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Building Sets That’ll Introduce Your Kids to STEAM

Baby toys on wooden table. Child development concept. Copy srace for text

Whether building sets are made from wood or plastic, they’re often a big hit with children of all ages. While this classic toy can be a great way to keep children occupied and off their screens, these sets also serve as an enriching educational tool. In addition to building fine motor skills, a great building set can be a low-pressure introduction to STEAM (science, technology, engineering, art and math) concepts. Check out our top picks for the best building sets for kids.

This kit includes flexible straws and connector pieces with six ends suitable for making any 3-D structure. This is a great way for kids to work on their spatial awareness and coordination.

This set has 120 magnetic sticks and 40 steel balls to build with. Kids can use these any way their creativity leads them, whether that means creating 2-D shapes or forming 3-D buildings and structures.

We like that this kids’ building set comes with e-books so children can refer to tutorials to create complex structures. This is a great pick for solo or group activities.

Children will love that this kids’ building set comes with tutorials for 50 models that they can create. Little ones will improve their fine motor skills while also building spatial awareness.

This 85-piece kids’ building set gives children ages 5 and up the ability to make a wide variety of structures, helping to gently introduce them to STEAM concepts while building problem-solving and social skills.

Note that this kids’ building set is rated for children 3 and up. But thanks to the marble run, children will get to understand concepts like gravity, physics and spatial awareness.

We like that this kids’ building set comes with windows, door frames, wheels and even triangles so children can learn about shapes as well as complex structures.

Expert Commentary

If you’re looking for a practical and versatile toy, building sets are an option worth considering. These sets can keep children occupied for hours while stimulating their imagination and nurturing their educational development. They also help children practice their problem-solving skills.

Frequently Asked Questions

What concepts can children learn from building sets?

Nowadays, building sets can come in a wide range of shapes, sizes and forms. Everything from large-scale fort-style building sets to smaller magnetic sets are available for different ways to learn and play. Building sets can offer a lot to young minds and could be used as a teaching tool for engineering and physics-based lessons. Some could even be used to teach geometry or math basics. With sets spanning from simple to complex, children could learn a lot from playing with different sets. This makes them a strong option for bringing some education into playtime. 

How can building sets assist with learning?

Building sets may be a great way to encourage creative thinking by bringing an element of fun to learning. Some can offer unique challenges that make young children think outside the box to solve a puzzle. Putting together a building set could teach children new ways to approach problems. Not only could kids learn by following along with instructions, but they could also create their very own designs using their imagination and ingenuity. This way, children could use building sets to expand their creative thinking and give them a new perspective on complex problems.

In what ways can building sets contribute to the classroom environment?

In the modern classroom, there are a lot of activities and assignments that have turned virtual. This can make it difficult for some kids not only to pay attention but to fully understand the lessons they are given. Having a tangible way to interact with concepts, especially at a young age, could make a difference for a child when learning a new idea. Encouraging a deep understanding of class subjects with interactive toys may be the extra boost some kids need. By using building toys in the classroom, some kids might even be excited for homework if it means they can play with their favorite toys and learn at the same time.

How can parents provide educational value to their children’s playtime with building sets?

The key to learning with building sets is to encourage creativity and imagination. Nothing gets kids more excited than letting their minds run completely free. Parents can create a problem that needs solving by using a building set, giving their children a chance to solve it with their creativity. The problems and challenges could be something real, like getting something off of a shelf. They could also head in a fictional direction, having the kids build a castle to protect their favorite toys. No matter the strategy, parents may find that giving context to playtime can make the learning aspect that much more effective.

Our Expert Consultant

Melissa Spurling

Melissa holds a doctorate in pharmacy and is a home educator, co-teaching a high school chemistry class and a primary school class. Having taught two of her own children to read, write and traverse Singapore Math, Melissa has spent hundreds, if not thousands of hours researching and testing curriculum.


About The Author

Dorian Smith-Garcia

Dorian Smith-Garcia is a bridal and beauty expert/influencer and the creative director behind The Anti Bridezilla. She is a diverse writer across beauty, fashion, travel, consumer goods, and tech. When Dorian’s not writing she’s collecting stamps in her passport, learning new languages, or spending time with her husband and daughter.


The Scripps National Spelling Bee receives a small commission from the purchase of any products or services through an affiliate link to the retailer's website.