The history of wooden mechanical toys goes far back in history. One of the first records of the fascination of the first mechanical toys dates back to ancient times, when Archytas of Taranto created a flying dove 400 years before Christ. The Greeks called these devices automata. Automata were used to explore how the human body worked. Creating human-like machines meant studying the human body, and the machine itself became a proxy for exploring how the body works.
The fascination with how living things work continued in the 16th century, when Leonardo da Vinci created his mechanical lion as a gift for King Louis XII.
Later, French manufacturers used mass-production technology to create music automatons, musical dolls, clockwork singing birds, and tableaux méchaniques (mechanically animated scenes) to meet the growing demand for these new forms of entertainment.
Modern mechanical wooden model kits
What about in today’s world? You may think that model-making is a thing of the past, but the reality is that there are more exciting and diverse kits available than ever before. And with so many entertaining and educational benefits, there’s really no better time to turn off the game console and give it a try.
Nowadays, there are many manufacturers on the market that produce and sell very sophisticated models made from a variety of materials, but many have opted for a more sustainable route and make models out of wood. These are particularly interesting because they do not need glue or batteries to work!
The evolution of mechanical wooden toys parallels mankind’s unbroken and enduring fascination with creating an object that gives the appearance of moving like a human or animal.
In modern times, this has been evidenced with the tradition of mass production of wooden toys that the LEGO Group began in the workshop of Ole Kirk Christiansen, a carpenter from Billund, Denmark, who started making wooden toys in 1932. In 1934, his company was renamed LEGO, and in 1940, it expanded to include the manufacture of plastic toys. This made LEGO a leader in combining the educational part of a mechanical assembly with the entertainment part, where the builder is rewarded with a collectible at the end.
Many followed LEGO’s lead and began producing lifelike mechanisms that embody a love of art and ingenuity. This ensures that their models are an engaging and rewarding experience for all generations.
The advantages of mechanical model kits
According to Professor Emeritus Seymour Papert of the Massachusetts Institute for Technology, “Constructionism means learning by making something. LEGO is an example, writing computer programs is an example, painting is an example. And what you learn in the process of doing that sinks much deeper; its roots go deeper into the subsoil of the mind than anything anybody can tell you.”
Learning by doing is the simple idea that we are able to learn more about something by doing the action.
As with any other hobby, we do it because we enjoy it. But more importantly, what benefit do we get from it? Just as playing chess improves logical thinking and running increases endurance.
Regularly building model kits can improve certain skills that may prove useful in our daily lives.
No.1: It relaxes you and helps you clear your head
Have you ever noticed that when you are building your models, you block out all other thoughts that have nothing to do with the task at hand? In some ways, building model kits is a similar experience to meditating. It helps you clear your thoughts and relieve any stress or anxiety you may be feeling.
No.2: Develops creativity and helps you express yourself
Contrary to popular belief, model kits are not toys. If you look closely, they are a craft or art form that requires skill, experience and creativity to execute properly. You have the choice of following historical accuracy or making your own interpretation when building your model. Either way, your model will reflect your own identity and be unique.
No.3: It helps you develop your fine motor skills
Fine motor skills are about using smaller muscles, such as those in the wrists and fingers, to help with basic actions like writing or picking up objects. Building model kits at a young age is very beneficial for children because it promotes important skills such as maintaining legible handwriting when writing or even tying shoelaces. Adults who have paralyzed body parts due to injury or illness can also benefit from building model kits to exercise and restore muscle memory.
No.4: Improves focus, concentration and patience
Like other activities, building model kits require a lot of concentration to successfully complete the task. Although it is a hobby where you can be creative, you need a high level of concentration and patience to follow the steps to build your kit from start to finish. Repeatedly building model kits trains and improves these core skills, which are essential for other important tasks such as studying for an exam or memorizing a speech.
No.5: Improves your spatial awareness
Building model kits, especially at a young age, develops spatial awareness to a great extent. Spatial awareness means how you perceive the space around you in relation to your position. By building model kits, you develop a better sense of design – an important skill for future engineers and architects.
UGEARS introduces you to the wonderful world of mechanical wooden model kits and 3D puzzles
The laser- cut wooden model kits and 3D puzzles from the Ukrainian company UGEARS are a great choice if you want to enter the beautiful world of mechanics. UGEARS mission is to bring the joy of creating something beautiful together to people of all ages, especially families.
Their models and 3D puzzles are very cleverly designed and made. You can touch every part, every gear cog, and discover firsthand how simple machines work. This brings you the experience and thrill of self-powered mechanical action that does not come from a wall socket or battery.
With UGEARS models and 3D puzzles, you’ll take a journey back to an earlier century, to an age of elegant machines, fine detail and old-world craftsmanship, and rediscover the pleasure of understanding how things work. There are wonderfully complex puzzles for adults, educational toys for teens and older children, and colouring models suitable for even the youngest builders.
The mechanical models and puzzle boxes come in three difficulty levels: EASY, MEDIUM and ADVANCED. This will encourage you to expand your collection as you move on to more challenging models!
UGEARS are a wonderful hobby for builders and a meaningful gift for everyone in your life. With over 90 mechanical models, educational STEM Lab kits, colouring models for kids, U-Fidgets and playground equipment, you are sure to find the perfect gift for yourself or others!
This article was written in cooperation and with the support of the Entrepreneurship and Export Promotion Office of Ukraine – https://imp.export.gov.ua
For business inquiries please contact the author of the article or click HERE!