The best model car kits for kids help them to learn about the inner workings of a car while learning other things, like organizational and fine motor skills, in the process. We found the best kits for every age, starting with toddlers all the way up to teens. Many of these kits are perfect for parents and kids to build together, while some are for children to work on alone.
Best Model Car Kits for Kids
Take Apart Racing Car Toys with Drill Tools
While little children cannot enjoy the older, more difficult model car kits, they can practice on the Take Apart Racing Car Toys with Drill Tools until they are old enough for the more sophisticated set. This set comes with everything they need to start understanding the inner workings of a car with tons of learning benefits.
Not only is this a STEM toy but it teaches kids how to take a car apart and more importantly put it back together!
Kids often want to take stuff apart but don’t want to put it back together because it requires more patience and logic. Help your kid work on both of those skills with this set designed for three-year-olds and up. They can also increase their concentration, cognitive ability, memory, and fine motor skills. What children will love is the bright colors, realistic sounds, and the lights!
Lastly, the set comes with over twenty pieces, including car body parts, wheels, an electric drill, and screws.
It’s completely safe for little kids, but if your child has a tendency to put small items in their mouth, then watch them closely. You will need two AA batteries for the electric drill but with the low price that won’t be an issue.
Airfix Quickbuild McLaren P1 Snap Together Model Kit
Children ages five and up will love the Airfix Quickbuild McLaren P1 Snap Together Model Kit because it offers a plastic model kit to learn about cars without all of the difficult glue and parts that are over their head. The bright, lime green car will excite their imagination as they learn about constructing a car.
Not only is the skill level right but so is the price and the option to learn.
If your child likes this set you can get many more in the series so they can continue to learn to build, tear down, and rebuild a vehicle. The benefits are impressive since kits like these help to build love and respect for one of the most well-used items in the world. Also, this set uses Lego-like pieces for parts of the car making it expandable and great for imaginative play.
Inside the box, you will find stickers, push-fit construction pieces, and of course the body of a McLaren P1 which was a limited production plug-in hybrid sports car. The quick build car will ignite children’s minds and help them to grow up with a love and appreciation for cars and the work that goes into creating vehicles.
Revell SNAPTITE Build + Play 2015 Mustang GT Model Kit
If you love model car kits and want to get your kid interested too, look no further than the Revell SNAPTITE Build + Play 2015 Mustang GT Model Kit. Revell makes kits for all ages and offers the most options for different models and cars to work with but this kit is for little kids ages six and up. The thirteen-piece kit helps to instill a love for wheels and all the work that goes into assembling a vehicle.
With this kit, you get a 2015 Mustang GT in a bright red color ready to draw in eyes. It’s plastic, imported, and scaled at 1:25. Kids will love the robust design ready to race around once finished. Not only can they build the car, but they can also play with their creation after.
Lastly, the benefits are amazing. From imagination, concentration, fine motor skills, and more kids can learn so much from this Snaptite build kit. Don’t worry about safety either as the car is built to last once its built and doesn’t require painting or gluing.
Modarri Deluxe S2 Build Your Car Kit Set
Modarri makes a whole host of buildable cars like the Deluxe S2 Build Your Car Kit Set. Like the last kit, this one was built for children ages six and up. The best part about this brand though is the fact that you can mix and match your build to make a truly custom design.
The award-winning STEM toy encourages imagination along with many other skills as children learn to customize, create, and develop without the need for television or even an iPad. As a matter of fact, you don’t even need batteries is this toy works without any form of power but your children’s hands and creativity.
It also works with their level of skill with a fast assembly including a swivel tipped hex tool.
Next, the set comes with 11 interchangeable pieces per car, real metal frames, heavy-duty plastic, and strong mechanical linkages. This means no loose screws or other small parts for you to step on later.
Kids will also love the two-step automotive paint to add even more customization to their favorite custom car.
LEGO Technic Jeep Wrangler
For the nine-year-old who loves jeeps and high-performance vehicles the Lego Technic Jeep Wrangler will provide both a challenge and great satisfaction.
The kit includes more than 650 pieces, so it is more advanced than some on this list. It has some real-life features like a working winch and a suspension system that responds to obstacles just like a real Wrangler. The doors and hood open, and the steering wheel “works” to turn the front tires.
This model jeep will take some time to put together. The end product is a faithful representation, as far as legos go. The kit is one of the most popular and highly rated on Amazon for good reason. The Jeep Wrangler is iconic, and of course, off-road vehicles don’t need anyone to tell them how cool they are.
As with all the model car kits, stickers are stickers, so you have to handle them delicately on this jeep or risk having them fold, stuck together.
Maisto 2012 Ford Mustang Boss Diecast Model Kit
The Maisto 2012 Ford Mustang Boss Diecast Model Kit is another Mustang, as these are the preferred car for model kits. With this kit, you get a 1:24 scale Ford Mustang Boss 302 in diecast with varying colors. It’s affordable and ready to help your child ages 8 to 15 learn how to assemble a vehicle.
Next, the vehicle comes with a massive amount of detail and everything you need right in the box. It also includes a screwdriver, opening parts, rolling wheels, and over thirty parts. Once finished, the vehicle is completely functional, but it is not ready to drive away with a real motor!
Assembly couldn’t be easier and it’s already painted, meaning your kids aren’t going to smear paint all over your dining room table. Remember, this is made for shorter attention spans and kids with ability in this area may have the kit assembled in as little as a half-hour.
Thankfully, it’s not only affordable but works as a toy or decoration after assembly making it a great value.
Revell Indy Race Joey Saldana Sprint Cup
As stated above, Revell makes tons of model cars, and one of their options is the Revell Indy Race Joey Saldana Sprint Cup. With this kit, you get multiple pieces to assemble the 1:24 scale model. To complete the race car look, the set has massive wings ready to add to the rugged exterior.
The difference between this kit and the Revell kit above, besides the different car, is this one was designed for older kids with a little more skill and concentration. Kids ages twelve and above will love the race car that represents their favorite racer Joey Saldana Sprint Cup car.
Assembly takes several hours and helps children to learn tons of skills and appreciation for vehicles.
LEGO Technic Chevrolet Corvette ZR1 Building Kit
If your child loves both Legos and cars, then you need to get them the LEGO Technic Chevrolet Corvette ZR1 Building Kit. Not only does this kit combine two of their passions but with a fun learning process perfect for children ages nine and above.
The price is a little steep but, once your child is done with the car, they can either rebuild or use the pieces with other Lego sets and make a whole new creation.
What’s so wonderful about this kit is the unlimited options for the imagination and the sheer amount of pieces to better represent the amount of work and parts inside of a car. The collectible car model kit even offers special feature parts such as a large rear wing, tailpipes, black spoked rim, working steering, and moving V8 pistons. Everything kids need to build a Chevrolet Corvette ZR1 is included and it measures 3 x 11 x 4 when finished.
Finally, the lifelike model requires a ton of attention and patience to follow the instructions and get everything just right. Precision is a skill that requires a ton of practice, and if you get more kits they can practice even more.
After building the Corvette, kids can turn the car into a Hot Rod for a more powerful ride they can actually use as a toy, too!
Tamiya Nissan Skyline GT-R R34 Model Kit
Skylines are a very popular Japanese car that is hard to get over here in America, but you can get your child the Tamiya Nissan Skyline GT-R R34 Model Kit so they can build their own! The plastic model kit allows kids to explore the inner workings of an imported car.
Unfortunately, the glue and the paint are sold separately and this kit costs more than most of the others, but still fits nicely into most budgets.
If you don’t want to paint, you can enjoy the prime white color of the body. It was designed for children ages ten and up to enjoy assembling a car as a hobby project. With 150 pieces, this is not meant for younger children or those who lack patience and concentration unless that’s what you are hoping to encourage them to learn!
Lastly, this a curbside kit without an engine, and the hood does not come off either. Once finished, the car measures 7 x 4 inches and the wheels work so kids can enjoy the car for play. Bring a little piece of Japan home to your kids without the plane ticket!
AMT 1 25 1970 Chevy Chevelle SS Model Car
Another kit for children ages ten and up is the AMT 1 25 1970 Chevy Chevelle SS Model Car. The street racer-styled vehicle comes with a ton of attention to detail and everything included in the box for a reasonable price.
It’s manufactured by ATM and it’s most definitely American and a classic car at that! This gorgeous car is many men’s “unicorn” and young boys or girls will enjoy the car too for a grand design and tons of style.
The kit uses plastic parts to build one model. Use the instructions to assemble piece by pice. You don’t need batteries or anything else as everything you need is in the box except for glue and paint which gives you options to get your favorites. It comes with gray paint but you will probably want a better color.
Hobby lovers will love working this kit with other model lovers to show off something they love in their room. It’s great for both advanced or beginner-level designers. Also, it’s a 1/25 scale making it a good size for decoration.
An old-school model like this will help kids to learn to follow instructions. It’s a lot of fun and includes a plate for the car to sit on.
For fans of the car, this is a 454, not a 396 Chevelle SS. Keep in mind that the kit is plastic and may not stand up to a lot of abuse.
Meccano Erector Ferrari FXX-K Model Building Kit
If you want to mix up what your child already has, try the Ferrari FXX-K Model Building Kit. While this isn’t a typical model car, it comes with new excitement for a different style can and possibly new skill. Also, it’s a Ferrari, and you can’t go wrong with one of the best race cars in the world.
Everything that is needed comes in the box to help children ages ten and up to build an authentic Ferrari model car. It also includes not just the pieces needed for assembly but also decals to serve as the perfect finishing touch. Even better, the set includes real tools to piece together the nuts, bolts, and wheels just like the best STEAM kits and toys.
Finally, the kit comes with over 280 pieces including tools, decals, and instructions. The car is also in a gorgeous tomato red to make it a perfect decoration or toy after assembly. It’s a perfect challenge to keep your kid away from electronics and help them get a set of wheels before they turn sixteen!
Comparing the Best Model Car Kits for Kids
The table below compares only the recommended products on this page. A low or high Price means it is low or high compared to the other products listed. The Popularity Score reflects how often readers click on and buy the product. The Quality Score is our assessment of the overall performance and satisfaction with the product compared to others in the table.
Model car kits are smaller versions of cars that require assembly and serve as a valuable hobby and learning experience. Some people keep this hobby for years and learn unparalleled information about cars by assembling their own for a unique experience. Find out the best criteria for purchasing a model car right here.
The Car Make and Model
The most important aspect of the car kit is it needs to be the right car.
Some kids want older muscle cars while others want new cars with an edge. Before purchasing anything, try to find out what cars trip your kid’s trigger. Children are more likely to participate in a new hobby if they have a vested interest in the model.
You can find older cars easier than newer cars in more traditional kits. Many of the kits nowadays are made with kids in mind, so they come in new cars to entice kids with speed and modern beauty.
Maybe try one of each to help children get a feel for what they like and also to compare and contrast the newer and older styles.
Amount of Pieces
Models are made for each skill level and each level has a different set of pieces.
- Skill Level 1 – less than 50 pieces. No glue or paint.
- Skill Level 2 – Easier kits with less than 100 pieces. Usually require both glue and paint.
- Skill Level 3 – Smaller parts and over 100 pieces. Require glue and paint.
- Skill Level 4 – Advanced kits with extra attention to fine detail with more than 100 parts. Require glue and paint.
- Skill Level 5 – Expert level with massive amounts of detail and hundreds of parts including moving pieces.
Most kits that do not come with a skill level indicated are a level 4 and require a little more work and attention to detail than most kids are ready for. Most of the kits on our list are level 3 and above, keeping children’s difficulty levels in mind.
Kids with more experience may want more challenging kits. When possible, start with a lower level kit and see how much dedication your has before investing in a larger kit.
Most kits are made for children over the ages of eight years old with the vast majority requiring the precision of an older teenager or an adult. Simpler kids have come onto the market though, to help younger children find an interest in the hobby and learn in the process. You know your kid best and what they can handle, although you can always work with your child on a more advanced kit to help them learn by instruction.
Children can learn several skills from model cars.
As model kits are considered STEM and STEAM learning, you are guaranteed they will provide technical skills. If your child has an affinity for these style kits you may even have a plethora of career directions for them to look into for the future.
Overall kids can learn fine motor skills, patience, concentration, precision, and following instructions from a model kit.
More importantly, working on model cars gives kids an understanding of what makes technology tick. It can help to improve their logic as they understand how each piece connects to the others and why. Basically, a model car kit can help their brains to grow by providing tangible learning with visible results.
FAQs – Model Car Kits for Kids
What other supplies will I need that are not included with kits?
Any kit you buy will tell you on the box what other pieces you should need if any.
At most, you may need to purchase glue, paint, or a tool kit for more options. However, do not buy these unless your child shows a massive interest in the hobby and wants to go in as deep as possible into this specialty.
Can you explain what scale is in reference to model car kits?
Scale simply refers to the size of the model in comparison with a real car. For example, if a car is 1:18 scale, then the real car the model is based on is 18 times bigger. The smaller the scale, the smaller the model. You might be able to store as many 1:4 scales models in your home, but would have no problem storing 1:43 models on a shelf in a bedroom!
What other toys will my car-loving child enjoy?
Your child may also enjoy police car toys, truck toys, racetracks, and race cars, wooden cars, along with pretty much any toys with wheels. Also, look into other model kits as well. If your child enjoys kits you can even try model airplanes, space ships, rockets, and the list goes on and on. You should have no issues finding a model for just about anything your child has an interest in nowadays.
If you still cannot decide what model car kit to get for your child, try the Revell SNAPTITE Build + Play 2015 Mustang GT Model Kit. Not only is this one of the top brands for model car kits, but it’s a brand you can trust from countless good reviews. The 1:24 scale keeps children in mind and comes with everything they need to customize their own race car while also learning about assembling a car too. It’s the perfect option to find out if your kids are interested or to help them learn important skills like concentration and attention to detail.