Lincoln Logs – Over 100 Years of STEAM Toys for Children!
High-quality, sustainable, versatile, and durable.
These are just four of the words that describe Lincoln Logs, one of the oldest STEAM toys still around, and an excellent all-rounder for your child.
Lincoln Logs were first made around 1916, over 100 years ago, by architect and toy inventor John Lloyd Wright, and have been a staple toy of the wood-loving world.
The classic American children’s toy is still made from high-quality, polished maple wood today, but was originally made from redwood.
In the ’70s there was a brief dalliance between the manufacturer and the plastic industry. Fortunately, that was short-lived and the toys returned to their previous wooden standard.
In 1999, Lincoln Logs and John Lloyd Wright made their way into the National Toy Hall of Fame, amongst other classic toys such as LEGO, Etch A Sketch, Tinker Toy, and Marbles.
Benefits for Children
It’s understood that stating the benefits of any STEAM toy (Science, Technology, Engineering, Arts, and Mathematics) is almost unnecessary, but we’re going to do it anyway!
Mainly because we love log cabins, and Lincoln Logs make…well, log cabins.
As is becoming more and more widely known, any toy that involves constructing something from smaller components is great for developing many important areas in young humans.
Just some of the areas that using Lincoln Logs regularly exercises are:
- Fine motor – Arranging small components so they fit well takes some dexterity.
- Cognitive – Planning and visualizing the completed process (even just one or two steps ahead) is a valuable skill that the process of trial and error hones.
- Perseverance – Talking of trial and error, having to face and overcome failure regularly is crucial to developing a healthy mindset. In life, failure is absolutely and 100% guaranteed at some point or another, so learning to handle it well at a young age will benefit any person throughout their life.
- Engineering – How do structures support each other? Why did that section collapse? Was the foundation sturdy enough? Once again, the trial and error of coming up against adversity and overcoming it fuels the physical learning process.
- Appreciation for Natural Materials – Call us biased, but we love wood. It is one of the most versatile materials available and is sustainable to boot, and we can attest that the more you use it, the more you fall in love with it!
- Self-Confidence – Failure was mentioned earlier. The biggest benefit of failure is its counterpart: success! There is nothing to boost self-esteem like seeing the finished product of time and effort.
- Creative Exploration – After getting to grips with the basics and making the suggested projects, children get to develop their own engineering-based creativity. There have been some incredible structures made using these “children’s” toys.
- Collaboration – Ever had to build something with someone else? It can be frustrating at first as you work out the niggles between you, but learning to work with others is a skill that will pay dividends in the future. After all, we live in a world surrounded by people!
And these are only some of the benefits!
Lincoln Logs Design
To look at, the logs are very simple, but the interlocking system is genius in its simplicity.
The logs are 3/4″ (approx. 2cm) in diameter, with 3/4″ square notches every 2 1/4″ along the length.
They come in 4 sizes: 1, 2, 3, and 4-notch, as shown in the image above, which give a surprising level of versatility to the number of designs that can be made, considering they only join at right angles.
Building Achievments Through the Years
This versatile toy has been used for more than just casual play at home.
There have been some seriously committed builders. Check out these world records:
- The tallest log toy structure was built using these structurally sound miniature logs, and was just over 18′ 2″ (5.54m)
- The largest log toy structure ever made used 17,503 pieces. That’s over 53 of the largest 327 piece sets!!
Pretty incredible, really. One day, here at Log Cabin Hub we will definitely build a log cabin using over 18,000 logs. Definitely maybe. Well, maybe… not!
How Much Do The Sets Cost?
You can buy brand new sets that include anywhere from 59 pieces (Approx. $30) all the way up to 327 pieces (Approx. $110).
At first glance, these prices might look big, but considering these toys will last for generations, they’re a great investment.
You can often find a second-hand set for as little as half the price of a brand new one.
Where Did Lincoln Logs’ Inspiration Come From?
The Lincoln Logs inventor was the son of the world-famous architect, Frank Lloyd Wright, whose fame came from over 1,000 architectural contributions designed using what he termed ‘organic architecture’ – harmony between nature and humans.
During his most famous work – the design of the Imperial Hotel in Tokyo – his son, John Lloyd Wright, was working with him.
Apparently, it was from the hotel’s architecture that he drew inspiration for the toy’s design.
If you’re browsing for beneficial, plastic-free, and long-lasing children’s toys, then you can’t go wrong with Lincoln Logs.
We may be biased, but we love them and heartily recommend them to any parent that wants to instill a love for natural materials in any future designer, architect, engineer, designer or building inspector.
We at Log Cabin Hub wish you all the best, and we hope you enjoyed reading this article today. Do you have a story to share about the construction toys you played with, in your childhood? Or maybe how they have shaped your life and dreams? We’d love to hear it in the comments!