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TinkerToy Jumbo 200 Wooden-Piece Set: How to Make It Fun & Educational

I bought a set of TinkerToy pieces for my kids, and they love it!

The new TinkerToy comes with classic wooden shapes and connectors but add several fun new pieces as well, including wheels and hinges.

The new TinkerToy comes with classic wooden shapes and connectors but add several fun new pieces as well, including wheels and hinges.

One of the Best Educational Children's Toys Around

Your kids don't have to be future engineers to reap the benefits of Tinkertoy. This educational children's toy spans generations and is suitable for children of many different ages. As with all building sets, you will probably encounter stray pieces here and there when cleaning up your child's room. TinkerToy has been updated from its earlier classic versions to increase slightly in size. This means that unlike Legos, which have a tendency to multiply like rabbits inside children's closets while you are sleeping at night, TinkerToy pieces make a maximum amount of magic with a little less mess.

For the uninitiated, TinkerToy is a building toy that comes in a cylindrical tub containing several different types of pieces. The pieces include:

  • Thin wood rods, called wood pegs by the manufacturer, for connecting pieces together. These wood pegs are available in several different lengths.
  • Five-hole wood wheels also known as spools. These have five holes drilled into them. One hole into the center and four holes around the center of the wheel. The holes fit the wooden rods. Holes are also drilled along the outer circumference of these wheels, extending the possibilities of connecting rods at every conceivable angle.
  • Hinged plastic connector pieces that fit the wooden rods.
  • Wood caps. These can be placed at the end of the wood rods.
  • One-hole wheels that have a large hole drilled into the center.
  • Plastic flags, also called fins. In some sets these grow in the dark or come in alternate girl toy colors, such as pink and purple.
  • Some sets include other optional pieces. For example, the 225-piece classic Tinkertoy set includes over-sized molded plastic wheels that can be used to make simple vehicles or used to make sturdy feet for a robot or a windmill. The Tinkertoy Classic Jumbo Set includes a pair of robot arms and a face plate.
  • Each Tinkertoy Construction Set is different. Some of the sets include mostly wooden pieces combined with plastic flags, wheels, and hinged connectors, while other sets are entirely made from plastic. If your wish is to purchase a wooden toy, then be sure to carefully check the product description for the set you buy before you purchase. Toys with the TinkerToy name are produced by Hasbro and Playskool.
We made this rolling whirligig with our Tinkertoys set.

We made this rolling whirligig with our Tinkertoys set.

Educational Benefits

Playing with TinkerToy is not only good ol' fashioned fun, but it is an educationally beneficial activity. Children will:

  • Use problem-solving skills to make their creations.
  • Develop a sense of process and planning as they progress from simple projects to more complex creations.
  • Develop an increased sense of spacial awareness as they attempt to fit pieces together in a three-dimensions.
  • Develop their creativity through trial and error as they come up with new ideas for TinkerToy creations.
  • Develop an awareness of angles and geometric shapes while making cubes, pyramids, and other shapes.
  • Learn over time some principles of physics and engineering as they learn which structures are sturdiest.

Fun With TinkerToy

Tinkertoy is a lot of fun. The set we purchased was the 225-piece Classic Construction Set. We were able to purchase it at a significant discount, and I honestly wish we had bought two sets instead of one. Our three children, then ages 12, 3, and 1 all immediately loved playing with the pieces from these sets. Now that we have added one more child and they are a little bit older, we will be looking to add on to this construction toy.

Everyone in the family was on the floor putting together projects. My husband immediately constructed an oversized car that my young daughter pushed around on the floor. Then we made windmills and whirligigs, Creating a sturdy base from the large plastic wheels and a configuration of the wood connecting rods and the circular wood spools. My kids loved watching the fins on our single and double windmills spin round and round.

My daughter crafted a robot from her pieces. After we opened our gifts on Christmas day we played together as an entire family for the rest of the morning. This was the gift that we came back to again and again. With 5 people in our family, and so many different ages, it was a real delight to find something that we could all enjoy for so long.

There's really no limit to the things you can make using a TinkerToy construction set, but if you are looking for ideas, an instructional manual comes with each set sold by online retailers and traditional stores.

Buy TinkerToy Online

You can purchase TinkerToy online from Amazon at a great discount and take advantage of free shipping offers throughout the year. If you are looking for an exceptional gift value and a toy that will last, this is one of the best kids toys around. This toy set can be purchased for one child or as a group gift, and offers a sound alternative to battery-operated or electronic toys.


Samuel E. Richardson from Salt Lake City, Utah on February 03, 2011:

I think Tinker Toys existed in the 40's, or early 50's. That's about when I had my set. Nice hub.

tinkerbabe on October 12, 2010:

I remember tinkertoys and now that I have grandchildren I have actually passed one of my old sets onto them. I hope they have as much fun with them as my siblings and I did.

Carolyn Augustine (author) from Iowa on July 07, 2010:

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Thanks Bk-These are great toys for a gathering of grandkids! Best of luck!

BkCreative from Brooklyn, New York City on July 07, 2010:

These look really good. And we have to be so vigilant when buying toys for our children. I remember these when my children were young and now with another grand on the way - I must be prepared.

What's old is new again. Thanks so much! A most useful hub!

Carolyn Augustine (author) from Iowa on July 06, 2010:

Hello, Hello, Thank you!

Dahoglund, when I lived in England as a child we had a room full of toys that we ignored. We had a precious few things that were important to us, but mostly we wandered around the village and played outside and explored the public footpath that connected the village to a nearby town and crossed over a bridge. But alas, now is such a different time and I do worry about letting my children wander around alone, as I did. My husband collects Legos so we have those, too, but Tinkertoys are great fun. Thanks for the comment.

Bayoulady, your comment was so evocative. Most childhoods sweeten with time. Thank you for the lovely picture.

bayoulady from Northern Louisiana,USA on July 06, 2010:

Gracious! I haven't thought of tinkertoys in baby boy is

As a child myself, I remember my brothers and I spending many winter afternoons, sitting in front of the old space heater baking on one side and freezing on the other .We were usually playing with tinkertoys,jacks,and pick-up- sticks.After supper, we might work a puzzle.

Those were grand times,really.

Thanks for the memories!

Don A. Hoglund from Wisconsin Rapids on July 06, 2010:

I remember tinkertoys although growing up in a period where there were not a lot of toys around I don't think I actually had any. Our son was crazy about legos and his kids seem o have everything.

They look like fun though.

Hello, hello, from London, UK on July 06, 2010:

I think they are wonderful. Thank you drawing the attention to them

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