First, I had forgotten how many pieces even a small set contains, and this was the smallest set available. If you invest in one of these for your kids give them a selection of small bowls to contain the metal brackets, screws and nuts. But really, this is the only issue with these toys.
It took some practice for his chubby six year old fingers to master the screwing and tightening of the bolts. He did quickly become bored with building and rebuilding the boat the kit was designed for. It would be awesome if Erector included instructions for multiple constructions in each kit.
No mind though. Within a few hours he was designing his own structures and building them. He's a pretty methodical kid, so he would draw out a blueprint before he set to work. Something tells me there will be more sets on his birthday wishlist next month. I don't mind, though. I prefer to give toys such as this that encourage creativity and hone manual skills.
It's easy to overlook Erector sets and similar old school, non-tech toys. But these are some of the best choices for our children. In fact, I prefer these over the brightly colored plastic building sets that are now the norm in most of our homes.