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Old 09-08-2018, 09:45 PM   #1 (permalink)
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Mechanical type toys for a 3 year old

I'm trying to find some cool mechanical type toys for my son who is turning 3 in about a month.

I think regular Legos (he has the big ones) are a little too advanced at this point (he'll be frustrated and lose interest), and he already has lincoln logs. I've been thinking about gear type sets and what not.

What say the PBB?
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Old 09-08-2018, 09:56 PM   #2 (permalink)
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Tonka's
Duplo's
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Old 09-08-2018, 10:06 PM   #3 (permalink)
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My 2 1/2 year old loves this. We got it for him for this past Christmas. He can take it completely apart on his own, and put the engine back in, but he can’t get the wheels back on himself yet.

https://m.kohls.com/product/prd-2122...FRfVWwodjRMO8Q
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Old 09-08-2018, 10:24 PM   #4 (permalink)
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My kids love magna blocks, got them when he was about 2, he is 7 and still plays with them.

https://www.amazon.com/s/?ie=UTF8&ke...66ovvljv_e_p38
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Old 09-08-2018, 10:27 PM   #5 (permalink)
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Not so much gears and things, but Magformers are pretty nifty and fun to play with.

I mean, fun for the kid to play with.

Edit: @Jason4x4 beat me by a couple minutes. Similar/same toys.
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Old 09-09-2018, 05:05 AM   #6 (permalink)
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K'nex maybe? Not too sure if some of the bits would be too small though. I'm also pretty sure they do a little uns version of meccano too (meccano junior?), big bits, plastic screws etc, kinda like what Duplo is to Lego
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Old 09-09-2018, 05:10 AM   #7 (permalink)
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My kids love magna blocks, got them when he was about 2, he is 7 and still plays with them.

https://www.amazon.com/s/?ie=UTF8&ke...66ovvljv_e_p38
These! Your kid will love them.
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Old 09-09-2018, 05:32 AM   #8 (permalink)
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Too early for an angle grinder? Maybe just a 4-1/2"?
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Old 09-09-2018, 05:48 AM   #9 (permalink)
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The plastic erector sets.
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Old 09-09-2018, 06:23 AM   #10 (permalink)
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My kid loves his battery operated Preg Perego tractor. Comes with a trailer he’s outside for hours on that thing. Buy a spare battery.
Also that sand impregnated with silicone or something that makes it sticky and formable. He likes that too.
Mini kids stihl chainsaw. He terrorizes all the guests with that.
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Old 09-09-2018, 07:11 AM   #11 (permalink)
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I can't remember what age I was, but when I started to show aptitude to taking things apart. My parents would go to garage sales, buy old blenders and other gadgets, cut the cord off (so I couldn't plug them in LOL) and bought me a set of real (kid sized) tools to take them apart and learn what makes them tick.
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Old 09-09-2018, 07:18 AM   #12 (permalink)
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Buy him a $15 3/8 socket set in a plastic case so he can open and close it and dump it and organize it and come running outside with it to help you fix things
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Old 09-09-2018, 08:08 AM   #13 (permalink)
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Meccano is the plastic erector set, 3 is a bit young there but my kids have had them from 5ish.
K’nex is another probably 5-6+ toy.
Magna tiles or the knockoff brands, my kids still like those, they’ve been playing with them since their first time at the children’s museum at probably age 2. They still like them at 8-10.
Any of the fisher price “little people” sets were big hits for my kids in the 3-6 age range. Some are kind of mechanical light, connecting track and the like.
Brio train track, my parents still have that from when I was a kid and my kids love it, but it’s gotten crazy expensive.

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Old 09-09-2018, 08:14 AM   #14 (permalink)
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My parents got me a bin of bolts and nuts when I was little. 1/2" coarse thread. I'd thread them on and off, run the nuts all the way to the end and fill up the entire length of the bolt with nuts, then couple two bolts together with a nut int he middle. All kinds of shit.

Yeah those were simpler times! Kids these days probably wouldn't fuck with something like that for more than 5 minutes before running off to watch t.v.

When I was 3 or 4 I disassembled my dad's garden tractor engine... Without his consent. Got yelled at and then put it back together.

EDIT: Bonus was later when I got old enough to not play with them anymore they went into the bolt bin and were used for other projects!
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Old 09-09-2018, 09:21 AM   #15 (permalink)
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https://m.ikea.com/us/en/catalog/products/art/10320077/

My kid used to play with these when he was little bought him a couple of these packs he would literaly spend hours building and changing the tracks around. And the train cars connect together with magnets so they are easy to manipulate too. No batteries either. Used to be able to get bridge and overpass pieces too.

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Old 09-09-2018, 10:03 AM   #16 (permalink)
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My 3 year old does fine with regular legos. He doesn't build much yet but he has fun sticking blocks together. When we're in the garage I set him at the bench with a bin of hardware. I also just let him wrench on stuff with me, I let him put it together then go behind him and tighten fasteners, he's getting motorcycles figured out pretty well.
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Old 09-09-2018, 10:14 AM   #17 (permalink)
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Not exactly a "toy" but we bought the girlfriends nephews ages 5 and 7 hand carry steel tool boxes and then every Christmas/ birthday buy them more tools. We got brass plaques with their names made for the boxes and riveted them on. We've been trying to buy made in USA/ quality tools that should last. I think we started out with a claw hammer, tape measure, adjustable wrench, 2 screw drivers, and maybe a pair of pliers. They loved them and her brother thought it was pretty cool. With any luck they'll have the tools into adult hood. We also engraved their initials on the tools because there's 2 of them and you know how brothers are.
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Old 09-09-2018, 05:21 PM   #18 (permalink)
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Melissa and doug make some wooden erector set type things. My daughter is 2 and not quite there but I've already got a few stockpiled for next birthday.

They also have a puzzle board with all sorts of latches on it, she loves it. Teaching them to open some does go against my better judgment sometimes.

When I was 3ish I took my fisher price bubble mower apart when it broke and apparently fixed it. That was one of the early signs my parents were screwed. My daughter already will grab a screwdriver and poke at things while I'm working on them and is starting to learn lefty loosy righty tighty on bottles and such

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Old 09-09-2018, 06:12 PM   #19 (permalink)
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.22 lr rifle?
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Old 09-09-2018, 06:47 PM   #20 (permalink)
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"Junior Cat Trainer" 3-piece starter set?

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Hours of fun for the little one
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Old 09-09-2018, 07:43 PM   #21 (permalink)
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.22 lr rifle?
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Old 09-09-2018, 07:57 PM   #22 (permalink)
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Tinker Crate.

Got it for my nephew. He loves it.


Amazons STEM toys look pretty good as well.
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Old 09-09-2018, 08:01 PM   #23 (permalink)
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Had a stump of wood (just a good sized clean log cut that would normally be split for firewood) and hand tools as a kid too...would hammer nails and drive screws into it and chisel it and other stuff until it was finished, then get a new one from my grandpa
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Old 09-09-2018, 08:24 PM   #24 (permalink)
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It's not a toy but I had this book: https://www.amazon.com/Way-Things-Wo...ref=mp_s_a_1_2
I can remember flipping through it when I couldn't sleep as a kid. Ton of information on simple machines iirc.
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Old 09-09-2018, 09:40 PM   #25 (permalink)
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Thanks for all the feedback, guys. I had already taken notice of the magnetic blocks and they were at the top of my list. Lots of good ideas!
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