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

Remote Control Machines: Animals

Remote Control Machines: Animals

Fall 2015 Toys
Ages: 8 & Up
Manufacturer: Thames & Kosmos
Price: $49.95

The Thames and Kosmos Remote-Control Machines: Animals kit includes approximately 100 pieces and an instruction manual to construct eight animals: crab, orangutan, penguin, rabbit, elephant, scorpion, tyrannosaurus rex, and pterosaur. Each model mimics the actual animal's movement: the crab scuttles sideways across the floor, the orangutan swings hand-over-hand across a string, and the penguin waddles. The manual not only provides detailed, illustrated instructions on how to construct the models, but basic biological information as well. The fully-illustrated, 36-page manual describes the movement of each animal as well as its mechanics and purpose. It also includes biological vocabulary such as biomechanics and biomimetics. And, adding to the already-excellent long-term play and learning values, children can conduct a variety of experiments with their creations; for example, they can determine which type of movement is the fastest, how much weight each creature can pull, and how inclines affect movement.

Although some of our eight year old testers may have been a bit young for all this entails, the kit is an excellent way to teach children about animals and their movement while exercising fine motor skills, hand-eye coordination, following-of-directions, sequencing, patience and persistence.

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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