There are some people who love machines the way some people love food. They fix things. They build things. They repair things. If you want your children to be this type of person, you may want to check out the wonderful new project that Lucas Ainsworth and Alyssa Hamel have up on Kickstarter.
Kinetic Creatures is a set of three cardboard animals that you assemble yourself. They don't just stand there, though: they walk! You can use human power or a little motor to send them on their way.
They are simple but also complex. They are crafty but also manufactured. They are real, but will only become available if enough people pool their money to bring them into being. These are creatures of our time.