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

Hot Wheels Extreme Thrill Coaster

Hot Wheels Extreme Thrill Coaster

Spring 2016 Toys
Ages: 3 & Up
Manufacturer: The Step2 Company
Price: $329.99

Our test drivers couldn't wait to climb the 30" platform, get into the car, and roll down the full 14 feet of track. There are steps built into the non-slip ramp, the platform has walls on three sides to safely support the car as the child climbs in. The grooves on the platform safely hold the back wheels in place until the child is ready to take off. The car has hand grips, foot rests and a high back. To our happy surprises, the children were gladly taking turns and sharing, and pushing the car back up the ramp is great exercise. A wonderful way to release the pent up energy of preschoolers.

From the teachable moment perspective, parents and young children can talk about the parts of a car and speed (both that of the toy car going down the ramp and various speeds of real cars on the street and highway). They can observe actual speed limit signs while walking or riding in mom or dad's car, then make speed limit signs for the play area (hmm - good chance to sharpen those observation & fine motor skills!). Older siblings can join in the fun and enjoy helping the adults assemble the structure (as was the case for us) and a wonderful opportunity for problem solving, following directions, learning about tools, and a lot about mom or dad's patience and determination.

Although it takes about 1 ½ hours to assemble, the instructions are clear and necessary tools are included. And because the Extreme Thrill Coaster isn't easily transportable, our suggestion is to choose a spot, put it together and let it stay there. And always keep a watchful eye on young riders.

Kathy Smith   ©2016 Parents' Choice
Kathy Smith has been leading preschool classes through playful learning for more than 25 years. Her tales of "Who is messier, 'Miss Kathy' or the children?" is a comedy act in the making. Family friendly, of course.

Look for this product at:
The Step2 Company

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