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    #200122 - 09/05/14 10:27 AM science & engineering toys for young kids
    Aufilia Offline

    Registered: 02/25/14
    Posts: 336
    Loc: Washington
    DS is turning 5 in October and I'm looking for some good suggestions for presents. He really enjoys science & engineering type activities.

    This entire year he's been super into the Magic School Bus books. He's very interested in the solar system/space, gravity, electricity/energy. And he likes to take things apart and put them back together.

    He loves our 2 kits of Snap Circuits (the general jr kit, and the radio kit). We have a couple cars you can take apart and put back together, but they've been around while and are too simple now. He would enjoy them more if they had motors and electricity, for example, but they are just plastic pieces. We have some legos (just plain blocks, hand-me-downs from when my little brother was young), Magnatiles, and wood blocks that all get played with sometimes.

    I think he would love some toys he could take apart, put back together, and that would DO something. Sorta like Snap Circuits, except we already have those and need Something Else.

    I would also love suggestions for actual devices that it would be safe for him to take apart, that could be gotten cheap at a thrift store or something. Last week we had to take our Roomba all apart after it sucked up cat barf (ewww) and he was in heaven.

    #200140 - 09/05/14 12:00 PM Re: science & engineering toys for young kids [Re: Aufilia]
    aquinas Offline

    Registered: 11/02/12
    Posts: 2513
    My son is the same--his favourite activity is disassembling mechanical equipment!

    Mecano and Lego Technic are some toys I have my eye on for my son (now 2.10) as his dexterity matures.

    I have this miniature combustion engine kit in mind for my son for Christmas as a project we work on jointly; your son might be able to construct the engine more or less independently.

    As for machines to take apart and rebuild together: electric kettles, toasters, clocks, computers, inexpensive electric toothbrushes (you can buy new ones for $5-10), hair dryers, computer printers, handheld electric kitchen mixers, fans, and vacuum cleaners are good ideas. My son enjoys plumbing, so we've taken apart the pipes to our toilets, dishwasher, sinks, and showers to show him how they function.

    These are interesting sites for engineering/construction projects:

    What is to give light must endure burning.

    #200146 - 09/05/14 01:08 PM Re: science & engineering toys for young kids [Re: Aufilia]
    cmguy Offline

    Registered: 03/30/14
    Posts: 387
    I remember Capsela let you build your own vehicles. If you search this at Amazon related toys will also pop up.

    #200148 - 09/05/14 01:30 PM Re: science & engineering toys for young kids [Re: Aufilia]
    Zen Scanner Offline

    Registered: 07/13/12
    Posts: 1478
    Loc: NC
    Search Amazon for Physics in Toys and Games. The Thames & Kosmos brand has nicely thought out experiments that require builds to test, explore, and experiment. We got some decent mileage out of their "Physics Discovery" kit.

    #200149 - 09/05/14 01:57 PM Re: science & engineering toys for young kids [Re: Aufilia]
    ohmathmom Offline

    Registered: 03/27/13
    Posts: 161
    Loc: Ohio
    There's a list of toys, games, and puzzles in this Math Enrichment Family Resource book. Many have a science/engineering bent. You can download the pdf for free.

    Hoagies also has a list.

    #200154 - 09/05/14 04:48 PM Re: science & engineering toys for young kids [Re: Aufilia]
    EmeraldCity Offline

    Registered: 11/04/13
    Posts: 100
    My DS4 is also similar - born scientist/engineer.

    While I have not tried the tinkering sites/activities listed below yet, the sites might provide ideas or materials for your DS. One is relatively nearby in Tacoma.

    #200160 - 09/05/14 07:20 PM Re: science & engineering toys for young kids [Re: Aufilia]
    momoftwins Offline

    Registered: 03/27/13
    Posts: 156
    Maybe get some of the more advanced snap circuit kits? The one with the fan is usually a big hit even with kids who don't like snap circuits. And Snap Circuits Lights is really fun for kids.

    I'm embarrassed to admit my DS7 has almost all of the snap circuit kits; but when he was five and six it was one of his main activities. Now 7, he can create extremely complicated circuits that really are quite cool.

    We also bought a set of Little Bits - he has asked for more of those.

    Also, there is a magic school bus science kit subscription. Right now there is a groupon for it.

    If your son likes science - it is amazing to me how much my son enjoyed mixing vinegar and baking soda together at that age. He would change the amount of the materials, and sometimes add soap, water or dye; but he really enjoyed watching the reaction. He did it over and over and over and over and over and over....... I think it was because I let him do it by himself - all the other chemistry experiments required adult assistance. Then again, he still enjoys experiments that bubble over...(mixing alka-seltzer with different liquids is his new thing....) LOL

    Edited by momoftwins (09/05/14 07:27 PM)

    #200166 - 09/05/14 09:47 PM Re: science & engineering toys for young kids [Re: Aufilia]
    Aufilia Offline

    Registered: 02/25/14
    Posts: 336
    Loc: Washington
    Thanks for the ideas, everyone. These are great! My budget is pretty low but I'm seeing some things here that might be great for now, and some others that we can build up to.

    We do have the Magic School Bus science kit subscription already, though we've only gotten the first kit (the water experiments).

    EmeraldCity, some of those look quite cool. We were in SF this summer for work+vacation and my daughter got to go to the Exploratorium with a local daycamp, but DS was too young for the same camp and never got to see it.

    I don't know if it's still there but that Tinkertopia place puts me in mind of a place we went to in Edmonds when my daughter was in preschool. I don't know if it's still there. They just had a lot of totally random parts 'n' stuff you could make things out of. I have no idea what it's called or if it's still open.

    #200168 - 09/05/14 10:15 PM Re: science & engineering toys for young kids [Re: Aufilia]
    Mana Offline

    Registered: 12/17/12
    Posts: 882
    Thank you for asking this question.

    My DD gets a lot of nature and gardening at her school but one thing she says she really wishes she could do more science so I've been meaning to supplement at home.

    I'm going to check out the subscription. smile

    #200176 - 09/06/14 07:00 AM Re: science & engineering toys for young kids [Re: Aufilia]
    Flyingmouse Offline

    Registered: 05/10/14
    Posts: 116
    Not a toy, but my kids have loved Ask and the other science magazines produced by the publishers of Cricket:

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