or remove extra wheels to a car to see how it affects its movement. 

Help your little engineer find a new love for designing and building their own creations with this classic toy set.

Zoob

(Picture from lakeshorelearning.com)

The Zoob building kit helps to develop spatial awareness and fine motor skills as children play and create their own creatures and buildings. 

These toys use joints that allow children to snap pieces together and create structures that can be moved and treated like an animal or other creature from their imagination. The kits also come with a booklet to help get their minds working on ideas.

(Recommended for the children you know that are 6 years and older as apparently they can be difficult for younger kids.)

And that’s it! These 11 toys and sets can be some of the foundation for teaching small minds how to problem solve, learn spatial awareness, hone their fine motor skills, and much more of the skills pertaining to building and engineering which can lead to a love for the construction and engineering industries later in life!


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