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My father-in-law gave my kids a set of Lincoln Logs this summer. I was thrilled for my kids to receive this great gift because Lincoln Logs are an awesome STEAM toy. They teach children about shapes, building, design, construction…the list goes on and on.
The logs have square notches to allow them to interlock securely in right angles to build square and rectangular building structures. The logs come in varying sizes, allowing you to create doors and windows by using the smaller blocks and leaving blank spaces where a window or door would go. Lincoln Logs also come with logs that are flat on one side to use for roofs, and triangular shaped pieces to make a pitched roof shape.
Our Lincoln Log set comes with an instruction booklet to teach you how to build a few structures, but my kids prefer to use their imaginations to build cabins, tree houses, animal barns, zoos, and more! (I’ve linked to our same set on on Amazon throughout this post)
My five year old son is great at building independently with the Lincoln Logs. He has built cabins and houses for his animals, and is always building something creative and new. Ever since we received the Lincoln Logs, they have become one of his go-to favorite toys to play with in our game room.
My almost three year old daughter also loves the Lincoln Logs. She plays with them as often as my son, sometimes trying to build independently, and if she becomes stuck or frustrated while building, she asks for my help.
My daughter also occasionally uses the logs as drumsticks. She bangs them together, on the floor, or sometimes on other people (this can be painful and is not recommended!). For this reason, I agree with the manufacturer’s recommendation that this toy is for kids age 3+.
Did you know that Lincoln Logs were invented in 1916 by John Lloyd Wright, the son of famous architect Frank Lloyd Wright? He was inspired by his father’s foundation design of the Imperial Hotel in Japan. Frank Lloyd Wright used interlocking log beams to help stabilize the foundation of the hotel and prevent collapse in earthquakes.
About 6 months ago, I toured the Frank Lloyd Wright home and studio in Chicago with my sister and (soon to be) brother-in-law, which was fascinating! Learning that Lincoln Logs were designed by his son and inspired by his design makes the toy even more interesting to me.
Frank Lloyd Wright’s architecture designs were simply awe inspiring, I love how he was inspired by nature and worked natural elements and nature into many of his designs.
Chicago is known for its spectacular architecture, especially the sky scrapers, yet Frank Lloyd Wright’s modest at first-glance home, stood out to me because of the natural elements he worked into the design.
One of my favorite Ted Talks is by Debbie Sterling, creator of Goldie Blox, and someone who I deeply admire. She is a Stanford educated engineer and was a pioneer in creating STEM toys for girls. In her Ted Talk she discusses how toys like Lincoln Logs help children develop spacial skills that will later benefit them as engineers when they are using 3D drawing tools such as CAD.
Debbie also mentions that toys like Lincoln Logs and Legos have been historically targeted to boys. I see that trend beginning to change because now half the Lego aisle at Target are sets targeted to girls. I still think getting our daughters to want the Legos over dolls takes more purposeful direction from the parents.
I always include my daughter when we play with STEAM toys and makes sure neither of my kids think any of them are “just for boys” or “just for girls.” They both can have fun with building Lincoln Log houses and benefit from developing those crucial spacial skills.
Did you play with Lincoln Logs as a kid? Is this a toy you already have at home or are interested in purchasing for your kids? If you’d like to order a set of Lincoln Logs for your kids, here is the link to the set we have. 🙂