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

RCM Construction Vehicles

RCM Construction Vehicles

Fall 2017 Toys
Ages: 6 & Up
Manufacturer: Thames & Kosmos
Price: $99.95

The RCM Construction Vehicles kit from Thames & Kosmos focuses on the construction and operation of heavy equipment machinery, and the physics of heavy lifting.

The kit provides the building supplies and designs for any one of eight models familiar to any child who has been fascinated by a construction site: a bulldozer, a backhoe, a dump truck, a concrete mixer, a crane, a forklift, a grader, and a skid-steer loader. Each model utilizes all three of the kit's motors, which connect to a battery pack with an infrared receiver. In connecting the motors, kids come to realize the complicated motions required to operate a construction vehicle; the remote control lets them operate the equipment they build and attempt to use them to push, load, and lift.

The manual has much to offer: Before each pair of designs, the authors introduce the type of machines being built, with some explanation of the physics. After each build is an "experiment" to test the abilities and the limits of the design. Although some testers were troubled that children at the lower ages range required adult assistance to understand the manual, follow the diagrams and connect some of the pieces, others did not, commenting that despite a confusing direction or two, the “co-play” made the experience and learning more meaningful. Bottom line? Even the youngest builders will appreciate the payoff: driving and testing the vehicles, and seeing something built by oneself or with a family effort turn into a fully functional piece of equipment is satisfying and exciting.

Parents' Choice   ©2017 Parents' Choice

Look for this product at:
Thames & Kosmos

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