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10 Best Erector Sets for Kids (2021 Reviews)

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Did you know that erector sets have a wide variety of social and educational benefits for kids? They not only teach your child how to be creative, but can also help them learn life skills.

Your child will get a lot more than fun playtime out of the best erector sets for kids.

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Model

Product Comparison Table

Features

Product Image of the Schylling Steel Works 5 Model Construction Building Kit

Best Metal Erector Set

Schylling Steel Works Construction

  • Instructions for 5 build models
  • Has 200 all-steel pieces
  • Model can be used with other kits
Product Image of the Brickyard Building Blocks STEM Toys - Educational Building Toys for Kids Ages...

Best Plastic Erector Set

Brickyard Building Blocks Erector Set

  • 101-piece STEM set
  • Includes four building tools
  • For freestyle & imaginative play
Product Image of the Erector by Meccano Super Construction 25-In-1 Motorized Building Set, Steam...

Best Motorized Erector Set

Meccano Motorized Erector Set

  • Comes with carrying case
  • Diagrams are easy to follow
  • Includes 6-volt electrical motor
Product Image of the STEM Toys, Educational Engineering Model Building Set, Best Erector Kit,...

Best Mega-Sized Vehicle

Igosot FlexiPlay Erector Kit

  • Flexible and washable
  • Assembly tools included
  • One year warranty
Product Image of the K'NEX Imagine Power and Play Motorized Building Set 529 Pieces Ages 7 and Up...

Best Ferris Wheel Erector Set

K’Nex Motorized Wheel

  • Pieces can be bent
  • Comes with product guaranee
  • Instructions are easy to follow
Product Image of the TINKERTOY ‒ 100 Piece Essentials Value Set ‒ Ages 3+ Preschool Education Toy

Best for Toddlers

Tinker Toy Pre-School Erector Set

  • Comes with 529 pieces
  • Product & quality guaranteed
  • Instructions are easy to follow
Product Image of the Meccano Erector Super Construction 25-in-1 Building Set, 638 Parts, for Ages...

Best Super Construction Erector Set

Meccano Erector Super Construction

  • Chunky & brightly colored
  • Teaches basic building concepts
  • Made responsibly in the US
Product Image of the K'NEX Control Crane Building Set - 679 Parts - Working Motorized Crane - Ages 9...

Best Crane Erector Set

K’NEX Control Crane Building Set

  • Sophisticated model suggestions
  • Explores principles of physics & engineering
  • Has a 6-volt electric motor
Product Image of the Erector by Meccano Meccanoid XL 2.0 Robot-Building Kit, STEM Education Toy for...

Best Robot Erector Set

Meccano Meccanoid Robot Set

  • Large scale, working crane
  • Compatible with other K’nex products
  • Can be used for freestyle building
Product Image of the K’NEX – 35 Model Building Set – 480 Pieces – For Ages 7+ Construction...

Best Budget Erector Set

K’Nex Building Amazon Exclusive

  • Doesn’t require programming skills
  • Introduces robotics to kids
  • Interacts with your child

Contents

What Are Erector Sets?

Erector Set was a toy brand first sold in 1913 (1). The name has evolved to become any set with reusable pieces such as strips with regularly spaced holes, connecting parts, cogs, gears, pulleys, and tools.

These sets are designed to be opened and constructed with age-appropriate building tools that may vary in complexity. Some examples include Lego® based materials such as Duplo® and Lego.

Benefits of Erector Sets for Kids

Erector sets have many general and STEM-specific benefits for children.

Development of Fine Motor Skills

Children need to have a degree of physical dexterity in order to put the pieces together. More substantial pieces are easier for younger children while older kids can struggle with very small pieces.

Boosting Math, Science, and Engineering Skills

By playing with an erector set, your child is, without realizing it, learning about shapes, balance, physics, and engineering.

Model creation requires an understanding of basic geometry, shapes, proportions, patterns, balance and much more. Playing with LEGO blocks helps kids learn about all of these things in a fun way that’s easy to pick up on.

Developing and Reinforcing Problem-Solving Skills

An erector set is a great opportunity for your child to face challenging problems and try to find a solution. They can also learn how to solve these problems through making mistakes and knowing what the most appropriate answer will be. It is also an excellent way to build up resilience and learn to stick with a project without giving up until a problem is solved.

Types of Erector Sets for Kids

Erector sets for kids come in different shapes and sizes. Some are more general and come without instructions, while others have a focused interest like vehicles. Model-focused sets can also be used for free play and letting your creativity take over.

Motorized

Product Image of the Erector by Meccano Super Construction 25-In-1 Motorized Building Set, Steam...

Some erector set models can be fitted with a small electric motor that makes it more fun for children to build. The models that have this option may move around in a jerky, robotic way when the power is turned on.

Cranes

Product Image of the K'NEX Control Crane Building Set - 679 Parts - Working Motorized Crane - Ages 9...

Erector sets that have instructions and pieces to build a crane are popular. This popularity is partially because cranes are relatively easy to build from multiple long, straight sections. They also have the advantage of being an item you can play with when you’re finished building.

Ferris Wheel

Product Image of the K'NEX Imagine Power and Play Motorized Building Set 529 Pieces Ages 7 and Up...

Ferris wheel sets are popular because they lend themselves well to being built from multiple straight pieces. These sets are also usually more appealing to children who want a model that moves but are less interested in the construction site focus of a crane.

Robots

Product Image of the Erector by Meccano Meccanoid XL 2.0 Robot-Building Kit, STEM Education Toy for...

The newest style of erector sets have robotics modules.

These sets start out simple where children can build a robot and up to more complex sets where they can work on programming & engineering skills.

Super Construction Sets

Product Image of the Meccano Erector Super Construction 25-in-1 Building Set, 638 Parts, for Ages...

Super construction sets are so-called because they offer a massive range of building possibilities to the children who are lucky enough to have them. These sets have several hundreds of pieces and instructions for multiple models.

How to Choose the Best Erector Sets for Kids

With such a vast range of possibilities, how do you choose the best kids’ erector set?

Child’s Age

 

First, consider the age of the child for whom you are buying the set. Some sets, designed for older children, have tiny nuts and bolts which pose a choking hazard for smaller children.

It is also important to consider the ages of other children in the home, and whether older kids can keep the pieces out of the way of younger children.

Material

 

Most erector sets for kids are made from plastic. Those made for older children tend to be more durable and come with metal pieces.

Children are naturally curious. They put things in their mouth, ears, outlets, and other places they shouldn’t. This makes plastic toys the best option for them as they are unlikely to cause danger.

When shopping for a toy, if you don’t know the manufacture, get it from a reputable retailer or seller. They will either give you an original branded toy to ensure it meets safety standards or they will guide you in finding licensed replicas of the most popular toys.

Budget

 

The most expensive item is not always the best for your child, so don’t worry if you cannot spend a lot of money on a large erector set.

Instead of worrying about spending as much as you can on an erector set, decide how much you can comfortably spend and consider which of the sets in your price range would be the most beneficial for your child.

Number Of Pieces

 

Do not automatically assume that more pieces equal a better erector set. Some children may be intimidated by a set with hundreds of parts and will be better off at first with a smaller, model-focused set.

Also, be sure to check out the ratio of connectors to building stips. An uneven balance between the two can result in a set with dozens of pieces that regularly go unused.

Extra Features

Basic sets are ideal for younger children who are new to erector sets or if your child is not passionate about STEM. This type of set has one, maybe two different shapes and it usually includes a booklet with assembly instructions.

If you think your child would enjoy a set that would be best, include motors. These types of sets provide amusement and exercise another set of skills. If they need help building, offer guidance when they need it most.

Your child might also appreciate a set that has robotics as its focus. Many of these sets require your child to either learn or possess some basic programming knowledge.

I’ve been considering this… Some robotic kits provide a downloadable app that operates the large-scale components. Be careful to see if the maker and app producer are reputable. Also I think it’s worth thinking about whether you’ll be comfortable with your child using a remote control to control a device much larger than themselves.

Keep an eye out for sets with sturdy storage boxes or cases — those are always welcomed when you’re a parent.

The Best Kids Erector Sets of 2021

Here is our list of the ten best erector sets for kids.

1. Schylling Steel Works 5 Model Construction Kit

Best Metal Erector Set for Kids

Schylling is a U.S. company located in Massachusetts, and they have been making toys for over 40 years.

This kit includes 200 steel pieces and instructions to build five different models. You’ll also get 3 types of wheels and all the tools you need for construction.

It is a mid-range, low-price kit that is an excellent introduction to erector sets for beginners.

The Steel Works collection from Schylling includes a variety of toys that can be played with together. If you find your child is really into the Steel Works set, it might be worth investing in other sets as well as they will still enjoy the original set.

Pros

  • Instructions for five models provide a variety of ways to build while learning how to build.
  • Your child can play with the completed models rather than just having a static creation.
  • Play can be expanded with other kits.

Cons

  • Vehicle-centric models may not appeal to all children.

Additional Specs

Recommended age range 8 years and older
Material Steel
Number of pieces 200 plus, but the exact number is not specified
Instructions for specific models Five models
Extra features Can be used with other sets

2. Brickyard Building Blocks Erector Set

Best Plastic Erector Set for Kids

Brickyard makes a line of erector sets, and we are big fans of the 101-piece STEM set.

These toys are made of lead-free, phthalate-free, cadmium-free plastic and can be washed in soapy water to keep them germ-free. There are no sharp edges or pointy corners so children can’t hurt themselves on these toys. These sets can be enjoyed by children of all ages.

The instructions are included for 42 different models, some of which are easy enough for a preschooler. The models gradually increase in difficulty to ones that are rated for 10-year-olds

This makes it ideal for children to enjoy as they grow and for families where there are children of a wide range of ages.

Pros

  • Six wheels are included in the set.
  • It includes four building tools.
  • Plenty of pieces for freestyle, imaginative play.

Cons

  • Not all of the 42 models in the booklet can be made with this 101-piece set. To be able to make them all, you must buy the 163-piece set instead.

Additional Specs

Recommended age range 3 years and older
Material Plastic
Number of pieces 101
Instructions for specific models A 42-model booklet, although you’ll need the 163-piece set to build them all
Extra features Includes storage box

3. Erector by Meccano Motorized Building Set

Best Motorized Erector Set for Kids

By mixing Meccano with a 6-volt motor, kids can create their own moving machines like cars or planes.

Instructions for building a working crane with rotating body and an extending hook can be found in this set. This is great if you want your own fanciful rolling contraption.

This is one of the more substantial sets, with 643 pieces. It includes three tools, and everything fits neatly into a sturdy plastic carrying case.

Many people have difficulty working with electronic devices so it’s not surprising to see the breakdown in instructions for this particular product. There are detailed instructions for 11 models and descriptions of ideas for 14 more, but there are no set instructions for the remaining 7 models.

Pros

  • The carrying case makes this easy to store or take with you.
  • Instructions are not written — diagrams are used instead, which may be easier for kids.
  • The motor provides additional learning opportunities.

Cons

  • It’s difficult for beginners to work out how to build the suggested models without proper instructions.

Additional Specs

Recommended age range 8 years and older
Material Most parts are steel; some are plastic
Number of pieces 643
Instructions for specific models 11 models
Extra features 6-volt motor and carrying case

4. Igosot FlexiPlay Erector Kit

Mega-Sized Vehicle Erector Set for Kids

For the boys who want to build their vehicle from scratch, there’s no reason to miss out on the fun of erector sets. This pack includes 145 tiles that will help you create your favorite giant vehicle by assembling it with a very detailed manual.. Furthermore, the box also contains the necessary tools for use to assemble the set such as a screwdriver, wrench, screws, nuts, wheels, and connectors.

The set comes in a sturdy box that is useful for storage and easy clean up of mess.

The pieces from Playsafeare ergonomic and safe for children. They are certainly washable, have a lead-free composition, and can be used to create a fun experience for your kids.

Pros

  • Flexible and washable
  • Assembly tools included.
  • Reassuringly safe for the younger builder.
  • One year warranty.

Cons

  • Might be challenging for younger ones to assemble.

Additional Specs

Recommended age range 5 years and older
Material Plastic
Number of pieces 145
Instructions for specific models 6 models
Extra features Box for storage

5. K’Nex Imagine Motorized Ferris Wheel

Best Ferris Wheel Erector Set for Kids

K’Nex manufactures a slightly different style of erector sets for kids.

K’Nex pieces don’t require tools to work and can be clipped together or threaded through each other. This allows for endless possible creative designs and novel uses.

This particular set has a dizzying 529 pieces, as well as a 6-volt motor and instructions for 50 models.

One of the models featured in the set is a Ferris wheel, which can be motorized. The wheel turns slowly, and the seats swing in the same way as the genuine fairground ride.

Need to custom-build a toy for your kid on the go? Here’s one that doesn’t resort to toxic chemicals and is safe for them!

Pros

  • Pieces can be bent, allowing your child to build models with curves not dictated by rigid pre-formed shapes.
  • K’Nex has a parts guarantee and will replace anything that breaks, no questions asked.
  • The instructions are easy to follow along with.

Cons

  • Some younger kids may struggle to clip the pieces together at first.

Additional Specs

Recommended age range 7 to 12 years
Material Plastic
Number of pieces 529
Instructions for specific models 50 models
Extra features 6-volt motor and suitcase-style box

6. Tinker Toy Pre-School Erector Set

Best Erector Set for Toddlers

The 100-piece Essentials set from Tinker Toy is a wonderful introduction to erector sets for toddlers.

A clever modular construction that makes children’s playtime more pleasant and safer can be found in the form of Tinker Toys. Rather than screws with nuts and bolts, these building kits simply feature fixed rods that easily clip into triangular and circular pieces to form the models

The plastic used in the set is non-toxic and can be washed in warm soapy water, making it much easier to keep this set clean and hygienic. The pieces are much larger than other erector sets designed for older children.

You really need this packing service to help your product arrive in the perfect condition. Without it, you would have to arrange your product’s packaging yourself, leading to messier storage solutions.

Pros

  • Chunky, hard-wearing, and brightly colored.
  • An easy way for toddlers to explore basic building concepts.
  • Made responsibly in the U.S.

Cons

  • Will not appeal to older kids, so your child may grow out of it.

Additional Specs

Recommended age range 3 years and older
Material Plastic
Number of pieces 100
Instructions for specific models 13 building ideas
Extra features Storage case

7. Meccano Erector Super Construction 25-in-1 Set

Best Super Construction Erector Set for Kids

Meccano Erector is a construction kit for model makers of all skill levels. It has step-by-step models that include cars, motorbikes, and trucks as well as more unusual models such as a windmill and robot.

The parts vary greatly in size and shape. As well as the expected flat pieces, there’s an interesting array of pulleys, wheels, and spacers. The set also contains strings and elastics for the creation of moving parts.

The tools in the kit are durable metal and the blades stay sharp the entire time. Often seen from other manufacturers, most plastic ones can be broken easily with a very few uses.

Like the other kits in this set, the welder features a 6-volt electric motor. However, these pieces are different and offer more options when it comes to building your own projects.

Pros

  • A more sophisticated assortment of pieces and model suggestions.
  • Suitable for exploring more complex principles of physics and engineering.
  • It has an electric motor, which can make building more exciting for kids.

Cons

  • It may be out of the budget range for some parents.

Additional Specs

Recommended age range 10 years and older
Material Most are steel, but a few are plastic
Number of pieces 638
Instructions for specific models 25 models
Extra features 6-volt motor and a carrying case

8. K’NEX Control Crane Building Set

Best Crane Erector Set for Kids

If your child wants to build a large, working crane, consider this option from K’Nex. It’s over 2 feet tall and is also larger than some of the alternatives on the market.

The batterypowered motor in the scissor lift is great and can be used and rotates jib and raise and lower the trolley. However also, it needs changing when the scissor lift is in different locations.

You can use a hydraulic arm to easily pick up and move the different pieces included in the set, including a cardboard box or faux wooden crate.

Your child can also use the K’Nex pieces in the same way as other K’Nex to build their own models.

Pros

  • Large scale, working crane.
  • Compatible with other K’Nex products for unlimited building potential.
  • Can be used for freestyle building.

Cons

  • Cardboard boxes can become creased or squashed.
  • Having to move the motor for different functions interrupts the free flow of play.

Additional Specs

Recommended age range 7 years and older
Material Plastic
Number of pieces 679
Instructions for specific models One
Extra features Motor

9. Meccano Meccanoid Robot Building Set

Best Robot Erector Set for Kids

Introduce your child to robotics with the Meccano Meccaoid robot building set.

With this humanoid robot, you can start to design the perfect customer service assistant that will give customers an unforgettable experience. With moving eyes, voice recognition, & waving hands, this adaptable tool is bound to go above expectations!

ll be automatically activated with the correct movement patterns. The robot has 10 motors for its movement, including the articulated head, elbows, shoulders, and feet. It moves either by pre-programmed instructions or via a smart device that is placed in the specified location on it.

A robot’s voice can also tell funny stories & jokes with which to keep your kids entertained. These include 3,000 pre-programmed phrases that are capable of regaling your kids, so you don’t have to.

Your child can change the settings and have the robot record what they say and repeat it back to them.

Pros

  • Does not require programming skills.
  • Can be made to move in multiple ways via the Meccano app.
  • Interacts with your child.

Cons

  • With such a large number of pieces, it would be helpful if the pieces were numbered for clearer instructions.

Additional Specs

Recommended age range 10 years and older
Material Predominantly plastic with a few metal items
Number of pieces Over 1,000
Instructions for specific models One
Extra features App control, motors, LED eyes, and speaking ability

10. K’Nex Building Amazon Exclusive Construction Set

Best Budget Erector Set for Kids

This kit is an excellent introduction to the principles of construction and it’s also surprisingly affordable. It comes in a treasure chest style box so it’s easy to tidy up, store, and take away with you.

Knex is a popular brand of building toys. The set has 480 pieces that kids can use to build many different models, including 35 that have their own instructions. There are also many moving parts inside these models to keep things lively for kids!.

The website is clearly laid out, with step-by-step instructions designed specifically for children as young as 7 years old. Children can also bring to life their own designs by building a K’Nex dinosaur, or a car with a motorcycle.

Pros

  • Beginner-friendly.
  • A wide variety of pieces.
  • Lots of model instructions.

Cons

  • Unless you have other K’Nex sets, you must disassemble some models to have enough of the correct pieces to build others.

Additional Specs

Recommended age range 7 to 12 years
Material Plastic
Number of pieces 480
Instructions for specific models 35
Extra features Storage Box

Kids Erector Set Comparison Chart


Building Skills For Life

To benefit from these, or any other erector sets, it’s unnecessary for your child to have dreams of becoming an engineer. These fabulous and fun construction toys are great for any kids.

They provide a safe way to explore a variety of STEM principles and life skills such as patience, persistence, and problem-solving.

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