Check out some super engaging engineering activities for kids to try! Be sure to check out the free printable at the bottom of the post, too.
Related: Engineering Books for Kids
Children are natural engineers. They love to design and build with almost anything they can get their hands on, don’t you think?
I know I love watching both my son and my students as they are busy creating something of their own design.
In fact, I often refer to my son as Engineer here on Fun-A-Day. That’s not his real name, in case you’re wondering. He’s just always loved planning and building all kinds of creations. So the nickname stuck.
Something tells me your students are going to get a kick out of these engineering activities for kids!
Engineering Activities for Kids to Get Their Hands On
Here are some wonderful engineering ideas you can try with your students, or your own children. If you try any of them, be sure to let me know.
Even better, tell me about some of your favorite activities for little engineers. I’m always on the lookout for ideas we haven’t tried before.
Use a “Book of Structures” to inspire block building
Our printable book of world structures has been a hit, inside the classroom and out, for years now. In addition to the engineering it inspires, it also helps kids learn about other countries.
You can find more details about the full printable, along with a free printable version, at the bottom of this post.
Design and build a roller coaster
I love this engineering challenge idea! What kid doesn’t want to design their own roller coaster?
Play and learn with Rube Goldberg machines
Brain Power Boy shares a variety of ways to learn about and explore Rube Goldberg machines.
Create a flag using LEGO pieces
Incorporate history and geography with this idea from Shield of Faith Homeschooling. I bet the kids would love designing their own flag with LEGO bricks, too.
Construct a LEGO camping lantern
This idea from LalyMom would be perfect during a camping theme, or just as a challenge for LEGO lovers you know.
Engineer and explore very unique forts
Does one every really outgrow a love for building forts? TinkerLab shares 3 fun fort engineering activities for kids to try. I think the branch and yarn version is my favorite.
Design one of these 14 catapults
We had a blast painting with catapults and can’t wait to try out the other ideas!
Make a snack pulley
Left Brain Craft Brain’s pulley for snacks is seriously amazing. The step-by-step directions are easy to follow, and this would make a great parent-child project.
Set up a pumpkin engineering challenge for the kids
We’ve done this one in the fall a few times now. Something tells me the kids would get into the challenge at any time of the year, though!
Create mazes for hexbugs
Buggy and Buddy shares so many fun ways to make hexbug mazes. I think our favorite may be the one out of magnetic tiles.
Experiment with a homemade marble run made from recyclables
Grab materials from your recycling box and get to making a marble run! We made ours on a sliding glass door, but you could make one on a wall or a fence outside.
Challenge the kids with mystery engineering bags
This idea, from Childhood 101, would be fun as part of a family night hosted at your school. You could also put some together and send them home for special family projects.
Add PVC pipes to a water table
We’ve also set up a PVC challenge in the water table, both at home and at school. Each and every time, the kids take things in a new direction.
Do you have any engineering activities for kids to try? If so, I’d love for you to leave them in the comments below. My son will thank you! 😉 Which of the above activities would interest your children the most?
More Engineering Activities for Kids
Here are a few more engineering ideas we’ve tested out over the years. The kids have had a blast with them, so I had to share them with you!
Challenge the kids to a winter animal STEM activity. You don’t need many materials to get started, and the kids really get into designing and building dens for polar bears, etc.
Set up a Christmas engineering activity around the holidays. The beauty of this one is that you can easily make tweaks for multiple holidays and seasons.
If your kids love all things building bricks, choose one of these Lego engineering challenges to try. Or, if you’re like us, choose many of the activities!
Check out some of these castle activities, many of which center on engineering and creating.
World Structures STEM Challenges for Your Building Center
Take a peek at the most up-to-date version of the structure book. Perfect addition to your stash of engineering activities for kids!
32 full pages of structures from around the world.
There are a variety of countries represented, from Australia to China to Canada to Peru. I love that there are different types of structures and engineering methods.
10 full pages of castles from around the world.
This addition is perfect to use during a fairy tale theme, or with kids who are enamored with all things castles.
A flip-book version of the 42 world structures.
These are smaller versions of the structures (four to a page, instead of full-size like those mentioned above). The flip-book version is perfect for classrooms that don’t have room for the larger structure book.
Or add them to your math or fine motor center instead so the kids can build the structures with LEGO bricks or math manipulatives.
4 different building plan options.
Get the little engineers planning out what they will build with these planning sheets. Maybe they’ll use the planning pages to determine how to make a structure from the world structure book. Or maybe they’ll be inspired to create their own building masterpiece.
6 different recording pages to document what the kids have made.
These recording pages can be used in a few different ways. Kids can draw picture of what they’ve made to take home and show their parents. They can be used to keep a class record of what structures have been made throughout the year (with kid-drawn pictures or real photographs). You could even make a class book about all of the engineering projects your students have put together!
6 cover choices to add to a class-made structure book.
These cover pages are perfect for putting together a class book about what’s been made in the building center. You can combine the covers with the recording pages – laminate everything and then bind it together into a book. Or you can add everything to a three-ring binder and put the cover on the front of the binder.
Materials for Your Engineering Projects
Of course you’re going to need some supplies for all of these fun engineering activities for kids! I highly recommend starting with what you already have. Then decide on with projects you want to try and make a list of new items to pick up. Here are some suggestions (I may get commissions for purchases made through links in this post):
Get Your Free Printable Here
Grab a free six-page version of the world structure book by clicking on the button below. You’ll also get to join Fun-A-Day’s free email community when you download the freebie.
The free version gives you a sample of what to expect in the full 70+ pages World Structures printable. There are four full-page structures included, along with a one-page castle add-on (to make a small flip-book of four castles), and one of the building planning sheets for the kids.
This free printable is available to members of Fun-A-Day’s free email community. If you’re a member, fill out the form below and the download links will be sent to your inbox. If you’re not a member, you can join us by entering your information in the form. Then you’ll receive the world structures preview as a welcome gift!
If it’s easier, you can also access the form in a new tab.
Mary Catherine says
We’re a big fan of PVC pipe building, too. And YES you really need to try out a catapult soon!
So many awesome ideas! Thanks for covering our activities for the next few weeks! PVC pipe is one of our absolute favorite materials to play with. Thanks for including our snack pulleys, too!
Mary Catherine says
We adore using PVC pipes to make structures, too. And I am in love with that pulley of yours!