Looking for some great Christmas gift ideas for your little ones? How about some of the best mechanics toys and tools on the market?
K'NEX is one of the world's most popular mechanical toys for children. For this reason, it will continue to be one of the best mechanics toys and tools for the foreseeable future.
K'NEX, if you are not aware, are plastic sets that let children build simple or highly complex moving 'models'.
These can range from rollercoasters to cranes to, well, anything they can think up and build.
K'NEX toys and kits are designed to move "fun-powered imaginations of boys and girls forward" according to its website.
You can't really go wrong and any set will do the trick.
2. Crayola Crayon Carver
The Crayon Carver from Crayola allows your kids to personalize their crayons by etching words or symbols into the wax whilst tracing plastic tiles.
Etching can begin once crayons are placed in the shielded work area and tiles are arranged for the desired text or symbol. Given the nature of this toy, your child's safety is of the utmost importance. To this end, the motor for the etching device will only work once the tracing pen is placed on the tiles.
This toy is not just for fun, however. It is designed to teach your child how to operate basic machinery as well as improve spelling.
Obviously, this device will chew through a lot of crayons so beware.
Yep, just Lego. It is one of the best mechanics toys and tools and any set will do, to be honest. Depending on your child's age you might want to consider whether to choose between Duplo, regular Lego or Lego Technic etc.
Lego is a great choice for children and adults of all ages and has been a very popular mechanical and building toy for decades. Lego sets come in a vast range aimed at differing age groups and interests.
Frankly, you can't go wrong with Lego, unless you inadvertently step on it late at night.
Hot on the heels of Lego comes this golden oldie. Meccano has long been a fantastic toy for teaching children of all ages the basics of mechanics in a fun and informative way.
Parents and children can both enjoy the building experience together as the either follow instructions or use their own imagination.
Meccano, like most toy product lines, also have options for adding complexity using Arduino or another open source programming.
Lest we not forget the Meccanoid range of toys.
5. Melissa and Doug Wooden Railway Sets
Wooden train sets have been popular toys for children for many decades. You may well have fond memories of your own from your youth. Melissa and Doug are some of the latest incarnations of these but are built to a very high quality and great design.
Kits range in size from basic small ones to their 'all singing all dancing' deluxe kits. Children can either build a set following instructions or design their very own. Wooden train sets tend to be aimed at younger ages but are likely to be enjoyed by most children.
6. Magformers in Motion
Magformers are one of the more unique gift ideas on the market. Basic sets are targeted at children around the age of 3 but they do provide more complex kits for older children.
As the name suggests each plastic piece has magnetic components to enable easy assembly. Each set comes with Neodymium magnetized colorful geometric tiles that are nice to look at and fun to play with. Magformers in motion adds gears and motors to construct some truly fantastic contraptions.
There are no slots to be wary of and the magnets ensure a safe and strong connection between them.
7. Battat Take-a-Part Toys
Battat toys are fantastic for teaching younger children about the ins and outs of assembling vehicles. Children get the chance to assemble and disassemble a wide range of vehicles from planes to cars and many more.
Kits tend to come complete with all the main assembly pieces, nuts, bolts and even a little drill with 3 drill bits. These toys stimulate problem-solving skills whilst enhancing your child's fine motor skills.
The final 'models' are actually quite attractive in their own right too. Why not display your little one's creations on your mantelpiece?
8. Build your own internal combustion engine
Here' one for older children. Why not have your child develop a real sense of achievements by assembling their own working model of a 4-cylinder engine. It even comes with ignition sound effects!
The kit comes with step-by-step Haynes Manual style diagrams for assembly. As they build the simplified model they will learn the basic mechanics of a working engine.
The set comes with over 100 parts, an electric motor and illuminating spark plugs to boot. It will need batteries and vegetable oil to work.
9. Kidzlabs Catapult Maker
Who can argue with a working catapult toy? Surely one of the best mechanics toys and tools ideas for Christmas, ever. OK, you may need to lay down some strict rules about where they can use it, but they'll have a wail of time making it.
Your child will get to clip together some sturdy plastic pieces and thread the mechanism prior to deployment. The catapult, technically speaking a Mangonel, can fire small projectiles up to 5 meters away! Ammunition is included which is always a bonus.
10. Introduction to engineering
Last but by no means least on our list of best mechanics toys and tools is this one. Want to teach your children how stuff works? Perhaps its time for a fun introduction to the basics of engineering? This kit will teach them about flying machines, boats, land vehicles, levers, forces, and pulleys.
It includes 25 hands-on and engaging 'experiments; that each build on each other to improve overall awareness of engineering principles. Who could argue with that?
So there you go our list of best mechanics and electronics toys and tools for children this Christmas. Any of them interest you? Perhaps you have some other suggestions? Let us know in the comments below.