Why We Love It: The perfect blend of visual perceptual, fine motor and motor planning skills, Rush Hour is a favorite for staff and children. The concept is simple: place the cars on the grid to match a picture, then slide the cars to allow the ice cream truck to drive out the door. There are 40 cards of increasing difficulty, with each level building on the problem solving lessons learned in previous scenarios. Puzzles can be solved again and again because it is practically impossible to remember the solution sequence.
This is a great activity for children who get lost in multi-step tasks and those who need to work on their problem solving skills. Take the game a step further by hiding the pieces in a bucket of dried beans, creating a scavenger hunt around the room or having your child “deliver” the pieces little by little by riding their bike, doing animal walks or even an obstacle course. Also, the solutions are printed on the back of each card. If your child is learning the concepts of left and right, give the instructions to solve the card and have your child follow them.
Why the Kids Love It: This is one of the most requested games in the clinic. Younger children enjoy the concept of rescuing the ice cream truck, and older children enjoy the challenge of harder levels. The game pieces are brightly colored, but not juvenile. There is a real sense of mastery as the child moves from “Beginner” towards “Expert” levels.
Manufacturer Age Recommendations: 6-8 years
Our Age Recommendations: Younger children (4-5) can copy the grid like a puzzle. Older children (9-11) with visual perceptual and motor planning difficulties may benefit from this “Jr” version of Rush Hour before moving to the more advanced edition.
Available in toy stores and online.