Friday, March 1, 2013

Gears Gears Gears

It seems like a logical path - Mikey's interest in wheels grew to include gears. Gears have the fabulous circular motion that first caught his interest but they also have appeal in their utility. Gears, like trucks, are powerful machines.

The Construction Toys
The Gears Gears Gears brand makes some awesome toys. You can build a two-dimensional mass of gears on a tabletop foundation that is pretty easy to snap together. Then you can build some 90-degree turns in to your creation and experiment with how to have gears spinning in all three dimensions. There is a worm gear included in the Monkey Gears and as the gears crank a monkey will ride across the worm!

The Aspiring Preschool Engineer
If your little engineer isn't ready for the "big kid" Gears Gears Gears, then consider a simpler toy like Melissa and Doug's Spinning Wheels (18 months+). The gears are very easy to get on and off, your little guy or gal can enjoy the "magic" of gear motion, and learn his or her primary colors to boot.

The iPad Apps
Have you ever been kept awake at night because your "wheels were spinning?" Mikey heard me talking about this phenomenon one day with my husband and was immediately curious about the wheels in his own head. In fact, we decided that they must be gears to make our minds and bodies work. The first of two iOS apps that I list here confirmed his suspicion that there are gears in our heads, Toca Boca Doctor. A simple matching puzzle, the child drags and drops four gears to their spots in the patient's head. The "Lite" versions are free. (Not available on Android.)

Toca Doctor for iPhone
Toca Doctor Lite for iPhone
Toca Doctor HD for iPad
Toca Doctor HD Lite for iPad

The second iOS app that I include is more complicated because the player has to solve various problems by dragging and dropping different sized gears to connect two or more fixed gears to make them all spin.

"Geared is a radically new and innovative puzzle game; a unique addition to its genre. 

The first and only Gear-based game with absolutely no snap-grid. Geared delivers complete and total freedom to the player, bestowing every puzzle with a near infinite array of choices. 

Pit your intellect against 200 uniquely designed levels, original to this game. 

★ Featured in New and Noteworthy. ★ 
★ Featured in What's Hot. 
★ Featured in Awesome iOS 4 Apps. ★"

Geared for iPhone
Geared for iPad

Also available on Android:

A Video
In the Curious George episode called "George Meets the Press," your little preschool engineer can see some awesome gearwork in action at the Rankin's apple orchard. Click on the image below to buy the Amazon Instant Video in High Definition.

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