Friday, September 7, 2012

Review: Tall Stacker Mighty Monkey Playset: There Are No Mistakes

Monkeys can be silly and never get in trouble.

WHAT: Tall Stacker Mighty Monkey Playset and Tall Stacker Might Monkey Pegs Only (15)  by Lauri
DOES: allows children to enact pretend play scenes in a setting in which they are most familiar (and sometimes challenged); lots of action-oriented play and building possibilities
INVEST: MSRP  $29.95 and $6.99 respectively
TOOLS: Holiday/Birthday Build-Uponner, More Make-Believe Please, Think Like a Scientist/Engineer
Expert Opinion: Christa Murphy, LCSW, Queens West Health

Loved this when I saw it at the Toy Fair in New York this year.

I love playground playsets.  While there are many varieties of toy cars, dollhouses, and building blocks, one area where choices are still rather limited are playground playsets.  Why?  Playground playsets are awesome for make-believe play.

Pretend play is a something that kids do to act out feelings in a way to get to know themselves and their play partner without actually being the role (doctor, mom, teacher, construction worker).    So we have a lot of dollhouses and fire engine stations but when it comes to playground sets, there just aren't enough choices.

Activity is key.  There are lifts, slides, swings, and even a clubhouse type structure.  My kids like to make the monkeys hop on the trees.

The good news is that we now have a great new playground set to consider for preschoolers and kindergarteners (and maybe slightly older too).  This year, Lauri, makers of those awesome peggable pegs came out with not only a brand new designed peg to suit older kids but those pegs come with slides, swings, lifts, and a clubhouse to simulate a grand playground play experience.

Celebrate Silliness

Who's the star of the show?  There are actually two little monkeys.  What a great choice for a figurine.  I consulted New York City child psychotherapist Christa Murphy thought they were just the cutest but more importantly, she felt monkeys were a great choice.  Why?  Because they goof off and that is what kids want to do but are not allowed to do with our heavy playground politics these days.   At least with the Tall Stacker Mighty Monkey Playset, we can forget our politics for just a moment and concentrate on being silly.

 Very silly play by Number 1 and 2

About playground sets, Christa said, "I think it’s much more interesting for a kid because they're so much more familiar with the playground." Christa has accompanied many a preschooler to playground to help them learn how to get the most out of a playground and help them make friends.

Christa is also a big fan of Lauri pegs.  Even though the new pegs are different, Christa likes them.  I too find them tighter and thus inspiring preschoolers to grasp with a firmer grip.  Christa thinks that while three year olds can play with the set, they will need some help putting it together but 4-5 year olds will have an easier time.

You can use your original Lauri Tall Stacker pegs too.

Roomy and sturdy box stores pieces easily.  Photo: Lauri

Perks of Monkeying Around in this Playground

This kind of building-with-a-purpose-type play is impressive to Christa.  "It really is cute," said Christa.  "It’s not just building, it’s building and incorporating pretend within the building."  

While the silliness could be joyfully plentiful, we shouldn't forget that a huge component of this set is the building aspect.  You'll be tempted to replicate the scenario that is on the box but I think Lauri was bold in NOT providing explicit step-by-step instructions in building any sort of ideal playground scenario.  

The double-pegged Might Monkey pegs are easier.  Photo: Lauri

I think it really does lend itself to having children build something that will work for them.   Thus, a so-so builder can do their thing and then build pretend themes around it while a die-hard builder will challenge himself to do something wild before starting to act out a scene.  The verdict?  The open-endedness and lighthearted attitude that characterizes this set gives kids the freedom to explore.  

"There are no mistakes," said Christa.  No mistakes because there are no unnecessary expectations? I couldn't agree more.   This playground rocks!

My eight year old actually really enjoyed these and he was able to make something unusual with these.

It's actually a fighter plane!  Whoa!

Disclosure : Toys are Tools has not been compensated in any fashion for the publication of this post by the manufacturer or retailer of any of the products mentioned here .

Want to your get your Mighty Monkey Playset?  Use My Amazon Link:

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