Best Toys for Little Engineers: They’ll Actually Love and Use!

Krystal DeVille

Best Toys for Little Engineers

If you have a young engineer in your home, then you should definitely feed their curiosity.

What better way than toys that help the kids learn and are fun simultaneously? Keeping that in mind, let us go through some of the best engineering toys that caught our attention.

What Is an Engineering Toy

Engineering toys mix engineering with other STEM concepts. The best engineering toys will keep kids engaged while teaching them principles about engineering.

This isn’t only in the form of building a structure, as many engineering toys blend other concepts.

Now, let’s get into the best engineering toys for kids!

Structural Engineering: Bridges & Skyscrapers

Thames & Kosmos Structural Engineering: Bridges & Skyscrapers

With this structural engineering kit, you’ll be able to build 20 different models that teach about force, load, compression, tension, and more.

All of the 285 are interchangeable, so your kids will be able to make any bridge and design they can think of.

Why We Love It:

  • Detailed instructions to get you started.
  • All the parts are interchangeable, so the designs are limitless.

You can find the current price of this structural engineering kit here.


LEGO MINDSTORMS Robot Inventor Building Set

Where would this list be without a mention of LEGOs? It literally means “play well” in Danish. A kid with an affinity for building stuff with their own hands would absolutely love a set of LEGOs.

If your kid is interested in robots, circuits, and coding, they will love the Robot Inventor set. This set can be built in many different ways and programmed to run in many imaginative ways.

Why We Love It:

  • 949 pieces in this kit; you’ll have plenty to build.
  • Over fifty activities after the robot is built.
  • Rechargeable battery included.

Check to see if this LEGO Mindstorm is still available here.


Sphero SPRK+

Sphero develops toys and coding kits for kids. They primarily make STEM-related toys. Little engineers will love their coding robots because of the unique ways they will be able to use them.

Sphero can be coded to roll around and is packed with plenty of programmable sensors that let Sphero interact with the environment.

There are too many activities your kids can do with Sphero to list here. We had to make a dedicated article for that. You can find that here, along with more ideals.

Why We Love It:

  • A programable robot that is easy to use.
  • Tons of activities to do with Sphero, so your engineering kids never get bored.

You can see the current price of Spero here.

Snap Circuits

Snap Circuits Light Electronics Exploration Kit

We love Snap Circuits in our house!

This engineering toy can snap together electrical parts and allow the kids to learn more about the thing that powers the world. Rest assured, this toy is only connected to a battery, not the wall socket, so your kid will be safe.

You can build circuits with a few parts at home; we detail that in our article here. But I found that Snap Circuits allowed our son to make a bunch of different projects quickly, which was fun to put together!

The booklet that’s included also had a ton of different configurations to try out. It explained everything, so kids will understand what is going on (I recommend adults read it as well because I learned a few things!).

Why We Love It:

  • Quickly put circuits together to spin a fan, light up an egg, or buzz a speaker (everything included in this kit).
  • This is one of my most recommended toys!

You can see the current price here.

Please take a look at our article to get a complete comparison of Snap Circuits to littleBits.

Best electronic kits for kids

Mini 3D Printer for Kids and Beginners

Mini 3D Printer for Kids and Beginners

Suppose you have a child that is always brimming with imagination. Wouldn’t they love it if what they imagined came to life?

A 3D printer is what they need! There is no need to shell out tens of thousands of dollars for one when you can get one that costs less but works just as well.

There’s a lot you can do with 3D printers. If you can think of it, you’ll find a way of making it. There’s tons of information out there, but this one is a significant first step into getting into the hobby of 3D printing.

You’ll need Filament; think of it as paper for a printer. A little goes a long way, and the Filament is cheap. You can see the type for this printer here.

Why We Love It:

  • Fully assembled, ready to start creating.
  • Software is free and easy to use for kids.

You can see this 3D printer is still available here.

Wondering how long 3D printing will take? Check out our article about this and times for different objects.

How Long Does 3D Printing Take


If you are looking for toys for younger kids who are mastering sensory skills and want to guide them towards a STEM career, then the Magformers Basic Set is for you!

It is a building block type of toy, where all the various parts have magnets in them. Young kids can build animals, buildings, multiple shapes, and whatever they dream of.

Why We Love It:

  • Perfect magnetic building toy for little engineers.
  • Quick clean-up.

You can find Magformers magnetic set here.

Horse Automata Kit

3D Wood Craft Mechanical Horse

I admit this following toy is one of the coolest-looking toys ever.

The Horse Automata Kit is a kit a child can put together to make a horse. It has gears, cranks, and many different shapes that must be carefully put together.

Someone who loves details and is careful putting toys together will love spending the time to put this wooden horse together.

Why We Love It:

  • 221 Pieces of Precise Cuts of Plywood.
  • Detailed instructions.

You can find this wood kit here.

Intro to Engineering Kit

The Thames & Kosmos Kids First Intro to Engineering Kit gives a kid the taste of building projects and conducting experiments.

This kit is designed to help children understand how to use technical knowledge to solve problems and design machines and devices. It will give them a good foundation for critical thinking and problem-solving skills.

Why We Love It:

  • Comes with exciting projects.
  • Easy to follow instructions about engineering.

You can find this intro to Engineering kit here.

Model Rockets

Estes Tandem-X Launch Set

There is no better gift to a future engineer than a model rocket from Estes. Almost every child, at one time or another, dreamed of being an astronaut. The model rockets will let them live their dreams.

This rocket kit comes with easy-to-follow instructions, but it will be helpful to spot your children as they build it.

Why We Love It:

  • It’s a rocket!
  • Introduction to a fantastic hobby.

You can see if this model rocket is still available here.


If your kid is way beyond their age when it comes to coding and electronics, then you can go all out and buy them an Arduino.

It is a programmable microcontroller that is only limited by the ability of the one using it. It is also used in actual projects by companies, so your kid can get a lot of valuable experience by playing with it.

Why We Love It:

  • These small computers on a chip are cheap and powerful.

You can find this Arduino computer here.

Building a DIY computer is an excellent project if your kids are interested in computers. You can find the best ones we recommend in our article here.

Best stem toy gifts

Raspberry Pi Kit

Coding with raspberry Pi

The Raspberry Pi is a minicomputer. It can function exactly like a regular computer, but it’s also great for projects and tinkering.

It is similar to the Arduino but more powerful and versatile; it can run code faster. There is a lot your kids will be able to do with these. Making and playing games, running a full desktop environment, or building a robot.

You can get a Raspberry Pi or an Arduino as a kid’s programmable electronic kit.

Why We Love It:

  • Extremely versatile. Programing games, building a robot, and a lot more.
  • You can make this a real desktop computer.

You can find our recommended complete Raspberry Pi kit here.

For more details about what kinds of projects your kids are going to do, please look at your article, What can you do with a Raspberry Pi?

raspberry pi projects beginner guide

Hydraulic Arm Kit

STEM Building Toy

The Elenco Teach Kit “Hydrobot Arm Kit” is a hydraulic arm with a long arm that can move anyway. Kids will understand how hydraulic pressure works and its applications, like a crane or forklift.

It can grab stuff around the house, and it also has a suction cup to hold onto things. A child would love to assemble this toy and use the controllers attached to it to control the robot arm.

Why We Love It:

  • Quickly switch Between Grippers or Suction Cups.
  • No batteries are needed.

You can see all the features of this hydraulic arm here.

Potato Clock

Potato Clock DIY Green Science Chemistry Engineering Lab

One of the easiest ways to blow a child’s mind is to get them a potato clock.

If you did not know, we will let you in on a secret; potatoes can be used to power a digital clock. This simple kit can also be made at home. All you need are two potatoes to make this low-powered digital clock.

Why We Love It:

  • Blow your kids’ minds by showing them that a potato can power a clock.

You can find the Potato Clock here.

Aftershock Earthquake Lab Set

SmartLab Toys Aftershock Earthquake Lab Set

If your kid loves building things and tearing them down, they will love the SmartLab Toys Aftershock Earthquake Lab Set.

The main goal of this toy is to let kids build the most earthquake-resistant structure. With the press of a button, the complete set shakes as though there is an earthquake, and the whole structure falls down if the structure is weak.

Why We Love It:

  • Learn to build a sturdy structure through trial and error.
  • A toy that teaches about engineering while having fun.

You can check if this earthquake engineering toy is still available.

K’NEX Education

K’NEX Education – Intro to Simple Machines

If you want something that is realistic, then the K’NEX Education: Intro to Simple Machines is what you need.

These are kind of like other building toys like LEGOs. All the parts connect to form whatever you can imagine.

This toy includes all the different types of machines that your kid will need to build anything. From wheels, axles, and inclined planes to levers and pulleys.

Why We Love It:

  • Fantastic building toy.
  • Build up to seven different simple machines.

You can see the current price of the K’NEX intro to simple machines here.

Why is Engineering Important

Engineering plays a vital role in our society. It combines science and mathematics and is one of the main focuses of STEM.

It’s not just buildings and structures. Engineering encompasses a wide range of practical problem-solving. Engineers lead us into tomorrow from computers and architecture, economics, and environmental applications.

Wrapping Up

In the modern age, there are so many different ways to learn. You can find so many engineering toys that are capable of being both fun and educational.

No matter where their interests lie, you will be able to find a fun toy to engage them at home. Everything from electricity, buildings, robots, magnetic structures, and earthquake simulation toys are available.

If you notice your child stacking any items they can find, you might have a future builder in your home. In this article, we go over the top building sets for kids.

The Top STEM Building Sets for Kids

Author: Krystal DeVille

Title: STEM Education Guide Founder

Expertise: Homeschooling, Kids Education, Parenting

Krystal DeVille is an accomplished journalist and homeschooling mother who created STEM Education Guide, a site that revolutionizes learning in science, technology, engineering, and math (STEM) for children. It makes complex subjects engaging and understandable with innovative, hands-on approaches.

Krystal DeVille

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