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Engineering-Type Gift Ideas for Young Ones


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So we recently stumbled upon Snap Circuits and my 6yo ds LOVES them!


Do you know of other products like Snap Circuits that a young science-y guy would like? We haven't yet gotten into any of the Lego Robotics, but he's very interested in stuff like that.


Is there some other awesome toy out there that you would recommend?

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Erector sets. Electronics sets. Robotics kits. Science kits (Thames and Kosmos is generally well-regarded.) Programming (Scratch and many other beginning programming environments and languages are free or very low-cost; google to see what's available and appealing to you).


An old modular building toy from Europe that appeals to some little ones is Capsela; you can use it to build motorized vehicles and machines, learn about gearing and simple circuits, etc. You can find sets on eBay and elsewhere. I don't know if your son would find them below level, but they are quite fun for little ones.


Lots of software games might appeal to him too. DS6 is fond of Crazy Machines, which can be bought cheaply these days. Roller Coaster Tycoon and other types of building simulations might be a good option too.







Edited by Iucounu
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The board game "The Way Things Work" is loads of fun.




My son also loved k'nex kits like the roller coaster set.




Zoobs were one of his favorite building tools when he was really little. Now that shifted to Lego Technic.


Even though he is older now, he still plays with Snapcircuits. ;) (whenever he encounters the box...)

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Lego WeDo is fun. You can do lots with it and explore. For example, we build

one of the given "robots". Then we'll change the cam or gears and see how if affects the action. The programming is easy enough for my 4 year old. I also like that the robot stays tethered to the computer so that little hands can't wander too far.



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I have ages 7, 10(almost 11), 12 - all boys - one a seriously engineering mind. Some of these do not have an overt engineering sense, but my engineering minds seem to LOVE it all. All of these suggestions below go over with all ages of my kids (even though some were purchased for the younger person). I will be taking a look at everyone's input- thanks.



LEGO MINDSTORMS - for the eldest engineer - spendy and requires computer and programming. But he LOVES it!


ANY LEGOS - for all ages


ROLLA BALL - hard to find - it's a marble track that you build however you want. you might thinks it's babyish, but it's a hit for ALL at my house - they fight over it when it comes out.


Simple ROCKETS -- Ya know the kind you find at Hobby Lobby...Put a little bit together then go for lift off!!! with a 40% off coupon totally reasonable.


Anything Magnetic -- even magnetic rocks.


those Crystal Growing Sets - Again, don't ask me why -- BUT A HUGE HIT in my house. It has to do with the fact that you are assisting in the crystalline stucture of it all.


SEA Monkeys, anything you have to make alive (those prehistorice water thingys)- YES! and they are still alive since last Christmas, they won't die!!! Again, they are devising the environment; putting it all together....


Most gardening/growing/butterflies - anything that you have to make grow or bring to life or watch transform they are nuts about. I could buy them one of those venus fly traps and they'd be head over heels.


Creepy Crawlers - the BOMB!!! you create, bake, and play with. You might not think educational, but it is. You start off with liquid, add heat and it makes a solid? what?! then the bugs are scientific and interesting and then they hide on your pillow to scare you - so it's fun and childish too.


Shrinky dinks - bake and they get small...why? I bet they will find out. Bring out the artist in the non artist.


Chess set -- or my friend said there is this mobile (in the car type) chess puzzle set. Yes, they love chess.


Lego Creationary Game -- fun for the family.

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