November 26, 2013

Gift Guide to Inspire the AEC-minded Child

Don’t wait for the next “Take your kid to work day” to explain your profession.  Use this holiday season to buy presents for your wee ones that provide an experiential taste of the AEC world.  Below are some suggestions to engage with your child and share your passion for the industry.

Eiffel Tower
Learn how to read a Blueprint to replicate famous landmarks. Young builders hone their visual perception and engineering skills while assembling this famous monument. Precision-cut pieces made of premium basswood interlock easily, so no tools are required.
Eiffel Tower
MindWare Q-Ba-Maze Big Box
It’s a live demonstration of probability, physics and art, all in one!
Demolition Lab Build & Blast Factory
What’s more fun than building a massive structure? Boom! The thrill of bringing it down! This ultimate build-and-demolish construction set lets kids create buildings, strategically place the three blasters and hit the master detonator switch.
Demolition Lab
Construction Simulator
This virtual construction site allows you to construct houses and industrial buildings with heavy machines.
Construction Simulator 2014
Architectural Blocks
These blocks for the youngest set instill a sense of good design from a young age.
Architectural Block Set
Interior Design Sketch Portfolio
Kiddos can design their dream room with this groovy sketch pad.
Interior Design Sketch Portfolio
Young Architects
Young Architects teaches real drafting skills as kids re-create their home or invent a building, designing their own floor plans and bringing buildings to life.
Young Architects
This game empowers you to turn 2 dimensional images into 3 dimensional buildings.
3D Home Kit
This more advanced 3D Home Kit allows you to design floor plans, experiment with layouts, and then build a model of your project with the 3-D Home Kit, using realistic illustrations of roofing materials, windows, doors and more.
3-D Home Kit
Lego Architecture
The Lego Architecture series inspires architects, builders, designers and architecture enthusiasts everywhere by using LEGO bricks to interpret famous structures.
Lego Architecture Series
GoldieBlox and the Spinning Machine
This Engineering game for girls has swept Facebook and our hearts with their new ad. The game requires kids to explore wheels and axles, force, friction and tension to build a belt drive machine.
Snap Circuits
The Snap Circuit series has exploded with versions, but this is the classic beginner option.
Snap Circuits
K’Nex Intro to Bridges
Kids explore seven key bridge types to build 14 different models of arch, beam, truss, cable-stayed, cantilever, bascule and suspension bridges, encouraging teamwork and structural experimentation.
K'Nex Intro to Bridges
Cardstackers Starter Set
Your kids can construct an entire Card City right in your own living room. Created by Guinness World Record Holder Bryan Berg, this set shows you how to create the perfect building base for any freestanding card structure.
The Engino Products were invented by a retired teacher and engineer to inspire kids to build technological models creatively with each model providing a unique lesson. Engino Models
Structures is a 200 plank toy to build structures and monuments. It’s the ideal activity to help kids gain an understanding of balance and proportion, as well as an interest in architecture, building design. Structures
K’NEX Classics 50 Model Building Set
This building set is the ultimate model building set with 700 pieces of possibilities.
K'Nex Classics
Keva Contraptions
Create ramps, funnels, chutes and crazy contraptions with 200 identical wooden planks, 2 specially designed light weight balls for maximum action.
Keva Contraptions
This bestseller is a creative sandbox game, in which you can create huge structures and caves to play in. It’s a deceptively simple game of building during the day and survival at night.
World of Goo
Finally, my personal favorite.  It’s an addictive game of physics and bizarre characters that kids (and parents) will love. Just don’t hog the controller as tempting as it may be.
World of Goo
Mine Shaft
With many of these games, you may find yourself continuing on past your kids’ bedtime and staying up all night as I did with this 400 piece marble fun house.
Mine Shaft

Don’t fret.  It’s the holidays and now, more than ever, is time to play.  Let us know your top picks for toys this holiday season.  It could be for the kids or the kid in you. Have a great one! 

Happy Thanksgiving.

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