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

Kids First Automobile Engineer

Kids First Automobile Engineer

Fall 2015 Toys
Ages: 3 - 5 yrs.
Manufacturer: Thames & Kosmos
Price: $44.95

Join the Omega family, mom and dad, siblings, Ty and Karlie, Huxley, the building robot, and Remus, the science bear on a building adventure all around town. In the Automobile Engineer set by Kosmos and Thames, children follow the Omega family in an attractively illustrated story that has assembly instructions built (pun intended) directly into it. As the family travels through town they meet a variety of characters that need assistance; and, they build ten vehicles, each appropriate to the task. Children build a mini-van to travel to the store, a crane to help lift beams at a construction site, a fire engine to save the pet store, and many more.

While enjoying the story and building the various vehicles, young children are introduced to basic physics concepts. For example, they learn that pulleys can be used to lift heavy objects. Additionally, they practice and hone fine motor skills, hand-eye coordination, following-of-directions, patience and persistence. Some constructions may require adult assistance, but even the instructions suggest allowing children to have as much independence as possible.

There are ten vehicle designs and instructions included in the storybook; however, children can use the pieces to build whatever vehicles and structures they desire. This provides excellent long-term play and learning values as well as hours of imaginative and creative play.

The set features colorful, large, and easy-to-handle pieces that even the smallest hands can easily and successfully manipulate. And, all the pieces as well as the story/instruction booklet fit neatly into a sturdy plastic bin for easy storage and/or travel.

Sharon Heuscher   ©2015 Parents' Choice
Sharon holds B.A.s in English Literature and Ancient Studies as well as a B.S. in Psychology. She is currently a masters-level trainee in Clinical Psychology specializing in neurodegenerative diseases. For the past thirteen years, Sharon has focused primarily on raising, educating, and nurturing her five children who range in age from three to thirteen.

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