I can’t even believe I missed these last year when they first came out since I am HUGE fan of the Shake n Go cars. These flyers are so much fun! To make them go, you shake the launcher (that also makes a lot of noise and light up)…and then you press the trigger. These things really do take off. Marked 3-7, but seriously these are really fun to use no matter how old you are. 3 and 4 year olds will need a lot of help getting the plane on the launcher but 5s and up will get it quickly and love it. If you have a 4 year old working on counting, the Shake n Go Cars ($14.99) are the best things going. Kids have to count to ten while they shake the car–and then the car takes off. When we tested them, we had the best time because the kids we tried them with were so excited that they kept skipping numerals. With the flyers, the more you shake the launcher, the further the plane will fly…how cool is that!? They retail for about $14.99.
I’m always on the look out for toys that fly–that don’t hurt. As a professional toy tester, I do feel a responsibility to stick my fingers near the propellers (as I think most 8 year olds would) to see if it hurts. Most really do! For the past few years I’ve been a huge fan of the Kid Galaxy planes–they work, easy to launch and very satisfying. I still like those a lot. This week we received Wow Wee’s new Fly Tech Butterfly ($24.99). While I’m not big on gender specific toys, this pink and purple butterfly really works. Much like the Kid Galaxy launcher, you hold down the button until the wings really start to flutter–aim and there it goes! It’s really easy to use (the age label is 6 & up). The launcher takes 3 AAA batteries.
Interestingly all the boys loved playing with it but said they wouldn’t because it was sooo pink. There is also a yellow and orange butterfly (is that less gender specific or is it the butterfly itself that makes it gender specific?) We didn’t have one the day we tested this product with kids. I wonder if a blue butterfly would have sparked the same reaction from our boy testers. Would girls play with a blue butterfly? This would make an interesting research project.
In either case, the company also makes a mosquito! My suggestion, have a fly off–which flies further.
We’re always on the look out for active games for preschool and early school age kids. It’s not always easy to design games that are right on target for these age groups. If the games are too complicated, you can quickly lose your audience and even at this age if the game seems too babyish – that can also draw a chorus of “We’re too big for this!”
A new company, I Can Do That Games www.icandothatgames.com, seems to completely understand their young audience and has created a wonderful new active game that our testers really enjoyed playing. The Cat In the Hat: I Can Do That! Game ($19.99) is an active game where the Cat in the Hat wants to see what players can do including doing the limbo under the included Trick-a-ma-stick. Game comes with 33 acitivty cards and props right out of the book including a fish, a boat, and a cake.
Parents will love the book connection and kids will enjoy watching their parents joining in the silliness of the game. Ideal for kids 4-8. For other award winning games, visit www.toyportfolio.com.