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Smart Construction Toys

Construction toys are the staple of preschool play, but these construction toys go far beyond... right up to adult!  Build them all... and then check out Hands On Toys.

Find great construction toys at Toys at Amazon.com, MindWare and Discovery Store! and many more - all the links on Shop Hoagies! - are all Hoagies' Gifted Education Page affiliates. Purchase through Hoagies' Page links, and these stores give a small percentage to Hoagies' Page at no cost to you. Thanks!

Board Games Card Games Collaborative Games Classic Games

Brick Construction Set
Build a House with Real Bricks and Mortar, Over and Over Again!  Choose one of five plans, or create your own design. Includes non-toxic dry mortar that mixes with water and dissolves for reusing bricks. 550+ bricks, plastic windows and doors, two heavy baseboards, mixing bowl, metal trowel... Extra Mortar
 
BRIO or from Amazon
Sometimes the old-style toys are the best.  Wooden trains are always a hit!  Imagination not included.  Kids build their track, and run their trains, creating the stories to accompany their play...
Get started with Freight Yard Set or Wooden Zoo Set.  For the littlest engineers try My First Railway.  Add accessories: Polar Express North Pole, Adventure Tunnel, Collapsing Bridge, Lifting Bridge, Suspension Bridge, Grand Roundhouse and Mechanical Turntable, Record and Play Railway Station, Light and Sound Ferry.  Add engines and cars: Mighty Red Locomotive, Steam Engine, Zebra Wagon, Tipping Wagon with Load, Car TransporterPolar Express Battery Train, Polar Express Caboose and Handcar, Shinkansen Train.  Extra track expands the fun: Beginner's Expansion Pack, Intermediate Expansion Pack
 
BRIO Network E-Mail Central an imaginative new spin on wooden train worlds - the world inside your PC!
 
Thomas the Tank Engine Wooden Trains by Learning Curve, compatible with BRIO
Start with a Thomas set: Roundhouse Set, Mountain Overpass Set, Water Tower Figure 8 Set, Conductor's Figure 8 Set, Sodor Rescue Team Set.  Or Thomas can be added to any wooden railway set! Diesel, Peter Sam, Douglas the Scottish Twin, Donald The Scottish Twin Gordon The Big Express Engine, Giggling Troublesome Trucks, Annie & Clarabel, Chinese Dragon, Bill and Ben and many others...
 
Building Blocks Create extraordinary architecture!
Achiquest World Fusion or Archiquest Deluxe World Fusion
Archiquest Legends of Byzantine or Archiquest: Dragons and Pagodas
Archiquest: Kings and Castles
Melisa & Doug Architectural Unit Block Set or Melissa & Doug Standard Unit Blocks
Melissa & Doug Castle Blocks
 
Capsela Weather Station from Educational Insights
Capsela takes principles of physics, mechanics, and engineering and packages them in easy-to-use capsules
 
Chaos Tower
Capsela takes principles of physics, mechanics, and engineering and packages them in easy-to-use capsules.  From Amazon... Weather Station, Max-Out
 
Circuit Stickers  
Makes building electronics easy, fun and creative. Peel-and-stick circuits add electronics to any sticker-friendly surface: paper, fabric, plastic. An approachable way to learn and create electronics through craft, whether you're just starting out with circuits, lighting up your papercrafts or creating complex interactive works. Our kit includes a learning activity book, circuit stickers, conductive tape, and batteries...
 
Contraptions 200 Plank Set by MindWare
Build unbelievable ball track structures with this simple stacking plank system. Create ramps, funnels, chutes and crazy contraptions like the “Black Hole” and “Bounce Plate.” Then find out if the ball rolls as expected. Unlimited creativity and experimentation... Also try Contraptions Catapult, Contraptions Trebuchet, Contraptions Structures and Contraptions 50 Plank Set!
 
Erector
A modern twist on a favorite construction toy of our childhood...
Erector 4x4 RC Truck
Erector 150 Piece Construction Bucket, Erector Super Construction Set, 643 Pieces
Special Edition Erector Train Set a detailed locomotive and seven other vehicles
Erector "Best of" 50 Model Set 605 Pieces
Erector Design Sets, Erector Special Edition Set
Erector Ferris Wheel, Erector Motorized Special Edition Mechanical Workshop Set, 742 Pieces, Erector T.Rex - 4.5V Drill / Motor Motorized Models
 
Frigits from Think of It
A magnetic must have! Turn your fridge into a kinetic play-ground, with rails, buckets, serpentine chutes, and Ferris wheel... teaches the principles of inertia, gravity, and more...
 
Gears, Gears, Gears!
Explore simple mechanics, and have fun!  I wish I had these when I was a kid...
 
Wacky Wigglers
Gears, Gears, Gears! Wacky Wigglers work alone, or with other Gears, Gears, Gears! sets.  Add googly eyes, light-up, glow-in-the-dark, motorized fun!  Imagination rules!  Don't miss these other Gears, Gears, Gears! sets... Dizzy Land Fun and Movin' Monkeys
 
Geomag / Supermag (ages 3+)
Strongest magnetic building system in the world! Winner of Oppenheim ; Parent’s Choice Award, and 2 Dr. Toy Awards.  And winner of my family's well-rounded toy award - we've been known to ALL use it, kids and adults alike, at home, in the car (use the bars to find and pick up the balls when lost) and waiting for service in restaurants... it's terrific!  Study construction, strength, magnetic principles, friction, and more. Supermag includes new shorter length bar, to add more variety to models...
bullet Geomag Deko Panels panels add more stability and fun!
bulletGeomag Deko Panels - City (extra large) or Geomag Deko Panels - Pirate (Large)
bullet Geomag 84 Piece Pastelle Panels Set or Geomag 96 piece Pastelle Color Set
bullet Supermag 244-pc. Set or Supermag 72 Glow or Supermag Ferrari with short rods, too!
bulletSupermag Bridge or Supermag 72 Magnetic Power Glow or Supermag Tour Eiffel
bulletSupermag Magic Palace or Supermag Super Circus
bullet Geomag Dynamic Classic 41-Piece Set or Geomag Multicolor 132 or Geomag Multicolor 35
bulletGeomag Glitter Rods and Panels 80, Blue or Geomag Glitter Rods and Panels 120, Red
bullet Geomag Glow Rods and Panels 180 or Geomag Glow Rods and Panels 80
bulletFor our youngest builders... Geomag Baby Set - Medium or Geomag Baby Set - Large
 
Gravity Maze gravity powered logic maze, colorful, translucent towers can be arranged in a plethora of visually stimulating structures but think carefully to build a path that will successfully carry your marble to its target. 60 challenges, ranging in difficulty...
 
Hexbug Vex Robotics
Construct your own jumbo-sized robot and customize its programming! The Ant kit includes over 150 snap together pieces and a centralized brain to bring it to life. Drive the robot manually with a remote control, or choose autonomous drive mode and watch the Ant scurry around all by itself, mimicking real-life movement. Cross-compatible with other HEXBUG VEX Robotics kits.  Also try the Scarab, Spider, and Strandbeast

Hoberman Spheres
A fascinating sphere... Glow-in-the-Dark Sphere, Mini Rainbow Sphere or Mini Glow-in-the-Dark Sphere.  Also Brain Twist
 
iCoaster from Magnetix by MEGA Blocks
Magnetic balls follow the path, suspended against gravity, jumping looping, even climbing the tower without support... as you watch the lights and listen to the music of the built in rhythms mixed on the provided Sound FX Music Studio, or that of your own MP3 player...
 
Kapla Blocks Recommended by Kapla
"KAPLA" is from the Dutch "KAbouter PLAnkjes" which means "small planks". Its design proportions are based on the elementary progression of odd numbers: one, three, five. Unlike traditional cubes, KAPLA is long and thin. It is perfectly balanced between 2 ideas: building and sculpting. This single set can create an unlimited number of structures...  Fun for kids of ALL ages - you should see the college students' buildings!  Add Kapla Color Squares in  Red, Orange, Light Blue, Dark Blue, Yellow, or Green - 40 planks in color in each Square, to mix and match with your natural maple Kapla blocks.  Or get two-color block sets (20 pieces each color) with suggestion book included: Red and Orange with Book, Light Blue and Dark Blue with Book, or Yellow and Green with Book. And try the KAPLA 280 Piece Block Set With Blue Advanced Architecture Book or KAPLA 280 Piece Block Set With Red Advanced Animals And Architecture Book or Kapla 1000 Piece Building Set in All Natural Box for great construction ideas.  
 
Mix and match with Bamboo Collection Contina blocks, in lighter weight bamboo, vivid colors or Keva Planks, also hardwood maple.
 
K'NEX (Order directly from K'NEX with the links on this line, or through Amazon with the set links below)
Legos and computers - a perfect combination for our children! Choose one of the first 2 kits if you don't have a PC or for younger kids; the rest allow PC programming of their Lego creations!
K’NEX Cobra's Curse Dueling Coaster
K’NEX Vertical Vengeance Coaster, K’NEX Double Dare Dueling Coaster
K'NEX 50 Model Building Set, K'NEX 30 Model Building Set, K'NEX Dueling Racers
K'NEX Musical Ferris Wheel, K'NEX Swing Ride- 853 pieces
Kid K'NEX Classroom Set
Kid K'NEX Bug-Eyed Buddies
 
Explore the whole Amazon Lego Store!
 
Lego Architecture
Architecture, Lego style!  Don't miss these great kits, to build some of the greatest buildings in the world!
Fallingwater, Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum
Seattle Space Needle, Willis Tower
Empire State Building, John Hancock Building
New for 2011!
White House, Brandenburg Gate, Burj Khalifa Dubai, Farnsworth House
Rockefeller Center, Robie House
 
Lego Technic by Lego
Lego Technic offers mobile machines with infrared sensors and more!
Motorized Excavator, Mobile Crane
Super Car, Rally Truck
Helicopter
 
Lego Mindstorms Recommended by Lego
Legos and computers - a perfect combination for our kids! Mindstorms allows PC programming of their Lego creations!
Black NXT Brick, Sound Sensor (9845)
Lego Mindstorms NXT 2.0: The King's Treasure
10 Cool LEGO Mindstorms Robotics Invention System 2 Projects: Amazing Projects You Can Build in Under an Hour sound like anyone you know?  A companion book...
Extreme Mindstorms: an Advanced Guide to Lego Mindstorms - the book! 

To go with your Legos... Box 4 Blox
A gifted family life-saver, the Box 4 Blox neatly holds and sorts your Legos...
 
Lincoln Logs
Go back in time with these real wood building logs, from our childhood!  Also Lincoln Logs Snowy River and Lincoln Logs Fort Lincoln
 
Logiblocs by Action Products
Various self contained electronics blocks, construct a door alarm, pressure switch, light alarm, moisture detector, more. A great way to begin learning electronics, including
Super Inventors Lab, Spy-Tech Lab, Logiblocs Alarm Tech, LogiRobot, Logiblocs LogiMan Robot - Agent and Logiblocs LogiMan Robot - Policeman
 
Marble Run (ages 4-10)
Marble Mania Mega Construction Set or Space Odyssey Marble Run (ages 8+)
or Super Marble Run Vortex or Marble Run Vortex or Marble Run with Motorized Elevator (ages 5+)
Kids Authority Spacewrap/ Spacerail Steel Marble Roller Coaster (ages 12-adult)
See also iCoaster (above)
Marble Run is 105 pieces, Glow-in-the-Dark Marble Run is 45 pieces, both include spinners, vortex, and more...
Skyrail marble run is over 5 feet wide and 3 feet tall, with adjustable suspension cables to easily raise or lower the tracks; Space Odyssey marble run is more compact, but just as wild! 
Kids Authority Spacewrap / Spacerail is the most difficult construction level, for older kids and adults.  Check them all!
 
Pathfinders Trebuchet Kit and Pathfinders Catapult Kit
Just add glue, scissors and an appreciation for the physics and art behind these medieval siege engines. High-quality models hurl a small ball more than 15 feet in one throw, with adjustable pads that change the trajectory angle and encourage experimentation for greater accuracy...
 
Q-Ba-Maze 50-pack in Hot or Cool colors
Modern marble run is "visibly cool."  Transparent blue and green cubes interlock for amazing cascades of marbles... also smaller Q-Ba-Maze 20-pack in Hot or Cool... Q-Ba-Maze Zoom Stunt Set
 
Quadrilla Marble Railway, Basic Set, Quadrilla Twist and Rail or Quadrilla Twist
Wooden marble runs, with track pieces, accelerators, and fancy pieces, for tons of fun.  I remember these from my childhood!  And don't miss the Twist set - curved track, and a funnel!
 
Quercetti Marble Run
Build grand and complex structures, including the double-entry Funnels and Spirals, double-length bridges, Multiple marble launchers, paddle-wheels, short bridges and rails, and bell-shaped bases to make the structures steadier...
 
ROKENBOK Conveyor Company
Everything you need to create your own automated construction site!  Discover other ROKENBOK sets including Monorail Metropolis Start Set, Dozer with Recycling Center, Power Sweeper, Power Chute Start Set and more...
 
Snafooz Recommended the foam puzzle that forms a cube!
Snafooz 6-packs contain 6 different colors and 6 challenge levels. Build all 6 cubes, or combine different colors to form lots of interesting shapes...
 
Snap Circuits Pro
Makes learning electronics a "snap". Build hundreds of experiments by following the colorful pictures in the manual. Make projects such as AM radio, FM radio, voice recorder, door bells...
Snap Circuits R/C Rover
Snap Circuits Training Program
Snap Circuits Jr.
Electronic Snap Circuits Pro (age 8-12)
Electronic Snap Circuits (age 8-12)
Electronic Lab Kit (age 10-13)
300-in-one Project Lab Kit (age 10-13)
Snap Circuits Extreme
 
SNAP Toyz
An award winning new construction toy that brings greater flexibility to all your constructions. Though each kit comes with several guides to construct various things, the SNAP Toyz website contains even more themes and construction fun for girls and boys. From robots to architecture, dinosaurs to flowers, figures to fashion to food, build your world with SNAP Toyz. Plus contests to enter and local events to visit!
 
Superstructs Super Set and Superstructs Gear Expansion Pack
Out of simple angles and straight lines come imaginative structures. The Super Set tub holds hundreds of pieces including panels and joints; the Gear Pack tub contains four sizes of gears. Or from Amazon...
Superstructs Pinklets-The Fairy Garden, Superstructs BIG Builder, Superstructs On the GO!
Superstructs Castle Set, Superstructs Wacky Machines, Superstructs Makin' Tracks
 
Tall Stacker Pegs
Great first construction set, with easy-to-hold pieces and simple peg-in-hole construction.  Tips nest inside each other, to build story upon story.  And bright colors are sure to please!  
 
TechnoKit Three Pack
Fuel their excitement for building models with these propeller-driven, electric-powered and mechanically run machines. The wood components have pre-cut slots to simplify assembly, with thorough directions that help kids understand the science behind each project, including a buzzwire game, air-trike and one mini racer with a synchronized starting system. Comes with all parts (except batteries)
 
Tekton Tower Girder & Panel
Classic building sets from the 1960s are back to inspire a new generation. Kids can build whatever they dream up with over 250 sturdy plastic pieces, including interlocking columns and beams, window panels and more. Idea book explains architectural concepts with plans for an office tower, hospital and transportation terminal.  Parts are interchangeable with Hydrodynamic Deluxe Set set, balance the water flow by adjusting valves, discover how a siphon works and learn basic principles of fluid dynamics. Ideal for science fair projects.  Or try larger Plaza, Fire Station, Bridge Mania, Bank, or Boston Manor
 
Überstix by Überstix
Build it.  Float it.  Fly it.  Überstix products are a construction toy on their own, but also built to co-exist with both recycled stuff - McDonalds straws, Popsicle sticks, paper cups, etc. - but also with your favorite construction products - Lego, K'nex, Zome, Zoob, Erector.  Directions are a little less detailed than some construction sets, "They assume you have a brain!" one gifted child noted excitedly...
bullet Überstix Starter Set
bulletÜberTropolis 601
bulletÜberPult
bulletÜberGeo
bulletÜberstix Sailboat
 
WEDGiTS by ImagAbility
Stack, nest, link and even lock WEDGiTS together to create creatures, structures, mechanical levers, and more.  Kids and adults enjoy this unique new construction toys.  Build, balance, stack, lock, or nest them horizontally and vertically. Use your imagination or the design booklet to form amazing structures & shapes...
bullet eXplorer Pak 125 includes glow-in-the-dark octahedral pieces!
bullet WEDGiTS on WHeeLS (WOW) 60 Piece Set includes translucent base blocks, eXPANsion framing parts, two-part hub assemblies and sporty, 6.5 wheels, to learn the actual mechanics of a wheel, bearing and hub assembly
bullet WEDGiTS To Go 35 Piece Set includes it's own carrying case, to take WEDGiTS with you
bullet Deluxe 30 Piece Set and Starter Set - 15 Pieces
bullet Purple Set and Pink Set
bullet Expansion Combo Set wand-shaped expansion pieces allow growth in many new directions
bullet Class-Pak - 90 Piece Set and Building Board
bullet Parent/Teacher Activity Guide and Design Cards and 100 Advanced Design Cards
bulletFor our youngest builders... WEE Set - 5 Piece Set or WEDGiTS Junior Set - 15 Piece Set, compatible with older kids sets
 
Zometools Recommended Hyperdo, Bubble Kit, Explorer Kit, Adventurer Kit, Pioneer Kit, DNA Kit, Creator 3 Kit, and Advanced Creator Kits from triangles to DNA strands, the smart building toy...
Great math learning tool, too! Available lesson plans, model instructions, on-line manual. My kids (and their parents) love this stuff! Plus literature including lesson plans for K-12, Kepler's Solid essay and more.  Additional Zome kits are available from the Zometool website, also a Hoagies' Page affiliate!
Zome Geometry Hands-on learning with Zome Models
Great new book to accompany Zome System, particularly for the advanced Zome user, studying Geometry and beyond!
   

Mensa Select!

Last updated December 15, 2014
 

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