Building Sets for Kids and Teens

by Jimmie

Creative children who love to build things will be thrilled by any of these building and construction sets.

Building sets are constructive toys that build creativity and problem solving. The four construction sets featured below all do something so after the building is over, there is more fun to be had. Two of the sets create elaborate marble racetracks. Another kit makes an animatronic robot which you can control. The last construction kit can be used to create kid-sized play forts.

Even teens and parents are sure to enjoy these construction sets.

Ages 5 And Up

Get the Q-BA-MAZE 2.0 Big Box at

Build a Modern Marble Maze



Q-BA-MAZE is a fresh, modern type of marble run building set for children ages 5 and up. The toy is pronounced "CUBA MAZE" or "CUBE AMAZE." The Q-BA-MAZE 2.0 Big Box which is featured here contains 72 colorful pieces and 20 steel marbles. The pieces interlock easily yet firmly to make a sturdy maze.

There are endless combinations of mazes that can be constructed with the pieces in this set. It is truly an open ended toy that promotes creativity.

Visit the Q-BA MAZE site for dozens of creative maze plans. Use the images for inspiration or download the printable plans.

It is not surprising that the Q-BA-MAZE has received the National Parenting Center's seal of approval. Besides being loads of fun, this toy teaches art and science! Experiment with physics, gravity, balance, engineering, and design as you construct marble mazes. Develop critical thinking, and logical reasoning as you plan the path of the marbles through the course. Practice reading a plan and following directions when you create one of the shapes featured on the website.

Get the Q-BA-MAZE 2.0 Big Box at

Watch the Q-BA MAZE in Action

Robotic Arm Edge

Animatronic Building Set

Ages 12 And Up

What could be cooler for a 12-16 year old boy (or girl!) than to build his very own robotic arm? The Animatronic Robotic Arm Edge is designed for ages 12 and up, so it's perfect for the tween or teen who loves to build and learn how things work. 

You will have to add on 4 D batteries to power the robotic arm, but besides that everything you need is included. After you construct the robotic arm with its five motors and five gears, direct it with a wired (not remote) controller to rotate, extend, and grip. 

Although you build it once, you can play with it time and time again.  

Buy Animatronic Robotic Arm Edge Set at Mindware.

Straws and Connectors Building Set for Children

Remember the science class assignment to build a tower from straws and tape? Well, this kit makes that activity a breeze! Of course, it may not pass muster for the science teacher, but for play time at home, the Straws and Connectors sets are winners!

There are two sets available:

Each set makes BIG structures -- as tall as five feet -- which childen can play inside of. Straws and Connectors develops fine motor skills as well as creativity and visual spatial abilities.

Because the structures built are so large, Straws and Connectors is perfect for small groups of children to work on together -- siblings, cousins, schoolmates, etc.

Although Mindware says this toy is for ages 4 and up, based on my experience, I would raise that to ages 6 and up. The connectors to require a certain level of hand dexterity that four year olds really don't have yet.

Updated: 02/24/2012, Jimmie
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Which Construction Set Would YOU Like?

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kajohu on 12/05/2011

Oh, I'd love both the Q-Ba-Maze and the straws and connectors set! They both look like great fun. My husband would love the robotics arm :-)

Our boys used to enjoy sets like this -- they're grown and we're waiting until our grandson (almost 3 months) is old enough for cool building sets like these.

emmalarkins on 12/05/2011

Okay, time to update my Christmas wishlist...

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