Disclosure: I was provided with a Worx Toys space shuttle for the purpose of this review, any opinions are my own.
When I first brought the Worx Toys rocket ship into school, just seeing it on the table, I heard a lot of amazed responses from students that included, “Wow!” “THAT is so cool!” At home, my son’s response was exactly the same. He couldn’t wait to open the cargo doors and fly it around the living room, before he had any idea that it could light up or drive across the room.
It’s amazing to me how much information children can devour. I look at a rocket ship and think, “that’s how people get to space.” Gavin isn’t any different than most children, checking out how it operates and then follows an onslaught of rapid-fire questions. “How do you get to the moon? What’s Earth? Where do we live? Is it near the sun? Why do those men wear special suits? How come the moon goes down and the sun comes up?”
Children are naturally curious and most experiences, whether simple or complex, can lead to some fabulous, unexpected learning opportunities. Such as been the case with this rocket ship. One question has led to another and our morning car rides to school lately have been spent talking about how you take an airplane to get to DisneyWorld, but a space ship will take you to the moon. This toy rocket ship made me realize just how much we take for granted. I don’t think I’m different than most parents when I give Gavin toys, often hoping that it will entertain him so I can in turn get something mundane accomplished. From what I’ve observed, aside from hours of playtime, we have both gained some educational appreciation from this toy. Instead of mentally ticking off items from my daily to-do list, because of Gavin’s questions, I myself took a few minutes to appreciate the awesomeness that is our existence as human beings.
Worx Toys is an educational technology toy company who is dedicated to teaching children how things work using fun toys coupled with educational experiences. They have designed a whole line of vehicles that include a racecar, motorcycle, fire truck, rocket ship, and helicopter. Each toy in the EduTech line has an accompanying story book. Children can read through the book with their parents to learn about the workings of their vehicle, while uncovering various shape codes. When the shape code is inputted into the toy in the proper order, children can “unlock” and experience different features. For example, some of the features of the rocket ship allow it to light-up, drive across the floor, and count-down for blast off.
Every child that has seen the Journey rocket ship has been completely wowed. Depending on their individual age and interest, younger children like my son have enjoyed pushing the buttons and seeing what happens. Right now Gavin isn’t interested as much in the book, he wants me to tell him which codes to activate it. Older school age children enjoyed reading the story and inputting the corresponding codes.
In a letter and number driven toy universe, I love that the codes are shape based. Younger children are more apt to recognize shapes before letters and numbers. Though you will need to insert a few batteries into the toy prior to using it, even without the book and honestly the batteries, it’s a fun, durable pretend play toy. If by chance the book should be separated from the toy, don’t worry the shape codes are also printed on the bottom of the toy for reference.
Aside from children learning about the inner-workings of a space shuttle and facts about space, we’ve completed a lot of extension activities at school. I’ve incorporated learning to draw space shuttles and astronauts in a step-by-step fashion, we’ve developed shape code lists where children practice drawing shapes and writing down each code’s unique feature on a reference sheet. Older students have been provided with writing prompts where they write creatively about their first trip to space and meeting an alien for the first time.