Learn how to build super cool LEGO gadgets and machines with the bricks you have!

This is a collection of LEGO building ideas for kids who love making creations with moving parts. Some of these projects require gears and Technic elements, but most use fairly common pieces. Also, a common misconception is that Technic elements only come in Technic sets, but that is definitely not the case! Most kids are likely to have an assortment of Technic pieces that have come in all sorts of sets (City, Star Wars, Harry Potter, etc.).

We love inventing all sorts of LEGO projects, but some of our favorites are the ones that DO something. Whether it’s a candy machine or an animated toy, it’s so fun to build things that really work!

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The projects in this post are not sets. These are projects that kids and teens can build with the bricks they already have. Each project featured in this post has a link with it that will take you to the building instructions for that project.

If you’re interested in print instructions, you’ll definitely want to grab our LEGO engineering book – Genius LEGO Inventions with Bricks You Already Have. The projects in the book are NOT the same as the ones in this post, however. The book contains dozens of projects that are not on my website!

Gift Ideas for 10-13 Year Old Boys

LEGO Animated Toys and Animated Scenes

This LEGO Mechanical Turtle is one of my favorites! Turn a knob, and his head comes out of his shell.

Build a LEGO Wood Shop – the saw blade really turns on the table saw!

Working LEGO Windmill – this is so fun to play with and a great project for beginners. You’ll need a couple of gears, but really not many Technic elements.

Construct a LEGO Ferris Wheel. This carnival ride really turns and holds minifigure passengers!

I loooooove these LEGO Galloping Horses! Build a structure that animates regular LEGO horses. Turn the handle, and the horses appear to gallop.

This LEGO Weightlessness Training Machine (think NASA) is so much and has a great story behind it. My oldest son designed this one for our LEGO space book when he was 16!

Musicians will love this next project! Build a Mechanical LEGO Piano Player. His hands really move up and down on the keys.

Build a LEGO Owl that really turns his head around when you turn the knob on his back. Soooo cute. We love owls over here!

LEGO Machines and Gadgets

This LEGO Candy Dispenser has been one of the MOST popular LEGO projects on our website for years! I can almost guarantee that your kids will have the bricks for this.

Build a LEGO Crossbow that shoots really far! Kids will love this.

LEGO Nerf Targets (with moving parts) are a great boredom buster for a rainy day! Our ideas can be a springboard for creating even more types of target.

Here’s a fun way to build a LEGO Spy Safe with a push button opening mechanism.

Then here are two ways to build a LEGO Safe with a Lock and Key. Super fun for keeping treasures safe!

This LEGO Rocket Powered Car is a fun science experiment! Use baking soda and vinegar (inside a water bottle) to power this LEGO car.

Build a LEGO Slingshot Car. This is another cool project that has a science and engineering element to it.

Construct a LEGO Pinball Game that really works! There’s a lot of room for kids to modify this with the bricks they have.

If your kids like games, they’ll also want to check out this LEGO Foosball Game. So fun.

Use your bricks to build a LEGO Air Hockey Table. Okay, it doesn’t blow air, but you can really play the game!

Build a LEGO Ball Contraption. This is a VERY open-ended project that kids can customize! Use our ball contraption as inspiration.

It’s so fun to explore LEGO Tensegrity Structures! These seem to defy gravity. It’s pretty cool!

And of course, we have to build a catapult! Here are building instructions for making a LEGO Catapult.

LEGO Project Books for Kids

Be sure to check out Genius LEGO Inventions and the other titles in our LEGO book series!

You can see all the books here: LEGO Idea Books


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