When you’ve already given your astronomonster the world and the moon, what’s next? How about the Solar System? I got my astronomonsters an inflatable solar system for Christmas, and they are loving it to a slow, leaky death–at least in the case of Saturn.
This inflatable solar system is intended to be hung as an educational or decorative display in a classroom, play room, or bedroom, and can handle being played with…somewhat. Maybe it wasn’t meant to be tossed about quite as much as my kids do, but I got it to be a toy for them because 2-year-old astronomonsters like to hold on to planet-like objects and carry them everywhere. This solar system set has been holding up okay, except for Saturn. A patch-kit comes with the set so you can fix the planets as needed, but our Saturn has a slow leak from a hard-to-patch hole where the rings attach to the planet. The Sun has an unidentified slow leak as well. All the other objects are staying inflated nicely, however, but I do find myself saying things like, “Get off the planet! You’re going to break it!” when Astronomonster #1 tries to sit on them.
Most of the planets look great, too, except the moon, Pluto, and Mercury are sad, pale, featureless spheres. The markings shown on the box are not accurate representations. But if you have an imaginative, young astronomonster who does things like removing Christmas bulbs from the tree over the holidays and calling them planets, then this inflatable set will please them just fine.
This is not to say that this set is only good as a preschooler’s toy. This product has received several positive reviews from teachers who purchased this for their classrooms, so check out some other reviews if you are considering this for your classroom, and also check out some other activity plans for teaching with a solar system model–the Activity Guide that came with this set is uninspired.