Parents' Choice Foundation: Reviewing Children's Media Since 1978

Trucky 3

Trucky 3

Spring 2012 Games
Ages: 3 & Up
Manufacturer: Smart Toys and Games
Price: $24.99

I didn't even finish taking the trucks out of the package before my son grabbed one and immediately started playing with it. These pieces have a lovely, solid feel to them, with wheels that move easily, pieces that feel good in small hands, and beautiful, transparent truck beds just waiting to be filled with the color tangram pieces. Similar to traditional tangram puzzles, these trucks offer different shaped beds to be filled with a number of different configurations of tangram-like cargo. A small, easy to read guide offers different challenges-from an easy challenge with one truck and two pieces to a more challenging one involving several pieces and multiple trucks-and my 4-year-old needed no instructions to understand how to approach the puzzle solving. Certainly, younger players will just enjoy loading up the trucks and playing with them, but even a three-year-old can begin problem solving. When Grandpa came over to play, he immediately started playing with the trucks and moving through the puzzles. Even he was challenged by the harder ones, and he was amazed at my son's skill in solving the easier puzzles. It was fun watching them play together. The bright colors in this set are immediately engaging. I store them in a clear, plastic shoebox, and they regularly catch my son's eye as he has selected them from the shelf repeatedly to play with them, load up the trucks (after all, few things are more fun to him that putting something in something else), and even initiating puzzle solving on his own.

Barbara Chamberlin   ©2012 Parents' Choice
Barbara Chamberlin researches and develops educational software and media at New Mexico State University's Learning Games Lab. She and her husband have two boys.

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