Top Five Toys for Structural Engineers

A countless number of toys exist today, but there are a few that have become the favorites of structural engineers.  Below is a list of the top toys that will help kids start thinking about structural design and get their creative juices flowing.

  1. Legos – Legos are a timeless toy for any creative kid.  However, being modeled after a construction material, they are even more intriguing to the aspiring, young structural engineer.  Lego Architecture kits have recently added a new class of inspired building materials, allowing kids (or adults) to put together more aesthetically pleasing and realistic designs.Lego Architecture
  2. K’NEX – Like Legos, K’NEX is building system enjoyed by all thirsting to create.  Though more complex, this system has the ability to build a larger variety of structures.  Favorites are the Ferris Wheel and roller coaster kits, but the company has countless sets that can fulfill any creative itch.K'NEX 2
  3. Lincoln Logs – Relative to the newer building sets that have robots, moving parts, and other technological advances, Lincoln Logs may seem like an outdated toy.  However, they still hold a spot in the hearts of many young builders.  Although the pieces limit the configuration of buildings, this feature forces kids to be more creative in coming up with building layouts.Lincoln Logs
  4. Wooden Blocks – These are more for the youngsters, but it’s never too early to start dreaming up structures!  Find a larger set with a variety of block types to keep your kid playing for hours.Building Blocks
  5. Magnetix – Consisting only of magnetic sticks and metal balls, this kit challenges builders to use different geometric patterns to create stable structures.  It is for the young engineer more interested in generating nifty looking structures that don’t have much function.  However, it is a building kit unlike any other that presents design challenges that force kids to think in a new way.Magnetix 2


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3 thoughts on “Top Five Toys for Structural Engineers”

  1. I remember my parents building a CMU wall when I was a kid. I asked my mother why the blocks had to be laid in a running bond, and she told me to grab my LEGOs and find out.

    Later, trying to build a LEGO city on a baseplate laid on shag carpet taught me the value of good soil for foundation engineering.

    While we’re on the subject of K’NEX: check out for a K’NEX skeeball machine. That’s the best project I’ve seen so far.

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