Construction set

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Lego bricks are a prominent example of a construction set
Interlocking Disks enable the construction of high-symmetry models such as that of C
1970s No. 2 Meccano set
Jeujura wooden construction set (Swiss chalet)
Fischertechnik computing with a C64 interface

A construction set is a set of standardized pieces that allow for the construction of a variety of different models. The pieces avoid the lead-time of manufacturing custom pieces, and of requiring special training or design time to construct complex systems. This makes them suitable for temporary structures, or for use as children's toys. One very popular brand is Lego.


Construction sets can be categorized according to their connection method and geometry:

Psychological benefits[edit]

Construction toy play is beneficial for building social skills and building trust in others because it acts as a collaborative task where individuals have to cooperate to finish the task – building an object out of Lego, for example. The effect was found in high school students.[2]

For children specifically, children who complete models using toy building blocks have much better spatial ability than children who do not complete such models. Spatial ability also predicts completion of models.[3]

Construction toy play is also beneficial for autistic children when both individual and group play with building blocks is incorporated. Autistic children who played with building blocks were motivated to initiate social contact with children their age, able to maintain and endure contact with those children, and were also able to surpass the barriers of being withdrawn and highly-structured.[4]

Influence on architecture[edit]

Renowned architect Frank Lloyd Wright credited his childhood building blocks designed by Friedrich Fröbel as a major influence, and his son John Lloyd Wright invented the widely-known Lincoln Logs building set.[5] In addition to teaching architectural concepts such as modularity and load-bearing construction,[6] many architects credit construction set play as influencing their later design.[5]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ Kondinski, A.; Moons, J.; Zhang,Y.; Bussé, J.; De Borggraeve, W.; Nies, E.; Parac-Vogt, T.N. (2019). "Modeling of Nanomolecular and Reticular Architectures with 6-fold Grooved, Programmable Interlocking Disks". Journal of Chemical Education. 97: 289–294. doi:10.1021/acs.jchemed.9b00739. S2CID 208759028.
  2. ^ Kato, D.; Hattori, K.; Iwai, S.; Morita, M. (2012). "Effects of collaborative expression using LEGO® blocks, on social skills and trust". Social Behavior and Personality. 40 (7): 1195–1200. doi:10.2224/sbp.2012.40.7.1195.
  3. ^ Brosnan, M. J. (1998). "Spatial ability in children's play with Lego blocks". Perceptual and Motor Skills. 87 (1): 19–28. doi:10.2466/pms.1998.87.1.19. PMID 9760621. S2CID 22808504.
  4. ^ LeGoff, D. B. (2004). "Use of LEGO© as a Therapeutic Medium for Improving Social Competence". Journal of Autism and Developmental Disorders. 34 (5): 557–571. doi:10.1007/s10803-004-2550-0. PMID 15628609. S2CID 9889621.
  5. ^ a b Heathcote, Edwin (9 August 2013). "Toytown and the city". Financial Times. The Financial Times Limited. Archived from the original on 15 August 2013. Retrieved 17 December 2013.
  6. ^ Stewart, Matt (12 June 2013). "Modern toys curb creativity – academics". Fairfax New Zealand Limited. Archived from the original on 19 December 2013. Retrieved 17 December 2013.

Further reading[edit]