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15 Building Kits for Kids that aren’t Lego

Looking for summer activities or gifts for kids? These 15 building kits for kids are both fun and educational! Once your kids have outgrown the free workshops at Lowe's and Home Depot, these are a good option.

Building kits can help growing children further develop their language skills, cognitive flexibility, engineering skills, motor skills, and creative capabilities. Studies say complex block play can also improve mathematical skills. It’s amazing how stacking, arranging, and assembling things can stimulate a growing child’s brain. 

For older kids and teens, building kits can help stimulate interest in engineering and other careers. Kits make great gifts and are a good way to introduce STEM concepts to all ages. For more ideas, take a look at our Wood Kits like Lowes projects.

Building kits for kids besides Lego - wooden bicycle kit with glue and pencil
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Building blocks are solid shapes used for construction activities. These blocks come in all forms and sizes, from simple interlocking bricks to complex sections used to make structures. Whatever shape they take, blocks are considered powerful learning and entertainment tools. 

What different kinds of building kits are there?

We're all familiar with Lego building kits, but there are actually a lot of different kinds out there! Look for building kits for kids who are interested in:

  • architecture
  • fort building
  • robotics
  • STEM of all kinds
  • woodworking

15 Building Kits besides Lego

Looking for building kits for your growing kids?! Here are some of the most awesome ones!

1. 3D Wooden Camera Puzzle

Working on puzzles improves mental speed and is an especially effective way to enhance short-term memory. Start them young! If your little sibling or kids are getting bored with those jigsaw puzzles, give them something a bit more complicated. 3D wooden models are new favorites among tweens. No need for glue and scissors! Time to level up and allow them to assemble a unique piece – a camera! 

2. Fort Building Kit

Working on a fort building kit may appear super simple and boring, but it's an amazing way to develop problem-solving skills. It often requires science more than creativity because it encourages children to formulate a hypothesis. Then, it pushes them to test their ideas again and again until they get an outcome that works. This is perfect for kids who want to be engineers someday! 

3. Solar Power Robots Creation Toy Kit

We're all fascinated with robots, most especially now that we're surrounded by state-of-the-art objects filled with AI features. Well, thanks to affordable creation kits, we can now make our own robots! There are moving parts like gears, plates, tires, and shafts that can easily be assembled, and then dismantled if the robot maker wants to start all over again with a more complex design. 

4. Helicopter Building Toy Kit 

Even cheap building kits can deliver many hours of fun and brainpower. Perfect for both boys and girls, this helicopter kit can keep your curious child entertained for a long time. One of the best things about it is that the parts are built to last – finishing it is surely something to be proud of! 

5. Toy Train Set 

When it comes to mechanical building kits, locomotives are always on top of the list. Adults and kids alike are specifically drawn to trains, maybe because of their complex structure and aesthetics, not to mention that with a few colorful tweaks, trains can pass as brilliant Christmas decorations. 

6. Dump Truck and Airplane Toy Kit

Science, math, and engineering are three of the most intimidating subjects at school. Show your kids that they are capable of completing these learning challenges. Let them work on airplane and truck building kits to improve their abilities on these matters. It's not only a learning tool but offers a fun experience as well! 

7. Ship Model Puzzle Kit

If your child is not a fan of trucks and trains, you may want to get him a ship model kit. It's intellectually stimulating, fun, and takes the hobbyist back in time. This miniature Mississippi steamship, once assembled, is just as amazing as the real thing!  

8. Combustion Engine Model Building Kit

Is your child into cars but is not yet ready to build one? Why not try this combustion engine model building kit?! It comes with super-realistic parts, allowing tweens to tinker on pulleys, cranks, belts, and exhaust valves safely. After assembling it, they can make this little gadget come to life right in front of their eyes! By just plugging the cables into the battery pack distributor, the fans turn on with real engine sounds. 

9. Mechanical Gear Treasure Box Kit

A great building project and once assembled, a classy decor for your child's room. Most kids today don't even know that this one-of-a-kind object really exists. Introduce it to them in the most remarkable way possible. It's time to build, build, build! This Mechanical Gear Treasure Box is fully functional – you and your kids can set your favorite three-digit numbers to serve as the passcode. 

10. Music Machine Building Kit

Is your child a musician in training? She will surely love this fully functioning music machine! Made from non-toxic wood, it comes with handle pipes, sound plates, movable pegs, and wooden sheets that will keep your little one entertained for hours. She needs to build it first, of course, before she gets to enjoy the music! 

11. NASA Perseverance Mars Rover Building Kit

There aren't a lot of toys out there for space-obsessed kids. Here's a good find – a Mars Rover Building Kit that is composed of hundreds of building bricks. It's a challenging project that sometimes encourages family members to meet up and assemble together. More collaboration and teamwork, more fun!  

12. Architecture Building Model Kit

Who wouldn't want to build a castle?! Future architects would be fascinated with this 3D building kit – a project that can take them on a historic European tour. Vacations can wait for now. Let your kids build the Neuschwanstein Castle first before visiting it! 

13. Miniature Dollhouse Kit

Miniature dollhouse kits are getting more and more popular today not just for kids but also for young adults. It's mentally challenging and once done, an amazing piece to display by the window. Playing with these small dollhouses allows children to develop their storytelling and interactive skills. Just looking at the assembled display is so therapeutic and relaxing! 

14. Metal Architecture Model Kit

Want to try another architecture model kit but quite bored with the usual puzzles? This one comes with metal sheets that are made of quality stainless steel. Heavy duty material, but no glue or solder required during the assembly process. You'll surely enjoy this, even as a beginner! The finished product is so delicate and elegant, too, perfect for your work table. 

15. Electronics Exploration Kit

Not all engineers build homes. Others design, develop and test electrical systems. Electronic exploration kits are the best gifts to future electrical engineers out there. With just around 30 electronic parts, young engineers can come up with over 100 different circuit projects!

Building kits for kids - hands working with robotic kit components