Trucky-3

You get three trucks. Each is a different size. They are wooden trucks. Construction trucks. They roll just like wooden construction trucks should roll – not too fast, not too straight, not too smoothly. But reliably. O, yes.

Each of the trucks carries a transparent plastic container into which an assortment of colorful plastic blocks (cargo) fit ever-so snugly – if you pick the right blocks and position them the right way. If you look inside the transparent plastic containers (which, given their transparency, is something you find yourself most definitely wanting to do), you’ll discover that the bottom of each container has a different shape, inviting certain cargo blocks more than others.

There are a total of ten different cargo blocks, each a different shape. There are two orange blocks and two purple blocks. All the rest are different colors.

Then there’s a book of 48 puzzles. It’s spiral bound, with large, colorful pages. On one side of each page is the puzzle (here are the pieces, here’s the truck you’re trying to put them into). On the other side, the solution.

It’s obvious that the puzzles are designed for young children – at least until you reach the two- and three-truck levels. And, for the informed parent, it’s also obvious that your above-average child (which, of course, is a perfect description of your particular child) will immediately want to play with all three trucks, and, for perhaps three minutes, all ten puzzle pieces, which, of course, will get strewn about hither and irretrievably yon.

For this reason, we herein inform the informed parent that a far saner practice is to present the toy puzzle-by-puzzle, hiding the whole Trucky 3 package somewhere, and giving the preciously precocious one only the truck and pieces necessary for solving that particular puzzle.

The objective of each puzzle is to fill the truck with the indicated pieces so that none of the pieces protrudes beyond the top of the truck (essential for under-bridge passage).

By the time you reach Starter puzzle 6, you will introduce yet another intriguing aspect of the puzzle – that sometimes the correct solution involves leaving gaps within the container – a realization which is both liberating and complexifying.

Twenty-four puzzles later, you introduce the Expert Level two-truck puzzles. And twenty-three puzzles after that, all three trucks.

It’s like a well-written curriculum in logical skill development – fun-focused, increasingly more demanding. I know, I know, you don’t have time, and you just want to give the kid the whole package and be done with it, and I commiserate with you compassionately. And I’d go so far as to recommend this practice, especially if your child is over, say, 15. Because, yes, the Expert and Master levels are significantly challenging. And even the adult will no doubt be intrigued and engaged by the sheer implications of it all, which include the invitation to play with trucks again.

The trucks are fun in themselves. The different sizes of the trucks and their containers invite experimentation and play without any further guidance. But if your child’s age is in the single digits, the major part of the fun that we’re talking about will get quickly lost if you’re not there to play with her.

Trucky-3 was designed by Raf Peeters and is made available by SmartGames.

 

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