Back to School Ideas for Budding Designers
I remember growing up, receiving any gift was a big deal - you’d only get something for Christmas and your birthday. Even then, they weren’t huge, complicated toys that flashed lights or sang songs. They were toys that could be used in a variety of ways and I never got tired of them. But somehow, I seem to be catching myself buying new toys for my son and my nieces and nephews every once and a while throughout the year - it’s so much fun to be able to get them different gadgets to explore and learn! So as the school year starts again, I thought it would be the perfect time to show you guys some of my all time favourite architecture-related books and toys!
While block toys have been a classic for decades, I cannot help but gravitate towards the Archi-TECH kits. They are just so much more interactive and sophisticated than any toys I had growing up to build little houses or anything. For example, this specific smart house kit has everything from baseboards to floor panels and light sensors! This toy is perfect for helping kids aged 8 or older to get a better sense of how the electricals work in a house and how potentially encouraging them to explore the STEM world!
Another super fun and interesting toy set to consider is anything by K’NEX. They have tons of different educational sets that are so simple and unique, which make them perfect for allowing kids to explore their imagination and create whatever they feel inspired to create. I have heard great reviews of these toys from my son and every kid I’ve ever talked to about this so I cannot recommend these enough! The only hazard that I must highlight is the fact that they have smaller pieces that can be easily swallowed or choked on. So always check the ages on toys.
Similarly, another simple yet super cool toy is the Magformers kits! These little plastic pieces are lined with magnets that you can connect with other pieces and, in turn, create super cool structures with all different shapes and colours! They also teach children about structural integrity and stability, and help them discover how to plan and support different ideas. The pieces also tend to be a little larger than the K’NEX pieces, and are often used in Kindergarten classrooms!
All these great toys are fun and dandy but if you want to go the more traditional route, there are plenty of Lego sets and wooden blocks that can be played with for years on end, then passed down to the next generation after they’re well loved! These options can be more financially and environmentally friendly if there are many children in the family or just if you’re looking for a more versatile and classic option! They are also super easy to add onto, as almost all lego pieces can be mismatched with other sets and can be interchanged and wooden blocks are impossible to go wrong with.
Finally, if you would like to introduce your kids to basic electricals in a building, there are more toys out there for this than you’d think! They are usually more suitable for older kids. There are toys like Meccano, Chibi Tronics, and Snap Circuits. They are all super cool and have their own differentiators but when it comes to developing a basic understanding of electrical, these are great kits!
These are all super fun and fresh toys that you may not have thought of beforehand as educational and productive gifts. But now that you know about them, give them a try and I hope your kids enjoy them as much as our family!