Top Ten Trending Engineering Toys
As parents ourselves, we know that finding and choosing the right toys for our children isn’t always straightforward. At times it can get difficult and overwhelming. Picking something that your child will enjoy, while ensuring that it has long-lasting value rather than being just a fad isn’t always easy.
We’ve simplified the task by compiling a list our top ten trending engineering toys, based on our best-sellers and broken down by age group. We hope that this list will be helpful and guide you in finding the right toy that will put a big smile on your child’s face, while letting you rest-assured that you’re giving them something of value.
Baby to Toddler
6 months – 4 years old
- Tobbles, 6 months +
It’s award-winning and lots of fun! With Tobbles babies as young as six months old are exposed and get to explore fundamental engineering concepts. They can stack, nest and spin the wobbling spheres high to form brightly coloured creations. With its easy to grip texture, Tobbles introduces little ones to the notion of balance. It encourages the sense of touch and the development of hand-eye coordination, supports motor skills and helps with visual thinking and sequencing.
This best-selling engineering toy for pre-schooled-age children, is one of our favourites! Aircraft Engineer integrates engineering, reading, science and math. As you follow the story of Karlie and Ty, with your children, they can build models of the 10 aircraft vehicles in the story.
The kids start out by building a passenger jet to bring Karlie and Ty’s family to a tropical island. After they arrive, they construct a helicopter to help some scientists studying sea turtles reach a remote island, and then a seaplane to bring them back. As they continue along their trip, they also build a biplane, space shuttle, prop plane, hang glider, supersonic jet, and other airplanes to help their friends out. Did we mention that Aircraft Engineer comes in an easy-to-open and easy-to-close bin, making it an easy-clean-up for kids and parents?
Get those little engineering hands ready for a whole lot of building-fun with this construction set that spins and introduces kids to early problem-solving skills, critical thinking and creativity. Gears! Gears! Gears! includes easy to grip and easy-to-assemble interlocking gears, pillars and bases. These are fun tools that expose kids to early STEAM-supporting concepts and provide endless building possibilities setting children’s imaginations into motion. What’s also great about this starter set is that it’s interchangeable with other Gears! Gears! Gears! set.
We can’t get enough of the Swiss-made and multiple award-winning Magicube Safari! It uses the innovative approach of magnetism to expose young children to construction. The magnetic cubes can be attached from all sides and in any direction in a fun and easy way. Kids can build different animals of every shape and colour. Magicube helps stimulate learning, develop creativity, gross motor skills and imagination.
Pre-schoolers to Young Children
5 years - 8 years old
- Q-Ba-Maze, 6+
Want your child to engage in hours of fun and see their imaginations run wild? This a-typical marble run has a unique system of colorful cubes that interlock and allow kids to form unlimited configurations, from animals, robots, towers and geometric shapes.
Kids can follow the plans included in each set or get inspired and create their own! What’s most fun is that the endless possibilities allow for unpredictable action when the steel marbles travel through different routes. Developed by an architect, Q-BA-MAZE inspires creative play as kids experiment with motion, stability, physics and art. Kids get to think in 3-D while they design and build with colors and cantilevers. It's both right-brain and left-brain, part art and part science.
The Geomag Mechanics 86 pieces made our list because it’s truly innovative. Thanks to this construction system that integrates magnetism and movement kids are exposed to invisible forces. They gain an understanding of magnetism while also learning about gravity and motion. They learn about the workings of a compass and the interactions between the different models that can be built with this system.
Like the rest of the Geomag collection, this set helps train and develop children’s minds by promoting imagination, awareness, understanding of magnetism while developing creativity and nurturing curiosity.
- Keva Colour Pops, 6 +
KEVA Colour Pops is one of our favourite construction toys because it’s simplicity and ease of use pushes creativity and imagination. It offers an ideal way to experiment with engineering concepts of balance and proportion, gain an interest in architecture and learn about colour theory. With the 100 precision-cut, quality-stained planks kids are encouraged to construct colourful and creative works of art. Here there is no glue and no connectors. The beauty is in seeing the kids build simple or elaborate structures, sculptures and contraptions by simply stacking the planks.
School Age to Older Children
8 years old +
- Mechanical Engineering Robotic Arm, 8 - 14 years
The Robotic Arm is a sure-win. The kit provides a fun and hands on approach to learn about mechanical engineering. Kids get to explore mechanical engineering principles as they assemble and play. They can build up to six pneumatic machines, like a Robotic Claw or Exoskeleton Arms. The kit has kids learning about how pneumatic and hydraulic systems are used in industrial robots to enable the robots to manipulate heavy objects, such as automobile components.
What’s special about the Weird & Wacky Contraption Lab is its hands-on, trial-and-error learning quality. As one of our April favourites, we witnessed how our eleven-year-old toy tester Tyler had an endless amount of fun playing with it.
Standing over two feet tall, this multiple award-winning toy includes 60 mix and match pieces, like gears, levers, funnels and ramps that has kids experimenting with gravity, momentum, angles and velocity, and building unlimited contraptions. It encourages kids to dream up crazy courses, then build and test them using an easy-to-construct Velcro like system.
Structural engineering fun starts here! With this kit of modular building pieces, kids can learn the basics of structural engineering by conducting a series of 20 model-building experiments. Each model demonstrates a basic principle of mechanical physics or structural engineering in a hands-on way.
Kids start out with small models that demonstrate how structural elements can be attached together to maximize the strength of a structure for a fixed amount of material used. Then they move onto building more complex models of trusses, roofs, and small buildings. They also experiment with different types of bridge construction from a truss bridge to a suspension bridge. Finally, they can build models of towering skyscrapers.
While building all of the models, kids learn about the strength and stiffness of materials. See how structural engineers optimize factors to maximize safety and minimize cost and the risk of structural failure.