These Roller Coaster Toys are construction toys that let kids build a real working roller coaster. Just follow the step by step instructions provided and you will have a real working roller coaster. These are a great STEM learning activity that teaches hands-on engineering as well as patience.
Introduction to Roller coasters
Roller coasters are thrill rides that operate like a railroad track. they are the highlights in amusement parks around the world. They are made from steel and comprise a series of hills and drops, sudden turns, track loops, and upside-down elements. The roller coasters are a favorite ride for thrill seekers and are aptly called the ‘Scream Machines’.
How do roller coasters work?
A roller coaster works because of gravity, a force that pulls things down to the ground. Most roller coaster trains are pulled to the top of a hill with a machine (motor). The train then slides down the track, which has a number of hills and drops. As it slides downhill it goes faster, and it slows down when it is climbing. Riders are generally held in place with a bar, a belt, or something secure.
Parts of a Roller Coaster
The Tracks: The Tracks are made of wood or steel. Different types of wheels create friction to help keep the roller coaster ride smooth. Another set of wheels are attached to the hanging train which keeps the coaster on the track even when it is turned upside down.
The Brakes: Different types of brakes called the `fin brakes’ are used to stop the train at the end of a ride. These brakes are “built-in” the track rather than in the train to slow down and stop a roller coaster. Thus, if a ride loses power or experiences a mechanical error, the brakes will close and stop the ride safely.
Safety first: Roller coasters are built with an extreme attention to detail, where every single bolt, screw, and nail is carefully planned. Engineers check for loose bolts, excess rust, leaky oil, and any other hazards every day to make sure that the coasters are running smooth and safe.
The Origins: In the 17th century, the Russians froze water over a 70-foot-tall wooden structure to make an ice slide. Riders would sit on blocks of wood and with a slight push, slide down. However, when people in France decided to copy that, it did not work due to in France’s warmer climate. So they added wheels onto the slides and a track to the ride in 1817, thus creating the modern roller coaster.
Top Roller Coasters Around the World
- Kingda Ka in the US is the tallest roller coaster reaching 45 stories (floors) high at a 90-degree angle.
- Abu Dhabi’s Formula Rossa is the fastest roller coaster reaching the speed of 240 kilometer per hour.
- Steel Dragon 2000 in Japan is the longest roller coaster at 2.5 kilometers.
- Takabisha in Japan is the steepest roller coaster with a maximum falling angle of 121 degrees.
- Leap-The-Dips, in Pennsylvania, US, is the oldest roller coaster in the world. The 117-year-old coaster does not have seat belts, lap bars or headrests and rides at a speed of 16 kilometer per hour.
Recommended Roller Coaster Toys
These roller coaster toy playsets come with everything you need to setup a miniature amusement park with rides. These have motors, require batteries, and also come with cars/trains.
Once its assembled, place the car on the track; the motor and chain mechanism will take the car up the track and from the top it will come down on its own due to gravity, twisting and turning along the roller coaster track.
LEGO Creator Roller Coaster Building Kit
Build a complete functional Roller Coaster using this 4124 Pieces set. It comes with 2 trains that you can send up and down the roller-coaster. This roller coaster playset comes with 11 mini-figures that includes riders, attendants, and spectators. This is designed for the bigger kids – boys and girls aged 16+.
K’NEX Roller Coaster Toy Sets
K’Nex is one of the leading toy companies in the world and is known for its building and construction toys. Their toy sets tend to be more elaborate and require more patience. The good thing about that is that it can keep the kids busy for a long time.
These toys also look cool when completed. There are many kids (especially older kids) who prefer K’Nex building toys over Lego for these reasons.
The pieces of Knex construction toys usually tend to be smaller in size but the end products turn out to be really wonderful.
- K’NEX Education ‒ STEM Explorations: Roller Coaster Building Set: 546 Pieces, Ages 8+
- K’NEX Thrill Rides – 3-in-1 Classic Amusement Park Building Set: 744 Pieces, Ages 9 – 15 years
- K’NEX Amusement Park in-A-Box: 378 Pieces, Ages 7+
The K’NEX Amusement Park in-A-Box is a motorized STEM building set that lets you build a mini amusement park The parts include rods and connectors that snap with a “click”. The set also includes coaster car, ferris wheel seats, and more. Once set up, you can use the coaster car on the track to test your creation. For ages 7+. 378 Parts.
FAO Schwarz Roller Coaster Build Set
This FAO Schwarz build-a-coaster set comes with all the parts you need to create a fully functioning 3-foot tall roller coaster. The set comes with cars which you can send down the roller-coaster.
Suggested Age: 8 Years and Up. 753 Pieces. motorized moving chain and track. Read more here.
Funtoyworld is a family-managed website with me (Ben), and my wife doing most of the work. We are proud parents of two wonderful kids and love reviewing toys. We have a firm but friendly “democratic parenting” style and offer several practical suggestions backed by extensive research. Our own experience with raising two children prompted us to share our knowledge. Read more.