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I love wooden toys, I think they take you back to an age when toys were a little bit more simple and made with love and care. To me, they look classic and well made and are a toy that will last forever. That's why we bought my little girl a Noah's Ark from The Early Learning Centre. We also have an ark from Fisher Price as well but that one is plastic whereas this one from the ELC is a lovely classic wooden ark.
This ark comes in two parts, the top, or the roof of the ark and the bottom of the boat. The top of the ark is green with a blue cubby house with a slanted blue roof on it. In the little cubby there are two round look out holes. I like the fact that this ark is in two parts as it makes it more fun for my little girl to play with. She can load up the animals into the bottom of the boat and then reach in there easily and then she can put the lid on and move the boat around like it is sailing on the water.
The bottom of the boat has blue paint on it to look like water which I think is a very nice touch. The boat is also rounded at the sides so it really does look like the original ark that Noah set sail on. It is not too heavy which is nice but you can tell that it is made from a good quality wood. It's light enough that my little girl can pick the ark up herself and carry it around. What I also like is that it seems to have some sort of lacquer on it so if these figures and the ark do get dirty then you can just wipe them clean without having to worry that you are getting wood wet.
This ark as you would expect comes with a number of animals, in pairs of course. There are two lions, two rhinos, two bears, two giraffes, two camels and two elephants. I love these animals. They are all very colourful and very realistic looking so it is a great way for my little girl to learn all about animals. We like to play pairs, I find one of the giraffes and then ask her to find the matching animal. They are level at the bottom so all these animals have the ability to stand up which works well when you are lining up the animals ready to board the ark. The ark also comes with Noah and his wife (she is not referred to by name in the bible so hence the name Noah's wife).
The bottom of the ark has cut out shapes of the animals so this also works well as a shape sorter. We like to put the top ont he ark and then try and put the animals through the side of the boat, a bit difficult at this age (18 months) but she will get there.
The set is available from the Early Leaning Centre, is suitable from the age of 1 and is priced at £15.
My Daughter received this shape sorter for her Birthday and I have to say I have been very impressed by this toy.
Stockist and Cost
This is a Early learning centre product available on line at www. Elc.co.uk or from one of their stores, mother care or some Debenhams.
I think that for a quality wooden toy the cost of £15.00 is a bargain
What is it?
This is a wooden shape sorter in the shape of an Ark complete with Mr & Mrs Noah. The top of the ark completely lifts off for removal of the animals once they have been poked in and this also allows the bottom to become a dolls boat and the top becomes a house it is mind boggling the variety of uses a child can find for a toy that is supposed to be one thing only!
I really like this toy I like that it is wooden seems to be a lot harder wearing than plastic versions indeed this is on its third child and still looks great we also loaned it to the local school reception class for a week and even they couldn't damage it! They only down side is hunting the animals that seem to want to escape the ark they are unaware of the impending flood and are often found under the sofa!
Why buy this toy
Not only is this toy a well made good quality toy but it also helps with fine motor skills and hand eye co-ordination. Both my girls loved this toy and not only used it as a shape sorter but it become a dolls house , a transport lorry and many more I would therefore have no hesitation in recommending this toy.
I am a self confessed sucker for wooden toys, although my little man tends to go in for the all singing and dancing noisy toys himself!! However he is a big fan of shape sorters, so when I saw the Early Learning Centre Noah's Ark I thought 'Great! A toy that floats both our boats!' - ok, sorry terrible pun!!!
The toy is a wooden ark, complete with Mr & Mrs Noah, and six pairs of animals. All the animals are accurately painted to look like their animals, except bizarrely the elephants are pink. On the side of the ark are the animal shaped holes for putting them back in the ark, which are removed by lifting the lid of the ark.
I bought this toy as I thought it would make a pleasant change from sorting squares and triangles, To be honest this toy has been a bit of a non starter as a shape sorter. The holes are quite big and the animals can be manipulated through most of the cut out shapes. This seemed to take away the challenge for little man, so he preferred to just take the lid off and get the animals out that way! However that doesn't mean that this toy has been a complete waste of money. He instead prefers to play with it as a more role playing toy - getting them out and then arranging them on top of the ark, or towers of wooden blocks, and babbles away at them. He really likes to play with it, and I often find the animals stuffed in with other toys (or in my shoe!), so who am I to complain that it isn't being used for its designed purpose!!
Noah's Ark cost £15 from ELC, which I think is pretty good value for a wooden toy, and you get quite a lot for your money. It is recommended from age 12 months, and I think this is probably about right. Little man has had this since he was 14 months old and has played with it pretty much every day since he received it. I would definitely recommend this toy, and as long as you are not expecting too much from the shape sorting capabilities, you won't be disappointed.
Available from ELC, Mothercare and www.ELC.co.uk
My son got this for his first birthday and it has quickly become his favourite toy. Its wooden so looks classy and doesn't have any batteries and music to annoy parents.
At the moment all that my son likes doing with it is taking the lid off, taking the animals out and roaring, banging them together and carrying them round the room to put on shelves or under the sofa (Noah's wife seems to be his favourite for those trips). I can see why Noah did take two of every animal into the ark, as it makes it much easier to count them all back in when its time to tidy up!
I think the shape sorter is a bit of a gimmick, as the animals are 2D you can actually get pretty much any animal through any hole with a bit of twisting but it will still give some practice at hand dexterity.
This is a nice toy which makes a refreshing change from all the noisy plastic and is perfect when your baby gets to that age where they just want to take things in and out of boxes.
The ELC Wooden Noah's ark comes with a selection of animals, two of each of course, Noah and his wife figures. All items are large for little hands to hold and the wood is strong, after a year there is no splinters, nothing other than a little wearing of the paint on the roof of the ark.
This toy encourages hand eye coordination as babies and children can sort the animals through the shapes cut out on the side of the boat. It also encourages imagination and is something your child can do by themselves.
The roof of the ark lifts up so toys can easily be stored underneath. I found a noah's ark book that allowed me to use this toy to teach my children the noah's ark story. It is very hard wearing, a year after buying this, there is no damage despite having two very boisterous toddlers. It suits ages 1 and up, and at £15.00 is quite a bargain for all the fun. Best of all, no batteries!
My son has just recieved this for his first birthday.
He is really enjoying playing with it. He loves emptying out the animals and putting them back into the arc, or banging the animals together. He is still a bit young to use the shape sorter bit although he does help me do it.
The Arc is made from wood and very strudy, its nice colours and comes with 12 animals (2 of each) and Noah and his wife.
The top lifts off the arc so you can retrieve the animals after you have popped them all through there correct hole.
This toy provides hours of fun at different age levels, I really like it as its a classic toy and it looks really nice as well. Something to keep for many years.
As my little boy grows I can also use the animals to teach him which is which.
The Arc cost me £15 from ELC although I did get 20% off with a current voucher.
I would definately recommend this as an excellent present.
I had a discount voucher for ELC so decided to purchase this for my son. At £15 I think this is a good price given the quality and content.
Even though he is too young to play with it yet it looks nice in his nursery.
It is of excellent quality and as it is all wooden should be almost indestructable, unlike some of the plastic toys around these days!
As well as the Ark you get Noah and his wife, 12 wooden animals (although there are only 6 different animals, you get 2 sets). The animals are printed on both sides so you get the front and back of each animal! The Ark also comes with a lift off cabin so that you can get the wooden animals back out again!
As it says on the box, as well as being able to sort the shapes, you could also use it to teach your child about the animals or could play animal snap!
I think this would make a great christening present and think any child that has one will get hours of fun and enjoyment from it!
Match the animal-shaped wooden pieces to the holes in Noah's Ark. Good for coordination skills.