10 Best Erector Sets for Kids Who Love Building
Erector building playsets have a very specific role in the development of young children. One can think of these playsets as highly revved up puzzles that are designed specifically to enhance children’s problem-solving skills and their understanding of engineering, technology, science, and architectural principles. Unfortunately, choosing a kids erector set that is just right for your child can be very challenging since the market is flooded with these kinds of playthings. We’ve scoured the online markets in search of the 10 best erector sets for kids so you’ll have a better understanding of the kind of toy you’d want to give to your child. We hope they have as much fun putting them together as we did research them!
In a Hurry? The test winner after 30 hrs of research
Increases fine-motor skills
Blocks and tools are easy to clean
Stimulates the imagination and cognitive development
Pieces are durable
- Zeliku Building Block Set
- TINKERTOY - 100 Piece Essentials Value Set
- K’NEX Bridges Set
- K'NEX 70 Model Building Set
- K’NEX Swing Ride Building Set
- Meccano 25-in-1 Motorized Model Set
- IQ BUILDER STEM Learning Toys Creative Construction
- K'nex 35 Model Building Set
- Kids First Robot Engineer Kit and Storybook
- Meccano Micronoid - Green Switch
- Criteria Used for Evaluation
- Other Factors to Consider
- Frequently Asked Questions
Find the Right Erector Set Toy for Kids
1. Zeliku Building Block Set
Increases fine-motor skills
Blocks and tools are easy to clean
Stimulates the imagination and cognitive development
Pieces are durable
Batteries for drill are not included
Drill does not fit in the storage container
The Zeliku Building Block set includes everything your child needs to bring their imagination to life. This erector set includes 193 blocks and screws. Your little one can use the included tools in the set to build whatever cool design they can think of. The plastic base gives your child a platform to build off of while also doubling as a storage container.Read more
As your child drills or screws together with the pieces, they will increase their fine-motor skills and hand-eye coordination. They will stimulate their imaginations and cognitive development as they work to bring their designs to life. As they build with friends, they will increase their social skills as well as their ability to share and cooperate with others. The bright colors of the pieces will get your child excited to build.
This is an ideal toy for road trips or a day of running errands as a majority of the pieces can be stored inside the container. With the top of the case being a platform for your child’s creations, the fun can be contained to your child’s lap. There are tools included, teaching your child early on how to use some hand tools, and making them feel all grown up like mama and daddy cuz they have their own tools too!
The storage container makes it easy for your child to transport their building erector set from place to place. With the top of the container serving as the building platform, your little one can keep the fun contained to their lap.
All of the pieces are composed of a durable plastic that is designed to withstand countless builds. You won’t have to worry about the pieces collecting germs as they can easily be washed or wiped clean. Boys and girls between the ages of 3 and 14 will have a blast building new creations. And that's why this toy is one of the best erector sets on the market.
2. TINKERTOY - 100 Piece Essentials Value Set
Instructions for 13 models included
Sturdy materials keep the play going
Simple instructions designed with younger kids in mind
Pieces can be difficult to pull apart
May not be enough pieces for more complex builds
If you are looking for an erector set that will provide the littlest engineer in your home with a safe, sturdy, and fun experience then the Tinkertoy 100 Piece Essentials Value Set is perfect for you. The included instruction manual will encourage your little one to create up to 13 different models while stimulating their visual cortex with bright primary colors.Read more
These plastic pieces are just the right size for little fingers and the material is forgiving enough that you don’t have to worry about parts cracking and breaking under stress. The building system in this kids erector set will help strengthen hand-eye coordination, improve fine motor skills, and instill an understanding of spatial awareness while encouraging problem-solving skills.
This kit provides an open-ended invitation to toddlers and parents to spend a long rainy day afternoon building, playing, deconstructing, and reconstructing all while encouraging familial bonding and creativity. Best of all the pieces scoop right up inside the included storage box for simple clean up at the end of the day.
This modern plastic version sparks nostalgia for the classic wooden Tinker Toys of childhood while bringing that same educational fun feeling to your child. The 100 included pieces are so brightly colored that there is no way your child could walk past this toy without giving it a go! Again, there are instructions for 13 different projects to keep your child for busy for hours! Parts can be combined to make a car with wheels, a flower, a house, a windmill, a four-legged animal, and anything else they can imagine up! Nothing is more wonderful for a parent in this day in age then being able to help your child use their imagination!
Even excitable little hands are no match for these Tinker Toys! A new design means that these pieces stay together once you’ve snapped them into place so your masterpieces will never accidentally fall apart again. It’s precisely made so all pieces in the erector set fit together easily and won’t chip or break under rough play.
3. K’NEX Bridges Set
Great for independent or social play
Easy to store and transport
Stimulates cognitive development
Increases knowledge of architecture
Pieces could be made more durable
Building bridges out of popsicle sticks and toothpicks is a thing of the past. The K’NEX Bridges set includes 207 pieces that are made up of rods, connectors, and stems. All of the pieces can be used to create seven different types of bridges, some of which are replicas of well-known bridges. The pieces snap together easily and securely. When your child is ready to create another structure, they come apart just as easilyRead more
As your child builds each bridge in this erector set, they will gain knowledge of architecture and the infrastructure that goes into each type of bridge. Children can enjoy building bridges independently or they can increase their social skills and build with friends.
This is another of our favorite erector sets because of the classic aspect to it. It is made up of classic pieces, meaning the exact same types of pieces you would have found in your K'nex sets 20+ years ago! Every parent loves to share a piece of their childhood with their children.
The carrying case makes it easy for your child to build anywhere. It also gives you a clutter-free home and pain-free feet since they can be stored in one place and you won't step on them all over the house!
The pieces are easy to store as they can be kept in the container they came in. The container is designed with a handle that makes the set easy to transport so your child can build practically anywhere.
4. K'NEX 70 Model Building Set
Its complexity gives room for the child to be more creative and imaginative.
The offered building pieces are more than enough for the child to have a creation of anything they would want to.
Very flexible for the child to use and easy for them to follow instruction with very little adult supervisor present.
Limited to children at the age of seven and above or dedicated builders.
The small pieces are packaged in a huge box that may disappoint a child when unwrapping it.
One of the most satisfying experiences a child could ever have is having the opportunity to build something with his or her own hands. Now imagine if your child can build 70 different models, structures, or objects that represent everyday things, then the level of satisfaction will simply be off the charts.Read more
This kit encourages creativity and imagination while helping your child make the connection between play and science. The developmental benefits of this STEAM/STEM-based toy will help your kid grasp complex concepts such as physics, engineering, spatial awareness and problem-solving skills
The K’NEX system is designed specifically for open-ended play. While it already includes instructions on how to assemble and build these 70 models, it strongly encourages children to come up with more creative ways to make use of the different pieces of the erector set.
It gives children the freedom to build and create 70 different models using only 705 building pieces that can include anything and everything from wheels, tracks, wings, rotors, rods, connectors and a whole lot more.
K’NEX is making a mindful effort to reduce its ecological footprint while still meeting all safety standards and keeping the high quality of their toys. These little guys seem small but they don’t break easily and are manufactured in Hatfield, Pennsylvania at a zero-waste, landfill-free facility. The designs can be a little complicated but these pieces are sure to last long enough that your children can grow and rise to the challenge.
5. K’NEX Swing Ride Building Set
Increases fine-motor skills and hand-eye coordination
Encourages your child to get creative and build new creations
Structures are sturdy and durable
Instructions are easy to follow
May take a while to build
With the K’NEX Swing Ride Building Set, your child won’t have to wait for the fair to come to town. The erector set includes 486 brightly colored pieces that come together to form a swing. Even though the instructions say you can build 3 different models, with 486 pieces at your disposal.... the possibilities for an active young mind are endless! Besides, what kid wants to follow directions or instructions right? Besides that, this erector set comes with some experiments! How cool is that!?Read more
As your child pieces the set together, they will increase their hand-eye coordination and fine motor skills. While the pieces in this set are primarily for the swing, your child can use their imagination and creativity to constantly build new structures. This set is sure to foster a love of engineering in your child.
Children 8 years old and up can easily follow the included step-by-step instructions to build the swing. The instructions also teach your child how to use the pieces to build a Ferris wheel.
This toy is made to play with a friend and promote teamwork and that's so amazing that children can learn skills like that and they don't even realize they are learning!!
Once the gears, rods, and connectors are all pieced together, the AA batteries will power the swing. Also included in the set is an experiment guide that walks your child through three hands-on inquiry-based experiments. The pieces go together easily and provide a sturdy structure.
6. Meccano 25-in-1 Motorized Model Set
Contains real working vehicles by the help of the motor in it
Suitable for children of both genders
Improves on the creativity of the child
Contains good packaging of the building sets
Can be complex and requiring a lot of brain work out for the uncreative children
Ever heard of a 25-in-1 set? Well if you haven’t before this, here’s your introductory course! The Meccano Erector Super Construction erector set features all the necessary pieces (638, to be exact) to complete 25 different builds. The plastic carrying case provides ample storage. With a 6V motor, the vehicles your little one builds can actually operate! How cool is that?!Read more
Meccano has been influencing children's STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering, and Math) education as they build the sets and play.
Meccano has just put ‘fun’ in the phrase open-ended play. The motorized models are perfect tools for helping children understand basic concepts in mechanical and even automotive engineering which they might be interested in in the near future.
The kit comes with a 6-volt motor which kids will use to power up 25 different building models that can include a buggy crane, a helicopter, a racer, a robot, a windmill, and even a command and control vehicle. Each of these models have fully moving parts that are powered by the 6-volt motor, giving children the rare opportunity to marvel at their work as each one comes to life.
Like all erector and building playsets, these 25 models are just blueprints to get your kid started. Mixing and matching the 638 pieces might eventually lead to the building of an entirely new model.
7. IQ BUILDER STEM Learning Toys Creative Construction
3 available e-books with instructions for beginner, intermediate, and advanced skill levels
Child-safe and toxin-free materials
Storage box included large enough for all included parts
Instructional booklet is not included-download only
Connector balls may crack with repeated use
STEM toys are a great way to help your children exercise their minds while they have fun! The IQ Builder Creative Construction set contains 164 pieces and three instructional EBooks separated by skill level. This allows children to browse only the builds that they’re ready to explore, helping to stop the frustration and fits from occurring in the first place. Lead-free, BPA-free, and phthalate-free, it’s a safe set with lots of options and with room for children to explore and be creative while building their own free-play structures!Read more
This STEM learning kit demonstrates concepts of geometry, physics, and math while encouraging creativity and problem-solving skills. Give your child a head start in their instruction of science and construction while simultaneously developing their fine motor skills and promoting healthy brain development.
Besides the fact that this toy is recommended by education professionals for both home and classroom to help develop good hand-eye coordination as well as problem-solving skills, your child will love it too!! You will be helping them develop important skills and they won't ever know because they are just "playing" and let's face it, all parents love toys that come with their own storage case so hopefully, it will make it back into the box and not be all over your living room floor!
Perfect for the younger engineers in the house, this erector set includes 125 pieces ranging from balls to connectors to cover plates. Three instructional e-books are available for download with a variety of different model suggestions for all skill levels.
While not recommended for children under age 3, all of the plastic parts n this erector set are lead-free, BPA-free, phthalate-free, and completed CPSC approved and include a 30 day no questions asked 100% money-back guarantee so you can rest easy knowing that your child’s enjoyment and safety are assured.
8. K'nex 35 Model Building Set
Has real moving parts, hence give the constructor a platform to create objects that can actually move.
Its classic pieces encourage the creativity of the child.
Requires little adult supervision while the child is building.
Has enough storage for the pieces after and before the kid plays.
Can only be used with older children that are seven years of age and above.
Remember the 25-in-1 set? Well in case that still felt too limiting for you, here’s the 35-in-1 erector set: that’s right, 480 pieces from K’NEX and 35 different model builds to explore. This erector set is best suited to children ages 7 and up. Choose from fun and versatile options, such as a military transporter, a functional construction crane, a heavily armed Humvee, a T-Rex, a desert dune warrior buggy, a rocket ship and more!Read more
Your child’s understanding of the following subjects (arts, science, engineering, mathematics, and technology) is improved. Their natural creativity and curiosity are enhanced hence making it more fun for your kid. They gain spatial awareness, problem-solving, fine motor and coordination skills.
What is different about this K'nex set then some others on the market today?? If you grew up playing with K'nex you are going to open this box and take a step back into the '90s because this set is full of 480 classic pieces! I personally grew up playing with K'nex and I can tell you by looking at this box some of the models they have you build are some of the same ones I built as a child. Nothing makes an '80's or '90's baby happier than seeing their child enjoying the same toys they loved growing up.
Mind you, he or she will only be using about 480 different building pieces that already includes rotors, wings, wheels, and the like, all of which easily snap together for a really secure fit. That’s how ingenious the K’NEX system is.
This erector set is full of creativity and possibility. It’s sturdy and the pieces fit together easily and stay together! It’s worth noting how small the pieces actually are, though. The models suggested are around 1-2” in height and if you want the instructional booklet, you’ll have to pull it up electronically each time your child goes to play, or print all 100 pages of it yourself.
9. Kids First Robot Engineer Kit and Storybook
Included storybook promotes reading skills
Promotes hand-eye coordination, fine motor skills, and healthy brain development
Available in multiple styles such as aircraft engineer and automobile engineer
Simple instructions designed with younger kids in mind
Some pieces may be difficult to assemble and require adult assistance
Included instructions can be confusing
If your child has ever dreamed of building their own robot--or even if that hasn’t occurred to them but they’re still knee-deep in robot-fueled relish, they might like Thames & Kosmos’ Robot Engineer Kit. This creative set comes with its own narrative storybook that allows children to follow two curious young minds and build-along at home as well! If robots aren’t their forte, there are three other engineer erector sets (aircraft, automobile, and boat) and a Science Lab kit as well!Read more
Large colorful plastic pieces are easily grasped and manipulated by your toddler while improving fine motor skills. The included storybook will have your little one laughing and playing while they develop visual-spatial skills, reasoning, and concept development. It will encourage a love of building that can translate into more complex kits as they grow and prompt them to explore their imagination to see what other kooky characters they can create.
Designed for children as young as 3 years old, this 53 piece set will encourage your little one to build along with Ty and Karlie as they read all about their adventure in an automated candy factory.
The 32-page storybook can be a stand-alone addition to laying the groundwork for strong STEM-related skills or can play hand in hand with model building.
While exploring the factory Ty and Karlie build 10 various robots to perform tasks and help them get to the next page. Your child will be able to build all of the same robots while learning about simple machines and engineering.
10. Meccano Micronoid - Green Switch
Simple, one-button programming
Encourages STEM learning
Can interact with other Micronoids
Challenging enough for older children and adults
Pieces are very small and may require adult assistance to assemble
It’s a bird, it’s a plane, it’s a….farting robot? The Meccano Micronoid Green Switch can be exactly that.8-Ball mode allows the Micronoid to answer yes and no questions while dance mode will have him spinning and twirling to nearby music. Autonomous mode breaks out the big guns by giving your child’s construction the freedom to do...whatever it wants.Read more
This little robot packs a big 1-2 punch when it comes to education and fun. Your child will love all of the zany abilities this little guy can do once constructed while you will love the STEM education support they are simultaneously learning while building. Focusing on the technology and engineering side of STEM this little bot is the perfect gift for any budding engineer.
Spinning, whistling, laughing, and yes even farting. Your child will have a blast playing with their new pal and then disassembling and reassembling it again and again.
This construction kit includes 139 pieces and detailed instructions for your child to build their new robot friend. Once constructed Micronoid can complete a number of different tasks depending on which of the 3 modes of play you choose.
Buddy up with the Bots! The pieces in these erector sets are well-constructed and stay together firmly once built. If you want to deconstruct them, you’ll have to intentionally pull them apart. The pieces are a little small and the instructions can be difficult to decipher so consider helping out or supervising, but the effort is well worth it! Your child will love their Meccano.
Criteria Used for Evaluation
Children who are mechanically minded enjoy more to learn about how these pieces work together as they put the kits together. Creative and imaginative children at most times prefer loose bricks or traditional brick sets that give them allowance to create whatever they want to create.
There is so much more to building sets than just having playtime fun. The age-appropriate sets are useful to a child in relation to improving his or her hand-eye coordination, manual dexterity, and spatial recognition. They are also important in helping a child enhance his or her social skills while they are working together in the construction projects. The child’s interest, age and skill level are the priorities to check while looking for the appropriate building set for a child.
It is a priority to keep in mind the age of the child and the skill level when choosing toys for him or her. Safety for babies or young children is also another vital consideration and this entails not having their own or play with sharp-edged toys or those that are too tiny to fit in their nostrils or mouths. Sometime when they are building sets with advanced or complicated toys, young children may easily get frustrated, tire or lose interest and possibly not complete the desired projects. Contrary to older children, they get bored easily when they play with building sets that are simpler and not well competitive.
Erector toys are not that different from playing with building blocks. However, as the building pieces are more complex and come with more details, a child’s hand-eye coordination is further enhanced. Moreover, their fine-motor skills are also improved as they try to piece different parts together. Playing constantly with these types of playthings can also help improve their hand-eye coordination as well as the fine motor control so that they will become more adept at certain activities that require the mastery of such skills.
An erector set may come as a five-, 10- or even 100-piece model set, but these are just blueprints to get children on a path of discovery. Once they realize that the building pieces actually facilitate open-ended play, they can start imagining newer, better, and more-engaging models that they can build. This can further fuel their growing cognitive abilities.
Erector sets are excellent developmental instruments that help kids sharpen their cognitive abilities and improve their psychomotor skills. While there are plenty of erector sets in the market, you can trust our 10 best erector sets for kids to help you narrow down your choice for your own child.
It’s true that erector play sets come with instructions on how to build a certain model. However, there’s more to it than simply following instructions. Determining which among the hundreds of building parts goes to a particular slot will require some amount of critical thinking which is an essential component of problem-solving. Kids will have to examine closely the different pieces so they will know which ones to choose for a particular section of the model.
This comprises assessment and analysis which are also integral components of scientific problem-solving. The more building pieces kids have to work with, the more opportunities they have for enhancing their cognitive abilities, especially their problem-solving skills.
Other Factors to Consider
he most-appropriate products for the children these ages should be motorized and requiring one to be fairly skilled to complete the construction. Some of them include choices like robots, mechanical structures, Ferris wheels, spacecraft, and roller coasters. LEGO and K’NEX brands have playing sets that are suited to fulfilling the playing needs of these older children and teenagers.
The type of building sets and blocks go hand-in-hand with a variety of interests the child might have. It is important to consider not only the suitability of the child’s age when choosing the appropriate building set or block, but also toys that are appealing and the types of games the child has fun playing. Some children who enjoy pretend play are likely to get have more fun with themed building blocks and sets.
Some of these children even get inspiration for their building sets from their favorite TV shows or movies while others enjoy more having playing sets that can be useful in building a variety of different structures or those that can give a transformation to many different objects.
Older children have multiple options when it comes to building sets. This age range contains older children, perhaps teenagers, and they really like to be challenged. Many will prefer having building sets that are a bit more complicated and those that can take some time for the child to complete.
Babies in this range are expected to have an enjoyment having building toys that are soft and brightly colored. Some of these playing sets are created from cloth and are designed in a variety of sizes, colors, patterns, and textures.
Contrast to them, older babies may seem to have an enjoyment to build towers from larger vinyl blocks and stacking cups made from plastic. The versatility of nesting and stacking cups can be useful in playing with both sand and water. In the stage, it is easy for toddlers to play and build towers and even other structures that are simple to create out of the interlocking bricks and large plastic blocks.
3 to 5 years
This is the age range where most children are preschoolers. They are old enough to be safe while playing with alphabet blocks that are made from wood and learn the sounds, the colors and the letters all at the same time. This age is also appropriate for them to take directions from adults and even build structures with the wooden blocks that are in various sizes and shapes.
A lot of preschoolers are creative and imaginative and use these skills to come up with unique self-made simple structures and hence the ideal toys for them are bricks and blocks. The market has brands like K’NEX, Rokenbok, and LEGO that contain different varieties of building sets which are specially and specifically created to suit children in this age range.
Frequently Asked Questions
q: What is the appropriate procedure for removing the erector set from its packaging?
Most of the building sets have a stand that is made from plastic that holds the toys in place while in the packaging. When removing the building sets from the stands, you simply remove the two screws that hold the stand. A Philips-head screwdriver can be of good help in doing that. The stands easily detach and after that, you can safely get your sets to the field and have fun with your child.
q: Apart from improving my child’s creativity, what are the other reasons why I should get my kid a building set?
Building sets have a lot of functions and are equally useful for a kid. It makes any parent very happy to see the child having fun playing with the toys and even a bonding moment for both the parent and the kid can be enhanced. The more the child uses the building sets, the better his or her motor skills improve and the more creative the kid gets and hence mastering the basic engineering and technological skills become faster and easier for the child. The spatial awareness of the child sharpens and their imagination is fueled.
q: Building sets have a lot of functions and are equally useful for a kid. It makes any parent very happy to see the child having fun playing with the toys and even a bonding moment for both the parent and the kid can be enhanced. The more the child uses the building sets, the better his or her motor skills improve and the more creative the kid gets and hence mastering the basic engineering and technological skills become faster and easier for the child. The spatial awareness of the child sharpens and their imagination is fueled.
Below are the steps you can take whenever the building sets are not working normally.
Ensure that the batteries, in case the set uses any, are fresh, and if not, replace them with fresh ones.
The battery contacts should be matched correctly as (+ and -) with the inserted batteries.
The metal contact tabs should be touching. Any rust among them would cause the set not to function properly
If the set does not still work after considering the above options, then it could be a technical problem and one must contact the manufacturers of the brand of the building set.
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