Constructing Play: Classic and Modern Building Toys


Nov 16, 2017 to Jan 23, 2018
10:00 AM until 06:00 PM

This event occurs weekly, on Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday, Thursday, Friday and Saturday.


By playing with building toys, generations of kids have discovered how the physical world works and learned the skills necessary to design and shape the world around them. This exhibition is an exploration of the development of children's toys over the past 175+ years. Travel back in time to learn how different building toys were invented, designed, and branded to become the toys that still secretly educate kids today.

New this year: Learn how 3D printers are changing the way toys are made today and how they might make toys in your own home soon! Watch a 3D printer in action as it builds construction toys in front of your eyes.

Creation stations:
Visitors young and old can stretch their imaginations and test their building skills at creation stations. Filled with components of popular building toys, they provide the opportunity to create your own castle, city, or contraption. Ideal for both individuals or groups.

Family workshops:
A series of 60-minute Read + Make (ages 5-8) and 90-minute Design + Build (ages 9-12) family workshops are held on select Saturdays during the run of the exhibition. These workshops provide expert introduction to - and hands-on guidance through - the worlds of architecture and design. All children must be accompanied by an adult.

The exhibit is organized into four distinct categories. Each group is arranged chronologically, displaying the evolution of these toys from their origins to the toys children are familiar wit. The collection also includes construction-related toys that were designed in the greater Philadelphia region.




View map Center for Architecture and Design
1218 Arch St
Philadelphia, PA

Additional Information


Center for Architecture and Design


215-569-3186 x107

Contact name

David Bender

Contact email


PA - Philadelphia

Free Event?:

FREE with admission

Approximate Cost Range Per Person:



Registration required,No registration needed


All Ages/Families

We make every effort to ensure the accuracy of this information. However, you should always call ahead to confirm dates, times, location, and other information.

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