STEM activity toy review

The perfect STEAM toys for kids

K'NEX Crank Shift fan

My 7 year old loves construction toys. He was sent some of the brand new kits from K’NEX that help children develop their STEAM (science, technology, engineering, arts and maths) skills through play. A few months ago we reviewed the K’NEX Mighty Makers Director’s Cut so we knew the children were going to have lots of fun with these new sets.

Every item in the new K’NEX STEM Explorations line includes a number of model build suggestions, each with a really fun experiment to bring to life scientific principles, allowing kids to test and learn to improve their models each time. The first set they opened was the Vehicles Building Set.

K’NEX Education:  STEM Explorations: Vehicles

K’NEX Education: STEM Explorations: Vehicles

This set can create seven different builds, one at a time, each exploring a different type of vehicle.  Using the included spring motor, students can experiment with energy transfer, velocity and acceleration, and the impact of design on performance. Five corresponding experiment worksheets are included for students to expand their knowledge through building, evaluating and improving.

Since my son built the Mighty Makers Director’s Cut he was happy to open this set and have a go himself. He chose to build the Short Rubber Band Racer. He followed the instructions to build the car and only needed a little help putting the rubber band on. As well as the build instructions there were guidelines for experiments to take the build further. 

K’NEX Education:  STEM Explorations: Gears 

K’NEX Education: STEM Explorations: Gears

With this great value introductory set, children can explore multiple concepts associated with Gears. The set builds three different models one at a time: Crank Shift, Egg Beater, and Car Window. Each model has its own experiment worksheet explaining how different types of gears are used by exploring their configuration, ratios and calculations.

This was the second set my 7 year old built. He loved examining the different pieces and building the Crank Fan. His Dad enjoyed this set too and helped him change the gear sizes to see how that changed how hard it was to turn the fan, or how quickly it turned.

The K’NEX Vehicles Building Set has an RRP £24.99, the K’NEX Gears Building Set has an RRP of 14.99 and both sets are recommended for ages 8+. For more information, please visit here.


  • Reply
    March 24, 2017 at 9:29 pm

    Great ideas. It’s such a shame hay a lot of kids are into computers etc rather than playing with toys. Some of my favourites in this post

  • Reply
    March 24, 2017 at 9:32 pm

    These sound fantastic! I used to love Knex when I was a child!

  • Reply
    March 24, 2017 at 10:25 pm

    This sounds like a great idea! My daughter loves exploring science and engineering subjects through play, so this sounds like a perfect toy! 🙂

  • Reply
    March 25, 2017 at 3:01 am

    I am definitely going to try out this K’NEX series. My kids LOVE to build things. 😀

  • Reply
    Mellissa Williams
    March 25, 2017 at 12:19 pm

    Knex make some amazing construction toys. My son would have loved these kits when he was younger, in fact he would probably love them now and he’s 20!

  • Reply
    March 25, 2017 at 1:09 pm

    I love K’Nex. My two eldest son’s enjoyed playing with it more than 20 years ago, and I know my five year old will love it as much as they do when he is old enough. K’Nex is great for imagination and all that construction thinking stuff, and I found it was always really sturdy. Great stuff. Definitely worth buying.

  • Reply
    March 25, 2017 at 2:40 pm

    They both look great. I remember playing with K’Nex when I was younger!

  • Reply
    March 25, 2017 at 3:06 pm

    These sound like great toys. I love that they are learning whilst building them and playing with them. The gears set sounds like something my nephew would love, I’ll have to make sure I remember it for his birthday.

  • Reply
    March 25, 2017 at 7:28 pm

    I am not a parent myself, but these look a fab idea for kids. Thanks for sharing 🙂 x

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