The account of a worldwide flood during the days of Noah is one of the most well known sections of scripture. Even those raised in non-Christian homes are familiar with the basic premise of this chapter in Biblical history. With songs such as “Who Built the Ark” and references sprinkled throughout our culture, Noah and his two-by-two animals are difficult to forget.
With such ongoing fame, it’s no surprise that children’s toys based on the ark are the most popular Bible-based toys out there. No they aren’t readily available, but they can be found.
When our “Tales of Glory Noah’s Ark Set” arrived in the mail, my children were thrilled. I couldn’t rip the box open fast enough. All three of them, from 8 months on up to five-years-old wanted in on the action, though the play set is only approved for three-year-olds and over due to small parts.
Parental refereeing skills were called into play (we took away Noah’s staff – potential weapon threat), and I thanked God that the set contains 14 animals, Noah and the ark – plenty enough for sharing. Better, by far, than our Noah’s ark child-sized umbrella.
one2believe is a Christian toy company that provides toys based on heroes of the faith and classic Bible stories. If we’re purchasing toys for our children, why not help them to re-enact and imaginatively interact with the Bible scenes they are familiar with?
Each of the “Tales of Glory” figurine sets is accompanied by a tiny book containing the text of the event as taken from the NIV Bible. A one-page outline detailing the general stages of spiritual growth in a child was read with interest. As a new believer I sometimes feel like I’m reinventing the wheel for my children, so it’s good to read the observations of others with a passion for leading children to Christ.
My oldest daughter doesn’t fit clearly into any of the categories listed, sometimes ahead and sometimes behind. But the generalizations helped me note weaker areas and make mental notes on strategies to strengthen them.
The figures included in the set are the ark with a removable ramp, Noah himself, and male and female pairings of the following animals: elephant, lion, ostrich, chimp, and donkey. For some reason the sheep in our set were sadly mismatched.
We received two rams instead of a ewe and a ram; looks like those will the last two sheep to walk the face of the planet! Hopefully the majority of sets will include the appropriate male and female pair. If we’d like to be sticklers for detail, there should be seven sheep as a clean animal (not sure how the others are classified), but I’ve yet to see a Noah’s ark toy set that goes so far.
The ark itself pops apart, the upper deck serving as a lid for an empty compartment that holds all of the animals with ease. Though the lid can be a bit tricky to remove, this is where the fun comes in. Not only can the animals stand up-deck, but they can also march up the ramp and drop down into the holding area.
This boat is built tough. Not only does it have to stand up to the storm, but it also needs to hold up under my almost three-year-old’s weight as she sits on it. It does both, so I’m pleased. The ark also provides an integral storage space for the animals, making clean-up time easy and fun: “Quick the rains are coming, let’s load those animals up!”
At $29.95 for the set, we’re looking at a very reasonable price for this large toy set. At this price though, you can’t expect collector quality. The vast majority of the figurines are quite well made; their cartoon-like forms stand well (except the camels who were a bit wobbly), and are quite sturdy. The elephants seemed to be cast in two pieces (body and head), and there were some slight joining issues, but the creatures formed in a single mold were fine. At less than $2.00 per animal, I don’t think there’ll be much complaining. No one in our home is!
Whatever the set’s flaws, our family is now blessed to have a reminder of God’s judgment and conversely his grace towards the faithful parked on our living room floor more often than not. While my children are largely incognizant of the deeper implications of this striking, unforgettable chapter in world history, they think you just can’t go wrong with a ship full of animals. A simple plastic ark can open the door to spiritual discussions regardless of vocabulary level and spiritual maturity.
The Tales of Glory Noah’s Ark Set can be purchased through Amazon or directly from one2believe.