567006_kfautomobileengineer_hi_rgb_3dbox1Little future engineers on-the-go loved this construction set geared to building interest and skill in STEM basics. Kids quickly snapped open the clear plastic carrying case and started experimenting with the 70 pieces including dowels, a gear, rods, blocks and a nail. When I showed them the instruction manual and corresponding story that linked the 10 illustrated projects, they got right to work making a mini van, forklift and firetruck. Learn about the Omega family who live in a warehouse full of tools, designing and completing projects. Engineers Ty and Karlie’s simple trip to the supermarket turns into an adventure, helping those along the way by constructing 10 different vehicles to solve their problems.  Cory the Crane helps lift heavy beams with his “mast and pulleys” to the top of the constructions site, Francine the Fire Truck put out the fire at the pet shop, and Farley the Forklift lifted the pet food crates back into the storage loft. The beauty of this set is it really is designed for preschoolers as 3 year-olds might need some adult help but my 5 year-old friend could easily follow the directions independently and then enjoyed his animated vehicles for pretend  play, with big buggy eyes to engage with its designer! Building language skills goes hand-in-hand with STEM education as kids are increasingly asked to tell the “How?” and “Why” of what they made and solve problems in a group, offering solutions and explaining options. This set makes learning fun!

Available at Thames and Kosmos. Click here