The most effective way of teaching children ‘boring’ concepts is through play. While engineering concepts would not engage your child’s fickle attention spans, there are numerous engineering toys that would teach these skills ‘covertly’ as your young ones have fun. Simple skills such as problem-solving, cooperating with their playmates, increased motor skills, and persistence will create a valuable foundation for your child if they choose to enter the competitive engineering field. Even if your children do not choose to become professional engineers as adults, these skills can still be applied in many professional fields. Here are some of the best engineering toys currently available.
As of 2016, LEGO became the largest and most profitable toy company in the world. These educational toys have been very effective in teaching young children (and adults) the basic concepts of engineering skills. The beauty of giving your child a Lego set is that it stimulates their imagination. There is no limit to the creations that one can form using Lego bricks. Lego has also partnered with popular children entertainment franchises such as star wars, Marvel, DC comics, and Disney to create Lego sets that appeal to children. You will also find that, unlike other toys, children rarely outgrow their Lego sets. They can still be enjoyed as they grow up and become teens and beyond.
- K’Nex 100 Model building set
The K’nex model building set is specifically made to increase your child’s engineering literacy. The standard set has more than 850 pieces and contains a manual that shows them how to build more than 100 different models ranging from towers, cars, and helicopters. It differs from LEGO in that you can create models with moving parts. Your children will enjoy the sense of accomplishment that comes from being able to replicate the models in their manuals on their own.
One of the largest toymakers in the world, Mattel, has embraced technology with the development of their new educational toy, Bloxels. Bloxels come with a board where you children can manually create video game levels by hand, before scanning them with their smartphones where they are converted into a video game format which they can play. Bloxels allow your children to exercise their imagination while teaching them the basic concepts of video game design. In a technology driven economy, it is never too early to familiarize your children with game development. They might even end up making a very lucrative career out of it.
While most building block toys use square and rectangular building blocks, wedgit includes different shaped building blocks to further engage your child’s imagination. Wedgits will not only teach your children the basics of construction, they will also learn about angles and balance, which are all useful concepts that will help them in their future engineering endeavors. Wedgit provides a manual that has some models that your children could attempt to re-create, or you can leave them to exercise their creativity by coming up with their own creations. There are numerous wedgit sets to choose from with different difficulty levels for different age groups.
Most of these toys are reasonably priced and will work towards instilling valuable engineering concepts that they can apply in their future careers.
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