The Svan S.S. Ahoy Surprise Stacker is a challenging, surprising, and completely adorable toy which appeals to both my baby and pre-schoooler.
The baby: The baby is attracted to the bright colors and, since it’s a Svan toy, I’m OK with the baby mouthing these natural materials and non-toxic paints. I’m really impressed that this stacker has taken a lot of tough hits and the wood hasn’t dented nor have the colors chipped.
The preschooler: I’m really into this toy for toddlers and preschoolers. While the company slates this toy for 18 months and older, I found my preschool-aged child to be interested in it too. It’s an open ended toy with multiple uses so it’s super interesting to watch my preschooler play with it as a boat (queue the imagination games!), a stacker, and a learning toy.
- As a stacking toy, this is definitely a more advanced stacker. You’ll need to build with your child, my guess would be through the age of 3 or 4. It’s not straightforward like the small to large stackers – you need to visualize the boat and fit pieces together, which can stack in several ways, sometimes making a boat, sometimes just stacking. We have the usual Melissa & Doug size/shape stacker and this is much more interesting and in my opinion, appealing to toddlers and preschoolers…because it’s a boat!
- As a learning toy, my pre-schooler loves the ball roller functionality – you drop the wooden ball (which comes with the boat) through the center and the bottom of the boat is designed to direct the ball out the bottom of the boat to either the front or back (surprise!). My son also has fun dropping other toys, balls, etc. into the center and seeing where they come out.
It’s an expensive toy at $44.95 but it is really a special toy and an investment piece, one that I’m planning to keep once the boys are done with it so we can pass on to their kids. The only cons are the price, there’s no place to store the ball (so prepare yourself for the occasional ball-hunt), and you need to be aware that this is a more advanced stacker.
In summary, the Svan S.S. Ahoy stacker is a thoughtful, versatile, beautiful investment piece that will grow with your family. If you’re into open-ended toys, this is the one for you.