The 2023 Little Gift Guide for Aspiring Architects, Engineers & Designers

Nov 17, 2023


by Stephanie Flury

The 2023 Little Gift Guide for Aspiring Architects, Engineers & Designers

At Little, we’re passionate about fostering the dreams and talents of budding architects, engineers, and designers from an early age. Our annual holiday gift guide features a collection of STEAM gifts thoughtfully curated for curious and ambitious young minds.

Whether the little ones on your list are builders, artists, or engineers-in-training, we’ve rounded up 25 of the top toys and books that promise to spark inspiration and captivate their imaginations this holiday season. Let the joy of discovery unfold!

For Young Readers

How Was That Built? The Stories Behind Awesome Structures by Roma Agrawal

From skyscrapers that reach astonishing heights to bridges that span deep and wide rivers, the world is filled with awe-inspiring structures. But how do they work? Written by award-winning structural engineer Roma Agrawal, How Was That Built? provides unique and illuminating perspectives of the world’s most incredible constructions.

Maybe I’ll Be an Architect by Tenille Bettenhausen

Maybe I’ll Be an Architect is a story about the wonderful world of work and the possibility of becoming whatever you want to be—maybe even an architect. The picture book encourages young readers to use their imagination while inspiring them to explore STEM-related careers.

Penny, the Engineering Tail of the Fourth Little Pig by Kimberly Derting

Penny isn’t just the fourth little pig—she’s an engineer. So, when big bad Wolfgang destroys her brothers’ homes, Penny comes to the rescue! Penny, the Engineering Tail of the Fourth Little Pig is a smart story full of humor, puns, girl power, and grit.

The Highlights Book of Things to Do: Discover, Explore, Create, and Do Great Things

This highly visual, hands-on activity book will banish boredom, foster imagination, and unlock new interests. From outdoor projects like starting a bucket garden to science activities like building a water microscope, The Highlights Book of Things to Do is filled with over 500 screen-free ideas for kids ages 7 and up.

If Buildings Could Talk by Nikki Clinton

We would be remiss to not include our beloved children’s book devoted to the wonderful buildings around us. Written and illustrated by designers at Little, If Buildings Could Talk is an award-winning book that invites young readers to imagine the conversations they might have with architecture in their lives. All proceeds from book sales go directly to local architecture and design mentoring programs aimed at fostering diversity in the AEC industry.

For Young Builders

Big City Builders

From popular puzzle creator Ravensburger, Big City Builders is a preschool puzzle and construction game that helps toddlers build fine motor skills while practicing color matching, direction following, turn-taking, and decision-making. Ages 3+

MAGNA-TILES Downhill Duo

MAGNA-TILES Downhill Duo 40-Piece set is the first fully magnetic racing adventure designed for little hands and big imaginations. The set inspires creativity, builds motor skills, and supports STEAM learning. Ages 3+

Blocks & Blueprints Learning Center

Little architects can’t wait to grab their blueprints and get building! Packed with 50 smooth wooden blocks, this learning center challenges children to re-create 20 different designs using blueprints to help guide their building. Ages 3-8

Build-It-Yourself Woodworking Kit

Imagine it…then build it! Kids create project after project using smooth pine pieces in a wide variety of shapes.  The kit comes complete with a guide that has instructions for multiple projects, plus a lightweight hammer, nails, glue, and a handy storage box. Ages 4-11

KEVA Structures

This 600-piece plank set (complete with bonus planks and storage bin) is a builder’s dream. Simply stack the precision-cut, solid pine KEVA planks to create buildings, monuments and geometric forms. It’s the ideal activity to help kids gain an understanding of balance and proportion, as well as an interest in architecture, building and design. Ages 5+

For Young Engineers

Code & Go Robot Mouse Activity Set

Build a maze and then use the coding cards to create a step-by-step path for the Programmable Robot Mouse. Program the sequence of steps, and then watch the mouse race to find the cheese! It’s the perfect introduction to coding concepts with endless maze path possibilities. Ages 4+

Make that Most Magnificent Thing Game

Based on the best-selling book by Ashley Spires, this game uses objects to create imaginary contraptions. Flip the timer and everyone races to grab what they need to build a device that matches the prompt magnificently. Then, everyone gets to explain why their invention is the most magnificent. Ages 7+

Snap Circuits My Home

Design and build a custom house and then electrify it with real 3D circuits. With 34 exciting STEM projects that are based on electric circuits found in most homes, kids will learn how power gets to a home, how power travels inside walls, what happens when you turn on a light, what happens when the power goes out, what are fuses, circuits breakers, and more! Ages 8+

Structural Engineering: Bridges & Skyscrapers

With this kit of modular building pieces, kids can learn the basics of structural engineering by conducting a series of 20 model-building experiments. Each model demonstrates a basic principle of mechanical physics or structural engineering in a hands-on way. Ages 8-14+

National Geographic Magnetic Marble Run

The National Geographic 150-piece Magnetic Marble Run STEM building set brings a new level of excitement to building a marble maze! With its innovative spiral lift and magnetic connectors, kids can build, create, and explore engineering and physics on any magnetic surface. Ages 10+

For Young Artists

ColorMe Pajamas by Caden Lane

Caden Lane’s colorable bamboo pjs are sure to become a bedtime favorite. As soft as they are creative, kiddos will love customizing this two-piece set. From Barnyard Bash to Mermaid Magic, there are multiple designs to choose from—but, for us, it’s the Construction Zone pattern that takes the cake. Ages 18 months+

IlluStory: Create Your Own Book

lluStory allows children to write, illustrate and publish their very own hardcover book! The “Just Imagine” guidebook takes kids through the process of writing and illustrating their story. Once completed and mailed using the pre-paid envelope, the child receives a 7″ x 9″ hardcover book. Ages 4+

The Pottery Kit by Sculpd

In this comprehensive pottery kit, kids will find everything they need to create all sorts of adventurous clay creations. They’ll get to know the pottery lingo, tools and techniques used to create anything they can imagine out of clay. Ages 4-9

Doll House DIY Color Craft Kit

With this kit, little ones can play house—and designer and architect, too! This kit contains a two-story house with more than 225 pieces of furniture and accessories to be colored and assembled for hours of creative fun! Ages 6+

National Geographic Kids Paper Making Kit

With this hands-on kit, kids can experience the excitement of making and decorating their own craft paper, as well as the artistic techniques of color mixing, painting, and more. Kids can give their paper creations as gifts or save them for other fun craft activities! Ages 10+

For Digital Designers

Osmo Preschool Starter Kit

This kit features Osmo’s bestselling Little Genius Starter Kit and nine early learning games, including Monster where kiddos can bring their drawings to life and Costume Party where they can experiment with clothes and colors to design party outfits. Ages 3-5

Fujifilm Instax Mini 12 Instant Print Camera

The Instax Mini 12 instant camera is full of joy, creativity and color. Available in purple or blue, the camera features easy-to-use controls and modules, perfect for budding photographers. The newly released holiday bundle is a great value and includes film, a photo holder magnet, album, and idea book. Ages 5+

Doodler 3D Pen Set

The 3Doodler Start+ Essentials pen set combines art and design with technology in a fun and creative way. Easy-to-use and designed with no external hot parts, the pen is safe for young artists who will be amazed as they bring their ideas to life in 3D!  Ages 6+

ugee Bluetooth Drawing Tablet

This drawing tablet is designed for beginners to get started with digital drawing, sketching, and photo editing. It comes with transparent tracing paper that can be placed upon the drawing tablet to help little artists with pen control and line practice. With built-in Bluetooth 5.0 connectivity, it is easy to set up and use without hassles. Ages 8+

Zu3D Stop Motion Animation Kit

The Zu3D Animation Kit allows kids to create amazing, animated films with sound effects, music, titles and credits, green screening, and more. Ages 9+

Want even more gift ideas? Check out our 2022 Little Gift Guide for Aspiring Architects, Engineers & Designers.


Stephanie Flury

Stephanie prides herself as a creative strategist, brand storyteller, and data enthusiast. As a digital marketing manager, she spends most of her time cultivating relationships and devising tactics that reach, resonate, and retain Little’s diverse audiences. When not online, she’s traveling, reading, or mothering her human child, two fur kids, and numerous plant babies.

More from this author