Vehicles Tap-Tap Set
A great twist on the ever-popular Tap-Tap game. The Vehicles Tap-Tap set includes wooden representations of vehicle parts along with a corkboard, wooden hammer and a series of suggestion cards.
Like the traditional ‘Tap-Tap’ game, this set promotes fine-motor control, hand-eye coordination and attention to detail. There is a surprising amount of skill and dexterity required to place the ‘nail’ into the hole, and to line up the edges of various pieces to connect effectively.
The Vehicle Tap-Tap set introduces additional elements to extend the challenge of this activity. It also provides a unique point of interest to draw a child towards the experience with renewed interest and enthusiasm.
The Vehicle Tap-Tap set can be used in a variety of ways.
A child can simply start by experimenting with the various pieces to design their own vehicles. The child can make realistic vehicles – for example, using all the relevant pieces to make a ‘fire engine’ - or can mix together various pieces to make creative, imaginative new vehicles.
The set also includes a series of cards illustrating specific vehicle designs, which the child can then attempt to recreate. This adds a different cognitive challenge as the child must work from their sensory impressions of an abstract illustration and build the corresponding pattern using tangible materials. I particularly like the little detail of the cards featuring the ‘plus’ symbol (+) between the pictures of each individual piece needed. I appreciate this subtle connection between such a practical, physical activity and the work of addition.
If introducing this to a younger child I would recommend initially limiting the quantity of materials, particularly if the child has not previously used a traditional Tap-Tap game. You might pick out only the parts of one specific vehicle, and remove the remaining pieces, so that the child can initially grasp the concept and mechanics of putting together the vehicle. You can then slowly introduce additional pieces to steadily increase the complexity.
The various pieces of this set are of a high-quality with vibrant decorations. All of the pieces can be securely stored in an orderly fashion within the compartments of the box. This naturally promotes responsible behaviour by encouraging the child to pack away the materials at the end of the activity.
Please note: The ‘Vehicle’ theme is not meant to imply that this set should be promoted towards a particular gender. My experience is that both boys and girls thoroughly enjoy the use of ‘Tap Tap’ exercises. I have observed male and female children alike enjoying the creative and constructive element of designing their own vehicles or building the illustrated vehicles. It is a shame, however, that the manufacturers happened to have included only male faces on the drivers of the vehicles. If you are particularly eager to avoid reinforcing gender-stereotypes then you may wish to scaffold this activity with discussions or other activities showcasing female drivers, construction workers, fire-fighters and so forth.
The general age recommendation listed by the manufacturers for this product is 4+.
Many Montessori-inspired parents and teachers will be familiar with the fact that children are often capable of effectively and joyfully using products at a younger age than the number specified ‘on the box’. This is particularly true when support, supervision and presentations are provided (as outlined in our Safety Suggestions). However, manufacturers tend to err on the side of caution when listing ‘recommended ages’ because of their legal liabilities. So while we do not directly contradict these recommended ages we do empower you to make your own informed decisions, based on balancing safety concerns and developmental value, about whether or not you feel a particular resource is appropriate for your child(ren) or classroom.