#9 Toy Gears


Toy gears didn’t originally make it onto my top 10 list of the “Best Toys of All Time” until “art supplies” got thrown out due to the fact that they can’t be classified as toys. Even though we don’t own this set any more, my children played with it for hours upon hours during the 5 years we owned it when they were younger. It seemed to me like it wasn’t as versatile as some of our other construction sets.


However, this didn’t keep my kids from inventing things that had something to do with what we were studying. One of my sons built a Greek structure based on a picture from a book, and a year later, he built a spit for roasting meat during our medieval feast. He did this without any prompting from me. I never would have come up with these structures myself.


Of course, all sorts of airplanes and robots can be made, as well as crazy contraptions. Even my young daughter enjoyed playing with the toy gears because she liked turning a crank and watching all the colorful gears go round and round. For this reason, toy gears earned its way to #9 in our countdown for the best open-ended toys.



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4 Responses to “#9 Toy Gears”

  1. Anna-Marie says:

    I just read all your best toys posts and your boys are so creative. My kids just arent’ interested in building things and it isn’t for lack of trying, I have bought legs, kinetics, and gears but they don’t get played with at all. My kids are much more into computer things. Which I find frustrating because I love to build and create. I will keep trying tho.

  2. Susan says:

    Maybe if you invite some other kids over, your kids would see the other kids having fun building. Often guests who come over introduce new building designs that our own kids haven’t thought of. This might help increase interest.

  3. We had Gears several years ago, and my kids enjoyed them quite a bit. It’s funny how they go in phases. We got rid of the K’nex because no one played with them any more, then I saw K’nex Education, and got the DNA set to go with what we were learning in science, and suddenly they’re interested in K’nex again and will be finding some under the tree this year.

    • Susan says:

      Yes, they do go through phases. Different construction sets are suddenly popular that the kids haven’t used in a while. I think part of it is that they haven’t seen some of the sets in a while, so when we rotate them around, they feel new again.

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