Tips & Bits

Raising li’l engineers with Meccano

Few toys can claim they’ve stood the test of time, passing through generations like Meccano. Today more than ever, Meccano is relevant in skills it sharpens. Young curious minds create and innovate all whilst applying STEM, robotics and engineering concepts.

Blast from the past

Meccano invokes a load of nostalgic fun for dads as they building with their kiddos. My husband had a Meccano crane set. My dad and his dad also played with Meccano. My kids are the 4th generation playing with the brand originally launched way back in 1898!

My 8 years old twins get their “how does it work” obsession from their dad. They have a box of old computer equipment in their room that they take apart and put together. To me it’s an absolute mess of screws, cables, old hard drives, metal plates etc. but it’s their treasure trove! Screwdrivers are kept under lock and key in this house as the exuberant thirst to know “how it’s made”, has led to trouble!

The boys were exceptionally delighted to get an opportunity to review some exciting big kid Meccano, the upgrade on the junior sets they have. Dad was very excited to get in on the action too.

Read about the two sets that kept the lads busy this past rainy winter weekend. All sets come complete with page by page instructions and tools needed for assembly.

10 Model Set – Race Truck

This all-terrain and robust vehicle set is aimed at age 8 and upwards. The 225 pieces in the box along with the 2 tools for assembling 10 different vehicle designs are sure to keep young minds out of mischief. The accompanying guide comes with instructions to make all the variations.

Licensed Vehicle – Ferrari F12tdf

Targeted at age 10 and upwards, this sleek and snazzy build is challenging but very rewarding for sports car enthusiasts. This set comes with working wheels, poseable steering and FLEXTech panels all adding to the authenticity of this model.   

Teamwork

We had 2 eager kiddos and dad all wanting to work together on both sets! It was good watching teamwork and problem-solving in action. Dad assisted 1 child by holding the build whilst new bits were fitted or screwed in. The 2nd child was meanwhile tasked with rounding up the screws, bolts, panels and bits for the next stage. They then rotated tasks to keep it fair!

Tips

In the excitement, kids want to randomly rip open all the little bags of components. With loads of tiny bolts and different sized screws etc. it can get chaotic so empty each bag of items into a separate bowl to work from. This makes selecting the required pieces for the step by step building guide easier.  

The joy and sense of achievement were hugely satisfying on completion of these 2 builds which each took a good couple of hours. Quality of components, variations on the truck and the complexity of the Ferrari allow for great longevity in these toys for many years to come. Meccano sets in South Africa can be purchased from Toy Kingdom, ToyZone, The Kidzone and Takealot.com.

Disclosure: This is a sponsored post.

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