Imaginative Play Gets A Digital Upgrade

Kids don't have to outgrow imaginative play. There are options! -


Let’s face it. Kids these days love video games. I can’t say I blame them, there are some pretty awesome games on the market. As parents, we have rules regarding our phones and try to weigh how much screen time our kids have versus how much of everything else they do. We also feel it is important to balance education, sports, arts and family time into that same picture.

Of course, it also helps when digital companies find ways to incorporate these other options into their games. Just Dance is an example of a video game that gets kids moving. Brain Chase incorporates education into website “entertainment”. Compose Yourself utilizes mobile devices to help create music. Now we’re seeing an example of a reputable toy company taking it the other direction. Ravensburger is utilizing a mobile device to remind kids how much fun imaginative play can be with the introduction of the Space Hawk series.

Imaginative play has always been a cornerstone of development and is most apparent in young kids. Some think children mature out of it, but in reality it’s something that can grow and evolve along with a child. This basic skill is crucial to a child’s ability to create a story. Where do you think ideas come from? Inventions? Books, movies or music? These things instrumental to quality of life begin with the creative mind.

Space Hawk uses augmented reality to give more life to their ship. -

So why not encourage it throughout the years even if it means updating it to the way children play these days? That’s what Ravesnburger did with Space Hawk. They took a spaceship that a child could lift and fly and create a story then upgraded the ship to include a place to house a mobile device running an augmented reality app.

Tutorials ensure the child learns how to properly install their mobile device and utilize their Space Hawk. -

Within the app, Ravensburger begins the first missions with a variety of video tutorials. First and foremost are instructions on how to open and close the wings, put down the landing gear and secure the phone in place. From there, it moves into an explanation and digital tour of the ship before sending the child off the launch pad and into the vastness of outer space.

Space Hawk utilizes a space ship, landing zones, dice that are brought to life by your mobile device! -

We weren’t able to tell if the game was on rails or if it was completely random, but how well the child maneuvered the ship seemed to impact the outcome. The interesting part of this toy is that it includes various components to give additional life to the story. In addition to several landing zones, it also includes custom dice that are used to give randomness to the missions. But they aren’t incorporated right away. Since dice are random, it is my guess that the game will be different each time, ensuring high replay value. They have already created expansions with additional scenarios to extend the play even longer.

Fly it up and down and all around. You're on a mission! -

Initial missions focus on learning the movements that you would think would be natural to flying a toy space ship around. Nope. Apparently it isn’t common sense when you aren’t used to playing with aircraft. It isn’t about flying in a straight line at a designated altitude.

This toy uses a mobile device to incorporate more scenarios for imaginative play. -

Space Hawk has you diving and climbing to dodge things like asteroids! Speaking of asteroids, there are missions that have you holding the spaceship while trying to target the asteroids on your screen. A little off target? Move. Those are exactly the kinds of actions that work to make the video game more active and the toy have more variety of ways to play. It’s a great way to allow children to play with electronics while encouraging them to use their imagination.

Line it up correctly so you can land the Space Hawk! -  Scurried a little close to the asteroids and now the Space Hawk needs repairs! - SahmReviews.comSpace Hawk by Ravensburger is more than just a toy. It's a reminder of the importance of imaginative play! -

The scenarios in the app tell stories, teach how to land properly and even require ship repairs. Of course, the mobile device can be removed from the ship and it can be taken on rogue, non-scheduled missions to wherever the child’s imagination decides to take it. That’s the great things about this crossover toy – it still encourages kids to just be kids and play!

The app is available on iTunes and Google Play and it is currently being updated to make corrections to the app that didn’t translate well into English. I suspect they will continue to update, upgrade and modify the app as they see a need. If you’re looking for a gift that bridges the gap between technology and imaginative play, Space Hawk is worth considering. It is currently available on Amazon and can still make it there in time to go under the tree if you order soon! Learn more by visiting the Space Hawk website or by checking out Ravensburger on Facebook and Twitter.

What do you think about imaginative play?

21 thoughts on “Imaginative Play Gets A Digital Upgrade

  1. VERY cool – I haven’t seen this yet but I know my son would really like it. He loves to use his imagination and have fun so this would be a great game for him. Thanks for sharing about it – just in time for Christmas 🙂

  2. As if it weren’t cool enough just to have the toy that uses the phone, it also is a game that involves imagination and play?!? This sounds like a great game for those tweens that are so hard to buy for. Thanks so much for the review.

  3. I agree with you on the importance of imaginary play. Children that are exposed to this type of play usually grow up to be creative adults that can think out of the guidelines of normalcy and inspire a whole new type of thought. Space Hawk series sounds like something I want to check out for my grandchildren and I love that the dice can give the missions some random outcomes which keeps the toy fresh and interesting.

  4. This sounds really cool. I mean, I’m not a kid, but can still be a kid at heart. I think I’d want to get some play time in myself before letting my son play with it, haha.

  5. I’m a big fan of imaginative play and encourage it in my kids often! I think this is something my 9 year old son would really enjoy once he got the hang of it!

  6. I am 100% obsessed with Just Dance. It is basically the only game I actually look forward to playing with the tweens I babysit. While I know that they would really appreciate the awesomeness that is Space Hawk, I’m 100% sure my 7 year old God son would! Thanks for posting this in time for Christmas!!


  7. I appreciate toys and games that combine both physical and electronic play. I definitely feel that it is the wave of the future and it seems to be a hit with the kids too!

  8. I’ve got conflicting emotions on this one, I try very hard to avoid all electronics for my kids. I do like the imagination play though.

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