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The Best Gear Toys for Kids

Updated on November 25, 2015
Nanciajohnson profile image

I enjoy painting fantasy art, art shows, creating delicious dishes, spending time with my grandkids, taking walks and reading a good book.

My Grandson Working His Gears
My Grandson Working His Gears | Source

Top 5 Reasons to Give Kids a Set of Gear Toys

Since working with preschool and grade school children for many years, I have formulated my top five reasons that kids should own a set of gear toys. My observations in child development showed this building toy encourages creativity, thinking skills, team-building and fine-motor skills.

I love the gear toys because they introduce basic mechanical skills through playtime. Gear toys also are best used when brought out in a group of children because they encourage cooperative play. I see my grandsons helping each other when building with their gear toys.

These toys are perfect for large families, preschool environments, daycare settings and even classroom settings. If you only have one child, gear toys are fun for family night or when the neighborhood kids get together. They are also a perfect rainy day toy.

My 5 year old grandson has the Movin' Monkeys set and has lots of fun putting this toy together when grandpa is around to help him. I don't know who has more fun with this toy, Gage or Grandpa!

Learning Resources Gears! Gears! Gears! Movin' Monkeys Building Set, 136 Pieces
Learning Resources Gears! Gears! Gears! Movin' Monkeys Building Set, 136 Pieces

My grandson loves this toy with the cute monkeys. We bought this for him for his fourth birthday and several years later he still loves playing with this building toy.


1. Teaches Children Creativity

My favorite type of toy is the one that gives children opportunities for creativity and imagination. After studying and working with children in child development settings for years, I saw how much fun children have in building and creating their own structures. Toys such as Legos, Lincoln Logs, Tinker Toys, gear toys and more are the perfect types of toys to stimulate thinking skills and creativity.

Gear Toys sets are colorful and are designed in different shapes that really draw children to them. The building and creating opportunities are endless. My grandsons will sit for hours building, taking apart and building again new creations and combinations with their gear toys. We have a basic set with lots of different pieces in our "toy closet" for when they come to visit.

2. Creates Building Opportunities

Since building toys such as gear toys are open-ended and do not come with how-to instructions the possibilities are endless. Once children and adults figure out how the gears fit together, the building and creating begins. I mentioned adults because for a younger child sometimes the gears are difficult to hook together and take apart. But the older grade school child can take the larger sets and work on building with them for hours.

This is a great toy to have on hand when the weather does not let the kids go outside to play. Gear toys are sold in sets from beginner basic sets to large creative sets that include lights and motion. The pieces are all interchangeable so having more than one set on hand makes it a lot more fun.

Learning Resources Gears! Gears! Gears! Deluxe Building Set, 100 Pieces
Learning Resources Gears! Gears! Gears! Deluxe Building Set, 100 Pieces

Start your child with this beginner set. Enough pieces to build a working gear creation. sets can be combined and interchanged so you may want to buy more than one set for your children. The more pieces they have the more creative in building they get.


3. Develops Educational Skills

Gear toys have the ability to teach children about a variety of skills such as basic mechanics, thinking and reasoning, creativity and problem solving. In my after school program, my recreation leaders would set up basic building challenges and discuss the concepts of mechanical engineering with the older children.

This is a project activity that would last all week. I found that kids as young as first grade through sixth would love the idea of a challenge. Of course we would gear the challenges to the ages in a group. I usually divided my kids into similar ages so the younger ones were not frustrated with the skill and development level of the older children. There is a huge difference of thinking and motor skills between a first grader and sixth grader.

At home the older child can become the "leader" and teach the younger siblings the basic skills that they know. This reinforces the skills learned and bonds the siblings into cooperating on a building project. Sometimes with my sons there was a little bit of rivalry between the boys. I would know when it was time to set the toys aside and redirect them to a physical activity outdoors.

Overall, since children learn so much through play, I really love have several types of building toys including gear toys in our collection.

Now my grandsons have many types of building toys including gear toys at home. Grandpa loves to play with the gear toys with the boys when we go to their house for a visit. Fun for ALL ages!

Movin Monkeys by Learning Resources
Movin Monkeys by Learning Resources

4. Encourages Cooperative Play

In a day care or school setting, building toys encourage cooperative play. In fact, parents have commented on online reviews that their child plays with gear toys more often when there are other children building with them.

Sometimes, the team-building environment gives children even more opportunities to be creative and imaginative. One child may start building one way and then another will join into add to the project. I have seen wonderful finished creations and machines with this group building exercise.

I always had time for this type of cooperative or team-building play in our after school program. Putting out a pile of building toys and letting kids go with their imaginations allows them the freedom to work out problems and come up with solutions in a group setting. This skill will be an important one when they get into high school and even as an adult in the workplace.

Oh, but don't tell the kids since they are just having fun building and playing together!

5. Family Game Night

The best reason of all!

Families should include gear toys into family game nights. Bringing out a large box of gear toys will bring out the fun in everyone. Even moms and dads will get into building and helping their children with their mechanical machines. Invite the grandparents also since these types of building toys help with improving memory skills too.

What is so nice about gear toys is that you can build a different machine each time. In our family, grandpa loves to play with the Movin' Monkeys gear toys with our 5 year old grandson. They have such a good time with this building toy.

Learning Resources Gears! Gears! Gears! Lights & Action Building Set, 121 Pieces
Learning Resources Gears! Gears! Gears! Lights & Action Building Set, 121 Pieces

This colorful building set comes with lights to illuminate your creation.


Colorful Building Toys for Preschoolers

Building toys are perfect for the young preschool child. They are a great introduction to the movement of gears and how things work together. Plus, "building" or putting together pieces such as the gears in this type of toy helps them develop "hand-eye" coordination and fine motor skills. All the while, just playing!

This quick little video shows you how much fun these toys can be:

What do you think?

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    • Nanciajohnson profile image

      Nancy Johnson 5 years ago from Mesa, Arizona

      @SteveKaye: And thank you for stopping by and giving it a squidlike and blessing. I really appreciate it and Happy New Year to you!

    • profile image

      SteveKaye 5 years ago

      Toys? For children? Hey, I want a set of these. They look really cool. Thank you for publishing this lens.

    • Elaine Chen profile image

      Elaine Chen 5 years ago

      i like this kind of creative toys, my son has the similar one and he plays it everydayh

    • Nanciajohnson profile image

      Nancy Johnson 5 years ago from Mesa, Arizona

      @michiganmomof2: My grandsons love them too! Thank you for stopping by my lens.

    • michiganmomof2 profile image

      michiganmomof2 5 years ago

      My kids, who are 9 and 5 years old, LOVE to play with their gear toys. They have two of the Learning Resources Gears! Gears! Gears! sets and they play with them a lot :-)

    • ajgodinho profile image

      Anthony Godinho 5 years ago from Ontario, Canada

      Gear toys are great, they can be educational and fun ~ nice selection here!

    • IMKZRNU2 profile image

      IMKZRNU2 5 years ago from Pacific Northwest

      These look like some awesome kids would have loved them. I believe that toys like these help the creative side of kids and they SO need that! Thanks for sharing.