A fantastic game for inspiring problem-solving, logical thinking, strategic planning, persistence and concentration. It also helps to promote visual and spatial perception, making it the perfect extension for a child who has engaged in Montessori Sensorial experiences.
This activity is ideal for pre-school and early primary school aged children, but it suits a wide spectrum of ages (and developmental levels) because of its tiered levels of difficulty. I have used the earlier stages successfully with my older preschoolers who require a little scaffolding on occasion. Some of the most challenging levels cause even an adult to pause for thought! The official "recommended age" is 3 to 8 years of age. (Some parents might even find it worthwhile to invest in this game early, and initially provide the trucks simply as a transport toy for toddlers, before introducing the geometric shapes and logic game at a later stage!)
There are 48 challenges, using three trucks and 10 coloured pieces. These challanges are available at 4 levels of difficulty, ranging from "easy" to "expert". Some children may wish to work through the book consecutively, others will jump from one section to another to challenge themselves or to revisit an earlier level. Parents or educators might provide scaffolding or role model strategies but ideally this is a problem-solving exercise that a child approaches independently or with peers.
Trucky 3 also features a self-correcting mechanism (a classic feature of Montessori activities) which is described in more detail in the "How It Works" section.
It is described as a single player game, but I have seen young children working together very effectively to achieve the common goal. They suggest strategies to one another, or take turns to attempt a formation, until their collaboration ends in creation!
How It Works...
The process of this game is very kindly demonstrated by this little learner. He views a diagram on the right-hand page of the booklet. He selects the pieces shown in the diagram and then tries placing them in the tray of the truck in various configurations. The object of the game is to make the pieces fit into the tray/bed in a way that ensures that they sit flat, with no part of the shape breaching the top of the tray. This is much harder than it sounds and often takes lots of experimentation and strategic planning! When the child is satisfied that he/she has found the right arrangement then the individual can 'self-correct' by turning the page to check that the solution diagram corresponds with their configuration.
The game comes in a sturdy box that can be used for storage when the activity is not on display as part of the child's prepared environment.