An interesting twist (pun intended!) on the 'peg board' concept to inspire interest in engineering!
The wooden peg board base measures approximately 27cm x 27cm and comes with a collection of 18 colourful wooden gears in a variety of sizes and patterns. The gears can be placed into the holes so that the 'teeth' interlock. Moving just one causes a chain reaction whereby all the connected pieces spin from the referred energy.
The patterns on the coloured gears provide an interesting visual 'point of interest'. They subtly suggest the movement of circular rotation - provoking the child to spontaneously experiment with spinning the gears - and also look lovely when the gears are in motion.
The Gear Game can be adapted to suit a range of ages and developmental levels:
Toddlers can be given just a few of the gears at a time to enjoy simply placing the individual pieces into the holes on the peg board as a fine motor experience. This would be considered an 'advanced' level pegging exercise for that age due to the fact that the 'peg' on each piece is obscured by the larger gear shape. The child is therefore not directly observing the coupling of the peg and hole. This means that the placement is about making judgements based on visual 'clues', relying on muscular memory and using problem-solving (rather than a pure 'hand-eye coordination' action). For this toddler exercise it is best to start with the smallest 'gear' pieces first as these are easiest to place - before moving on to the more challenging larger pieces.
Toddlers and young pre-schoolers will also enjoy the task of simply placing two or three gears at a time so that they interlock. When the 'teeth' of the gears are within touching distance then simply turning one will make the other turn too! This is a delightful discovery for little ones. At this introductory level it is best to present the peg board with just a few of the gears (with the additional pieces kept back for later).
Older pre-schoolers can progress to making more elaborate inter-connected patterns. Some or all of the gears can be arranged in a variety of patterns to watch the magic of mechanics and kinetic energy at work!
Pre-schoolers can also use the included pattern sheets that turn the gears into three-dimensional features of interesting pictures.
The Gear Game is an ideal 'concrete' experience with the concept of gears. It can provide an early foundation for later explorations of mechanics and machinery.
The Gear Game is from the trusted brand Classic World, which uses entirely non-toxic paints and stains.