PlanToys has created a unique and space themed puzzle with their Stacking Rocket. In order to get the rocket ready for liftoff, children must build up the rocket using the large and colorful outer pieces as well as the small uncolored inner pieces—which are deisgned as different geometric shapes. Only with the inner and outer pieces properly arranged will the rocket be stable enough to place the astronaut and nose cone on for space travel. The puzzle is composed of 9 pieces total, and the toy is a certified sustainable wooden toy, using organic color and non-formaldehyde glue.
- With blocks in 5 different standard shapes—oval, circle, triangle, square and flower—children can use this toy to learn basic geometry and early shape identification.
- Color identification can be incorporated into playtime with the orange, yellow, green, blue and purple pieces in addition to the naked wooden ones.
- Children are engaging their brains in problem solving as they find the matching slots for the shapes and the correct order to stack the pieces of the rocket ship.
- As children build up and take apart the rocket ship, there are opportunities for them to develop pattern recognition and memory and recall as they assemble the ship time and time again.
- For those not ready to stack yet, place all of the colored outer pieces in a line, and have the child try and find the inner pieces for a simple game that promotes shape identification.
- Let the rocket inspire children. Take time to go to the library or watch videos while you research the solar system and space travel for an afternoon of intergalactic exploration and discovery.
- Work together to make an illustrated step by step instruction guide to let kids explore the sequential thought process that is necessary for building the rocket.
- Write the name of the shape onto the uncolored shape pieces so children can learn word identification for the different shapes.
- The precise movements and coordination of stacking is incorporated into play with the Stacking Rocket as children assemble the pieces of the rocket without knocking it over.
- With the large circular outer pieces and the small geometric inner pieces of the Stacking Rocket, children can exercise a variety of hand and finger grasp skills as they pick up the differently sized and shaped pieces.
- The bright colors of the toy’s pieces lets children develop eye-hand coordination as they reach and grab for the different parts of the rocket.
- Use the colored pieces as stamps to press into materials like playdoh and wet sand to make different shapes in the pliable materials.
- Pretend the rocket ship had to crash land, sending the pieces of the ship all around the playroom or house. Go on a scavenger hunt to find all of the pieces to fix the ship for takeoff.
- For a greater challenge, put a time constraint on assembling and disassembling the rocket.
- With no explicit rules of how to play and interact with Stacking Rocket, the open ended play of the product promotes creativity as children interact with the toy.
- The whimsical rocket can encourage imaginative play as children create storylines and play scenarios.
- The complexity of this puzzle enables it to be enjoyed cooperatively with others helping or independently as a child attempt to solve it on his/her own.
- Have children dictate what pieces to put where, while someone else is doing the assembling just like mission control. This allows children to work on communication and social skills such as expressive language.
- Start with the standard rocket and see how many different rocket ships and creations can you make with these stackable blocks.