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Lincoln Logs: The Best Building Toy Ever

Updated on February 1, 2015
Lincoln Logs building toy
Lincoln Logs building toy | Source

A Classic Toy Children Still Enjoy Today

Lincoln Logs were one of my favorite toys when I was a child, and I still like to get down on the floor and join in the building when I have the chance. It was (and is) especially fun when I had several hundred log pieces and could construct whole towns and then add a toy train set and figurines. I could spend hours pretending.

I recently saw my niece and nephew playing with their own collection of Lincoln Logs -- some new and some hand-me-down -- and I was happy to see this classic building toy was still around and popular today. Within no time, on was on the floor with them, building a whole town to go with their own train set.Deja vu time.

Here, you'll find some of what's available in Lincoln Logs sets nowadays, along with a trivia quiz, a short video, and some additional information about this timeless toy. Enjoy!

You don't have to be a kid to still like this toy.

Did You (Or DO You) Ever Play With Lincoln Logs?

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Classic Wooden Lincoln Logs

There's nothing better than the original

Lincoln Logs come in different lengths and have notches in them where other logs interlock, just like they do in real log cabins. Smaller children should have no problem handling the pieces, and there's enough variety in this set to construct dozens of cabins, watchtowers and more.

Although they're simple, the wooden pieces teach kids engineering skills, enabling them to think like architects. Log structures also require a little finesse to assemble, which will develop hand-eye coordination and spatial reasoning.

This Commemorative Edition set celebrates the 200th anniversary of Abraham Lincoln's birth, with 100 all-wood pieces, including stained logs, eaves, roof slats, and chimney pieces to build a replica of the log cabin where Lincoln was born. And it comes in a cool collectible tin.

Lincoln Logs in Laos

Donated by a supporter who carried them from the United States to Laos, Lincoln Logs were one of more than 30 hands-on activities offered at a "Discovery Day" sponsored by Big Brother Mouse, a literacy and education project.

These kids had never before seen Lincoln Logs.


Graphic Instructions for 37 Lincoln Log Buildings

While kids don't seem to have much trouble getting creative and building with Lincoln Logs with no instructions at all, this pictorial manual will show them how to build a chicken coop, covered bridge, a gazebo, lighthouse, a pagoda and more.

You can buy the book or view it online here: Lincoln Log Building Manual

The book comes with an interactive, easy-to-use CD-ROM that lets children (and adults) go straight to the directions they need. Blueprints lay out every step that goes into constructing a bank, barn, farmhouse, firehouse, frontier tower, multiple cabins, etc.

Other Versions of Lincoln Logs

A Lincoln Logs Homestead

Build a frontier homestead, complete with a horse-drawn wagon. Shady Pine Homestead includes wooden logs, colorful figures and accessories, with a total of 120 pieces. Each set includes step-by-step building instructions and a storage container.

A Fort

Kids can go back in time and build a frontier fort complete with a little frontiersman. It's a great opportunity to work in a little history lesson at the same time.

Like all Lincoln Logs "logs," this set is made of real wood and comes with all the pictured accessories, including the lookout tower (or whatever you call that thing on top).

The cool retro-style canister is a handy store-and-go container. There are 70 pieces in all.

A Whole Lincoln Logs Ranch

This set comes with a blacksmith shop, a barn, cows and horses, other colorful figures and accessories and a storage case. It's packed with 150 Lincoln Logs pieces and includes instructions for one model, plus building ideas for 2 additional models.

And Another Ranch

This 150-piece set features logs and accessories to build the largest ranch in the west--the Big L Ranch. The tub contains 125 wood logs, three roofs, a chimney, three gates, a ladder, a barrel, five windows, two doors and frames, a rope, a trough, a flag, two horses, a steer, one cowboy figure, and one cowgirl figure.

Got all that?

The logs are still made of real wood although all roofs, action figures, and accessories are made of plastic. The kit comes with a colorful instruction book that most older kids should be able to follow on their own; younger children may need some parental assistance.

A Prairie Town

You can build a whole frontier mining town with 122 wooden logs, plus figurines and accessories. Then use the "dynamite" lever to demolish the buildings. Step-by-step building instructions are included, but it's fun for kids figure it out on their own by looking at the picture.

How Much Do You Know About Lincoln Logs?

Test your toy trivia knowledge with this little quiz.

You'll see the answers and how you did at the end.


Learn More About the Inventor of Lincoln Logs and His Famous Toy

Here's an interesting article about the inventor of Lincoln Logs, including a photo of the building that inspired the design as well as the original, signed plans for the construction toy.

You can also see some real homes designed by John Lloyd Wright, son of the famous architect, Frank Lloyd Wright. (Click on the text links to see examples of his work.)

See: John Lloyd Wright -- Lincoln Logs

Check Out These Vintage Lincoln Logs

This 64-piece set is made by K'Nex and contains 36 1-inch logs, 4 4.5-inch round logs, 12 7.5-inch logs, 2 10.75-inch logs and 10 4.5-inch flat green roof slats.

The logs you'll actually get are dark brown, not like the light-colored wood you see here in the Amazon listing.

Lincoln Logs in Action

Another Favorite Toy of Mine

Read about Lite Brite: A Classic Light Toy

Or is it Light Bright? And to hyphenate or not to hyphenate? Okay, I looked it up on the manufacturer's website to be sure: It's Lite-Brite WITH the hyphen....

© 2010 Deb Kingsbury

Leave Your Lincoln Log Comments Here

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      jesseritz 3 years ago

      @poutine: There currently are and have been several competitive products. First, there were never square Lincoln Logs; those were made by Roy Toys and American Logs, perhaps others. Only the first Lincoln Logs sets were hardwood; they were slightly smaller and could build only one cabin. All subsequent sets were slightly larger and made of soft pine. Recent sets made in China are milled and finished so perfectly you might think that they are plastic... they are not. Frontier Logs and Tumble Tree Timbers make round logs similar to Lincoln Logs. At least one company used hardwood and made logs without notches every three inches. Lincoln Logs has made round logs and round logs with a flat top and bottom; current products have flat tops and bottoms and come in 'maple', 'redwood', 'walnut' and light brown color.

    • profile image

      jesseritz 3 years ago

      All Lincoln Logs sets with slat roofs (these sets allow the most creativity) have the same problem: the slats fall off when bumped. To solve this problem, buy a roll of FrogTape® in the color that matches your roof; the tape will stick well but can be removed weeks later without leaving residue or harming the finish.

      Even sets with eighty pieces can build nice buildings. Just remember one thing: doll houses, play barns, etc. all have one side entirely open to fill the building with people, animals and whatever you can imagine. Build your creation with the longest side open, except for a flat sided log at the bottom and a full log at the top.

      Windows and doors should be made an optional accessory. Ask your toy store or hobby shop to get you a hand full; they add stability to buildings. If you build something special and want to keep it for a while, copper craft wire wrapped around each of the four bottom logs to the top logs will keep it together until you are ready to disassemble it.

    • Showpup LM profile image

      Showpup LM 5 years ago

      Can't go wrong with lincoln logs! I'd like to get these for my grandson for Christmas.

    • Philippians468 profile image

      Philippians468 6 years ago

      this reminds me of Lego! lovely lens! cheers

    • profile image

      poutine 6 years ago

      In my days, I believe there was only one kind of Lincoln logs, am I right?

    • Faye Rutledge profile image

      Faye Rutledge 6 years ago from Concord VA

      My kids and grandkids had Lincoln Logs and loved them. Brings back memories!

    • profile image

      resabi 6 years ago

      I loved Lincoln Logs as a kid and still do. Thanks for the new information (I did really badly on the quiz but now I know 5 new pieces of LL info!