STEM-based “Building Gifts” for Boys and Girls of All Ages

Toys that Last Longer than the Latest Craze

After raising kids of my own, and teaching thousands more, I’ve seen a lot of crazy stuff (he he). “The Latest” toys come and go, and much of the hype is fueled by marketers, not the kids themselves.  That’s why you will spend hours and dollars try to get hold of that hot toy, only to see it abandoned, in the corner, by February.

For this post, I’ve spent time thinking about building toys that kids really like, and that have been used consistently in my home and my classroom. “Building” toys are always a welcome gift, and don’t just think they are for boys. One of my daughter’s favorite toys was a Hot Wheels track, like the one below.  I have to admit that I, too, spent many hours playing with little cars.

If you are stumped, want something that doesn’t require electronics, and will engage the mind, consider a “building” toy for that special kidling.  All of these awesome toys are under $50.00 .

This post includes links to affiliates. I may receive a commission from this affiliate, at no added cost to you.

Hot Wheels Track Builder Stunt Box Playset

The classic Hot Wheels track set comes with its own storage container. Hooray! You may want to add some extra cars so that everyone can get in on the action!

snap circuits
Snap Circuits circuit builder starter set

Nine year-olds can be tricky. All they want to do is play video games, and all you want is for them to do something else. A basic circuit kit will get them off of the electronic, and on to building them, instead.  Requires 2 AA batteries, not included.

duplo kit
Duplo kit

For some of the youngest makers on your list, you can’t go wrong with Duplo. High quality toys will last for generations. I’ve recently been pulling out the Duplo blocks for round two!

lego classic
Lego Classic Large Kit

My nephew has scores of Lego kits. When I visited him this summer, he told me that his favorites are the classic building kits, because he can make his own designs. Out of the mouths of babes! Yes, Legos are expensive; but when you buy the classics, Lego doesn’t have to pay royalties to a trademark holder. This cuts down on costs, and you can get a great kit like this.

gears toy
Gears, Gears! Gears!

Honestly, I’ve had sixth and seventh graders playing with these gears. This basic but large set includes handles and bases at a great price.


Get two physical science concepts, force and motion, and magnetism, in one toy! Don’t worry about explaining how it works. Kids are natural-born scientists.

That’s it for today’s gift buying selections. Enjoy!

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