Here are yet more reviews from my students – this time on Cool Building Toys. (Their earlier reviews are on Board Games
and Educational Software
). All these items can be purchased from Amazon
and with Prime you can get them in 2 days.
Tim H recommends the Tekton Tower Building Set
includes beams, columns, bases, roofs, signs and more. The set teaches you how the insides of buildings are made. It has facts about towers and buildings in the idea book along with architectural vocabulary.
This toy includes panels that look like windows and doors to make your project look more life-like. The idea book gives instructions to build a hospital tower and an office building but with this you can build anything you can imagine. Other Tekton sets include a bank building, a plaza, a fire station, and a post office.
Tim H also recommends the SC-300 Snap Circuits
set which includes a fan, 2 jumper wires, batteries, 2 switches, a speaker, a motor, and more. The two project books show how to build them and what happens in the circuit. These projects include The Music Radio Station, Space Wars Sounds, and a flying saucer.
All the circuits can be built by just snapping together pieces without tools or parents, but occasionally you need something like a cup of water for the Quiet Water Alarm. This toy is a lot of fun and learning.
Jonathan Z likes Zoobs. Zoobs are fun, mind-bending toys. Useful for keeping fidgety children busy, Zoobs are similar to Kinects. Zoob pieces connect using balls and sockets, allowing the pieces to bend easily.
Zoobs come with an instruction book telling you how to build fun models. Some really fancy sets come with wheels and motors enabling you to make a car that actually moves!
However, you do not have to follow the instructions. You can build whatever you want, from trees to houses to guns! These flexible toys are great for exercising your brain, while at the same time you are occupying your fingers.
And McCrea F says Lego Mindstorms is worth the cost. The newest Mindstorms robot, named EV3, was released on January 4th, 2013. With the newest addition to the Lego Mindstorms line came four improved motors, lighter and faster than the previous version; a remote control; and the newest feature, a micro sd card slot. EV3 comes with pieces for 5 base models (only comes with physical instructions for one, but you can get the rest online) named TRACK3R, R3PTAR, SPIK3R, EV3RSTORM, and GRIPP3R, but as with all Lego you can make this robot your own by combining the Technic pieces to form a unique robot.
With an easy-to-use image-based programming system, for Mac or PC and using commands, ranging from the most basic instructions to complicated logic loops, you can program your robot to walk around the room avoiding furniture and family pets using the color, ultrasonic, infrared, and touch sensors plus, many, many more, not included in the set, but available separately.
If you stick with it and learn well, you can do one of my favorite things: ambush an unsuspecting family member trying to sneak into your room.
If these suggestions aren’t enough for you, you can also check out a post I wrote on Building Toys for Boys a while ago. And do leave more suggestions in the Comments.