Different toys impart different skills in children, and tinker toys similar to Lincoln Logs or any other construction toy have so far been shown to have the most benefits. They help develop fine motor skills, encourage critical thinking, improve creativity, and reduce stress according to a study done in 2012.
If you have ever asked yourself, “Where did Lincoln Logs get their name?” It’s from the type of log cabin common in Abraham Lincoln’s time on which the toys are based. The company was started and widely marketed by the son of famous architect Frank Lloyd Wright.
There are different toy sets made with the same idea behind the popular Lincoln Log brand, and they are outlined below.
Builder Boards from Jack McGee
If you are looking for a super-sized alternative to Lincoln Logs that your children can play within the yard, this is the right option for you. It is comprised of lengths of wood boards with notches in them so that once they link together, they don’t easily fall apart.
Their biggest pro is the fact that you can buy them fully finished, partially finished, or buy the plans to guide you on making your own. This way, you control the materials they are constructed with.
Another advantage is that they provide fun activities for children across a wide range of ages.
One disadvantage with them is that unless you have enough space in your house, they will be limited to outdoor use, having to be stored when the weather is not conducive.
They are also too large for young children, so they are only going to be good for older kids who can hold them well enough to build with them.
This is a classic toy construction set that was made by the son of architect Frank Lloyd Wright named John Lloyd Wright. He made and patented this building block set after his father sold the rights to the original creation of the Lincoln Log set to a toy company. Despite the fact that they offered more possibilities and lighter construction on a miniature scale, they did not quite take off as the public was already sold on Lincoln Logs.
Creative STEM toys with a more versatile nature, and great for older kids who are keen on an imaginative play involving construction.
All-natural, with watercolor stains to add variety to the options available.
Because they did not grow famous, they fell out of production and are now more of rare collector’s items than regular toys you can find in any toy shop.
Roy Toy Wooden Log Sets
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This is an all-natural wooden toy set alternative to Lincoln Logs. They are practically identical to each other, but Roy ToySets are made by a family-owned company in the U.S. There are different sets with varying numbers of notched miniature logs and that form a different piece depending on the one you bought.
They are made in the U.S.A by a family company, so you know they are of great quality.
Roy toys are all-natural, made with hand-cut pine logs predominantly cut from sustainably harvested wood.
They are stained with allergen-free, non-toxic, food-safe dye.
The main disadvantage is that if you decide to get the full range of Roy Toy collections available, the cost will be quite high.
Imaginarium Discovery Wooden Block Set
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This is another wood building block set that comes in a bucket with a small booklet containing ideas of things to build. It can be used to construct a number of things, the complexity of designs increasing as the age group of children playing with them goes up. Besides the ideas in the accompanying booklet, you can get more building inspiration from the internet and make sure there is always something new to build.
The blocks are durable, and you can use them without fear of breakage and splinters over time.
Their rounded edges and lightweight make them suitable for play by children of different ages and abilities.
The bucket that they come with for storage has a lid with a built-in shape sorter, making this an extra opportunity for play.
While they are currently safe, there have been recalling of similar products in the past which were found to have lead paint.
FAO Schwarz Wood Castle Blocks
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This set consists of 75 wooden pieces with which you can create a castle as well as the surrounding fortification. They come in different shapes and sizes which create endless building possibilities. They are also lightweight and in gorgeous natural wood color.
The pieces are sturdy and well-made, with the potential for longevity.
They are a good size for children of different ages and will provide a lot of fun for different children.
They only come with their original box and no storage container. If you want to put them away, you have to take the time to arrange them carefully in the box so they all fit, and most children don’t have the patience or ability to do this.
Childcraft Standard Unit Block Set
Source: School Specialty
These building blocks come in an assortment of shapes and sizes, all backed by an unconditional guarantee from the makers. If any of the 80 blocks splinters or breaks in the course of regular use, it is replaced for free, and this shows just how well they are made. Made to a natural finish with smooth-sanded hardwood, they are bound to look good for as long as you have them.
A high-quality toy that is suitable for toddlers through to elementary grade children.
These building blocks do not have a lot of reviews online from users, so it is hard to tell how good they actually are in use.
When making a list of building blocks, it would not be complete without Lego. Known worldwide, these make a great erector set for creative play. Older children love building things with Lego because of the infinite possible designs, so if you are looking for a toy that will introduce fresh play options in line with the child’s imagination, you should think about Lego.
Like any other building set, Lego helps children develop fine motor abilities. Because of the many themes and variations that Lego sets come with, imaginative children will have endless hours of creative and beneficial play.
These building blocks are colorful, unlike most other blocks, and so they have instant appeal to children of all ages. They entertain and educate without a lot of effort because children are naturally drawn to them.
When you get bit by the Lego bug, it can become a pretty costly affair because while they are affordable, getting all the variations that exist will obviously dig into your funds.
You will be forgiven for wincing when you hear the word “Lego” because if you have ever stepped on a Lego brick in the dead of night, you know the pain first hand!
Perhaps the biggest disadvantage of Lego is the fact that they are made of plastic. For people concerned about the environment, they will be a big negative for that reason alone.
This exciting Lego alternative is actually made by the same toy company that makes Lego. The main difference between the two is size, with Duplo being twice as big as regular Lego bricks. Because they are bigger and therefore harder to swallow, they are perfect for younger kids who will also find it easier to hold them and build with them.
They provide a great option for young children because of their bigger size. You don’t have to worry about your toddler swallowing one of these as they are quite chunky.
They can fit together with Lego, so as your child grows and they want more toys to boost their creativity with smaller, finer pieces, you won’t have to throw them out and replace them.
Made from thermoplastic, they are impressively durable and hard-wearing so you can be sure they will last for a long time.
A nightmare for most parents is the mess that comes with highly mobile toys and building sets like Lego. The small pieces literally go everywhere, and you will find them in far corners long after playtime is over.
Whitney Brothers Wood Block Set
Beautiful in its simplicity, this set of wood construction blocks is ready for play and safely made with smooth, rounded edges. It comes in a variety of sets therefore you can pick the one you feel your child will enjoy building with the most.
All-natural, and constructed from solid maple wood with a non-toxic UV finish to keep them looking new with no harm to children.
A variety of different sets and materials are available, so children can have hours of play and boost their creativity.
Due to the fact that they are not interlocking and have no notches, the possibilities may only go so far.
The prices for these wood construction sets may be a bit prohibitive, which could put parents off as they look simple and rather basic.
Eco-Bricks Bamboo Set
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Made purely from bamboo, these construction sets promise hours of green, healthy fun for the little ones. They come in an assortment of styles for unlimited creative possibilities and are even compatible with other blocks so you don’t have to start your collection from scratch.
They are made from bamboo, which has anti-microbial properties and stays clean and safe all while being carbon-neutral.
They are compatible with plastic blocks and so you can easily transition into them to introduce more play possibilities without having to buy a full collection.
They come with a gorgeous wooden storage box.
May present a choking hazard since they come with a lot of small parts.
They come in plain colors of natural wood and other soft shades, which may not be fun for children used to playing with multi-colored Lego bricks.