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My son has just turned three and his attention span is slowly increasing which is something I want to continue to encourage. It's taken him longer than other children his age to learn to concentrate as his sensory disorder means his brain sometimes struggle to let him focus on things. So over the last few months, as I've noticed him playing for increased periods of time I thought a good way to continue this was to start looking for games.
Until this age, my son has only really had toys and puzzles. No actual games to speak of. So as I started researching I realised that appropriate games for his age and stage of development where going to be a little harder than imagined to find. But luckily I found this lovely game in the Early Learning Centre!
Priced at £15 and available in store or online, I had been slightly put off by the price but decided that my son always love to play 'posting' games so at the very worst he could just use it as a toy. The packaging was great for children as it's bright and stimulating however there is no description of the actual game on the packaging. I didn't find this very helpful and felt like I was taking a bit of a risk by buying it as I didn't know the actual game strategy or whether it would be suitable for my son. Even though I did go ahead and buy it, I had reservations because of this and knew I would be keeping the receipt handy in case I needed to return it. Luckily the instructions for game play are satisfactory at explaining the game rules, although I did find them a little confusing at first too.
'Pop It In The Post' is a post box themed game with several game variations to chose from. The set contains a large red post box with bright yellow lid, which opens with a key style lock. You also get six letters, six envelopes and matching matching stamps as well as two large dice. All items are made from plastic with lively and bright colours which is great for helping to stimulate little minds. The letters and stamps also feature different animal characters for the game.
The idea of the main game is quite simple and can be played with multiple players. You share out the letters equally and then each player takes it in turns to roll the two dice. The dice themselves are different, the first dice corresponds to the colour and character of the envelope and the second dice corrosponds to the number and colour of the stamp. The aim of the game is to first get the right envelope to match your letter, which is done by matching the colour and animal. Once you have the letter in the envelope, you start to work for the stamp. When your letter has it's matching envelope and stamp it's ready to post. The first person to get rid of all their post wins the game.
The great thing about this game is it encourages colour recognition and also uses numbers too which are shown on the stamps and envelopes to help children match them correctly. It also encourages fine motor skills because the envelopes have quite narrow slots for the letters so young children need to concentrate to put them in properly.
This is the main game for 'Pop It In The Box' however there are other ways you can play it, for example my son plays it as a one player game where we just have the aim of the game for him to get rid of all his letters and the principle still works. You can also use it to play with as a toy as opposed to a game which is great for role playing. Younger children can just post individual pieces too which will help with fine motor skills again.
This game is suggested for 18 months and upwards however I can't imagine an 18 month old being able to play the game, just with the pieces. Until your child can fully understand the concept of turn taking games etc then I advise you wait until then to invest in this. However when you are looking for first games, I highly advise this one. My son loves it and I'm confident that he's learning while he uses it. The simple nature of the game is great for pre school ages and we have lots of fun playing with this.
With regards to the actual pieces, they are quite durable, which I'm happy with. The envelopes and letters are strong and withstand heavy play very well. The post box itself is large but lightweight and the quality doesn't feel top notch but so far ours has lasted very well and it still looks good. The dice however feel cheap and not very well made but that's not too much of a problem and doesn't affect game play.
Overall I give this product four stars, I would love to give it five stars but there are a few downsides. For example the game itself is colour orientated and there can be some confusion for example when the turn comes to match the blue stamp with the blue envelope, the yellow stamp is also heavily blue in colour too which is difficult for child to understand. And the point about not having game details on the packaging and the dice too means it can't quite have a full five stars. However we do love this game, my son enjoys it and it keeps him engaged which is the main thing. It's definitely a good educational toy, just a little on the pricey side when full price with all things considered.
I bought this game for my son for Christmas when he was about 20 months old. It appealed to me as it was a game suitable for children from 18 months and a lot of games available were for 3 years up, which would clearly be unsuitable for him at his age. The game is from Early Learning Centre and is currently priced at £15 - although I bought it at 20% off so got it for £12.
The aim of the game is simple - match up the corresponding letters, envelopes and stamps before posting in the postbox. There is a postbox contained with the game that it quite large but lightweight - it is made of red plastic with a yellow lid and a green hinged door that can be opened to empty the postbox. There are six sets of coloured plastic letters and plastic envelopes - these are all brightly coloured (red, pink, blue, green, purple and yellow) and addressed to an animal. The letters are also simple, although my son is too young to take much notice of these just yet. On top of the envelope, there is a slot which the letter slides into. On the front of the envelope, there is a raised square with a number on (10, 20, 30, 40, 50, 60) which correspond to a plastic stamp which also has the relevant animal on. This pushes on to the square and fixes on to the envelope. There are also two die - one with pictures of animals on and one with the numbers from the stamps on.
We play by matching the colours and animals to put the letters together before posting. At first, my son had difficulty slotting the letters into the envelope as this requires quite good hand-eye co-ordination. Now, at 2 and a half he finds this much easier and gets less frustrated by this aspect. My son still loves this game and enjoys colour and number matching and posting the letters in the box. He will play this four or five times in one sitting! We do not always use the die as my son just likes to match the colours and is not really in to throwing dice just yet. The game really encourages development of hand-eye co-ordination and fine motor skills as aspects of the game are quite challenging to those at the lower end of the age scale - the letters are fiddly to slot in the envelope and the stamps are stiff to fix to the envelopes. It can also be used for role play as a post box and to develop language skills and understanding of words if you read the letters together.
Overall, this is a simple game that is suitable for young toddlers but can still be enjoyed in different ways as they get older. It is well made - the letters and envelopes are sturdy and suitable for clumsy toddler hands. The postbox also withstands toddlers opening and shutting the door and is very resilient. This is a lovely game that we enjoy playing together - the simplicity means really appeals to my son who loves matching games. Recommended.
My son has always had a keen interest in every aspect of the postal system. He loves posting letters and parcels, also cries if I pick up the letters off the door mat and even call our postman pat even when we have a relief Postman.
I spotted the ELC pop it in the post game in a charity shop and decided it was an ideal toy for my son. This game is recommended for children 18 months to 4 years.
The game comprises of a post box, with an opening, door two dice, 6 letters which all have letters and stamps to attach. The letters fit into a slot and the stamps have a pre moulded shape to fit around. On the first dice the numbers 10, 20, 30. 40 50 & 60 are clearly printed and on the second images of the various animals featured on the letters.
The idea of the game is to roll the two dice to collect the dice and match the letters and numbers for the stamps. There are variations on the basic game that are listed on the instructions.
Our Experience and opinion
I gave this toy to my son when he was two years old. He shows no interest in playing the game and it wasn't long before the dice were separated from the post box. He does love to throw the dices although he tended to need to throw one at a time as his hands were too little.
The post box is in primary colours. T has a typical red post box with the exception it has a yellow roof and a green door with the words pop it in the post on the door. It also has The ELC logo under the door which often for me sources of security as I have found all the ELC goods I have bought have been of high quality.
The post box itself was the item he loves. The opening to the post box door is a twisting catch which my son initially was unable to do alone but now he finds it simple. My son's main use was simply to play postmen. He would collect the post and march round the lounge encouraging me to follow delivering post to the various animals knocking on the imaginary doors or ringing imaginary bells. Once he had completed the delivery service I had to return to help them read their letters.
The letters are mouse, cat, bunny, bird, dog and bear. Inside the envelope is a letter which does follow a normal follow the traditional letter format which starts with dear (and the name of the animal then a simple message such as please come to my party or please come to my house to play with me today. Each letter finishes with the words "love from your Friend"
The envelope has a picture of the animal the letter needs to be delivered to and also the number for the stamp. The colours of the stamps letters and envelopes all match encouraging the child to match colours. They are all in bright colours which are attractive to young ones. It has also given us a chance to practise colours in a fun relaxed environment.
The post box is so sturdy I have had to move it as I kept catching my son climbing on it to reach things I had put out of his reach. The fact the door has not been broken is also testament to its sturdy design as my son does tend to over open and bends all toys and if they do come apart then he will make them.
Benefits of this game.
This game is designed for children 18 months and older but at that age my son showed no interest in playing structured games however once he showed any interest it would be good for teaching social skills and following rules. As he has never showed any interest the benefits for him are different
It does encourage fine motor skills teaching how to open catches, insert the letters, attach stamps and finally post them.
It has encouraged imaginative play for him.
Now he has turned three and can now read the numbers one to ten he can read the numbers on the dice although doesn't know two plus zero is twenty etc.
It teaches problem solving.
I find the age the product is designed for it is simply too young for them to be interest in a structured game.
I would prefer the numbers on the stamps to be one to six as at the age of three he would be able to read the numbers.
This toy is currently available at the ELC for £15
I do consider this to have been a very useful toy that has grown with my son. I think so long as you don't prescribe to the child the use for this game this is a great game that is ideal for both gender preschool children. If your child shows no interest in the game aspect I suggest you put the dice away somewhere safe as my son may now enjoy the game however our dice are long since lost. We have owned this toy for over a year and it is something my son still plays with and gains enjoyment from. All the items included show no signs of wear and tear despite it been second hand and a well played with toy.
I bought this for my daughter for her first birthday just over a year ago. Although the recommended age is 18+ months, I had a quick look in the shop and there were no small parts. It came in at £12.00 and for that you get a post box, 2 dice and six envelopes each with a matching stamp and letter.
The game is to roll the dice and collect letters, envelopes and stamps to match and then post the completed article in the post box. To be honest we have only played the game a couple of times, the dice are now pretty much redundant and we just use this as a toy.
The post box has an opening door on the front with a little latch on. At first my daughter couldn't get the hang of the lift and twist opening mechanism but now she has mastered it. All the contents then come out of the hatch. All the contents are made of nice shiny colourful plastic. The envelopes have a slot in the middle where the letter can be slotted in and a risen square on the front where the stamp can be fitted on.
We do spend quite a lot of time slotting letters in and out, putting the stamps on and posting them in the box. This toy has really helped to improve her hand eye co-ordination, when we first got it she couldn't hold the letters straight enough to get them in the envelope but as with most things, practise makes perfect.
The toy is brightly coloured and all the envelopes are a different colour. We have fun matching the right letter and stamp to the right envelope by looking at the characters. We also count the letters going into the letter box, helping her to learn all the time.
I am really pleased with this. It is another example of children enjoying toys based on everyday things. No batteries needed, no singing and dancing, just a nice sit down and spend quality time together whilst your child is learning through play - well done Early Learning Centre.
The early learning 'pop it in the post' game is yet another toy my son got this christmas. As it is aimed at children between 18 months and 4 years he is still a bit too young for it, however, he loves it and has played with it a lot since he opened it.
It is £15 from the early learning website and is basically a colourful plastic post box with an easy to open door. It comes with a number of different coloured plastic 'envelopes' and matching plastic 'letters'. The idea is that the child matches up the letter with the envelope and posts it into the box. Each envelope also has a different removable stamp with a picture of an animal and a number on it. This signifies the 'cost' of the stamp - if it were a real one of course!
Dice are included with this so you can play a game. One die has numbers and the other has animal faces. I guess the idea is to roll them and put the correct numbers, colours and pictures together. It does come with instructions for different games you can play using all the different bits but for now I have hidden the dice until my son is old enough to play properly.
The letters it comes with are very sweet. They say things like 'dear dog I was wondering if you would like to play at my house tomorrow. Love from, your friend'
My son has a bit of trouble actually posting the letters, he tends to try doing it sideways and prefers me to help him post them and then he unlocks the door and takes them out again. You might say it's because he's about 5 months short of the age range however he and his friend played with it and she could post them perfectly.
The post box is fun to play with, however with all the parts that make up a ready-to-post letter you do tend to find bits down the back of the sofa or in the kitchen drawer for days after playing so it means you need to keep an eye on them when they are playing. Also as the 'lock' on the door is so easy to open it means the child can do it himself making it quite hard to put away without him getting it all out again. (but while in play it's good that he can do it himself so it's good and bad in both ways...maybe an 'adult lock' would help or just more discipline lol)
As my son is at the age where he spends hours filling boxes with anything and everything and then tipping them out again, this is the perfect toy for him. The good thing is it teaches him about colours and matching symbols as a toy and can then be used to play the game when he's a bit older, proving that it is a long lasting toy.
For the price I am happy with it, the box itself is quite robust and can endure being dropped and rolled around the floor.
This toy is still going strong in my household, three kids later, and will easily do my fourth when he reaches 18 months! I actually picked this up from a carboot sale for the grand total of £2.00.
~ About ~
The Pop It In The Post toy is an early learning centre branded toy, retailing at £12.00. It comes with two dice, large for little hands, and six plastic envelopes, all with their own letter and stamp to be attached/inserted. The age recommended is 18 months and up.
~ Features ~
This toy is not just a game. It helps develop hand eye coordination in babies and toddlers, when attempting to affix stamps, insert letters and pop in the box. The bright colours are stimulating and mean that this toy will actually appeal to babies from around 12 months and up. I am not actually sure why it is set at 18 months and up, as all my children began to express an interest coming to the end of their first year. Finally it encourages your young child to attempt to problem solve, they have to try to work out which animal stamp and letter belongs to which envelope, good learning play.
The game itself is as you would suspect, a matching game. There are a few different ways to play the game, from each child rolling the dice until they have a 'complete' envelope to post, to the best game of all, using their imagination. My toddlers were never really interested in set games, but they certainly did love just free playing, no rules to follow!
The whole toy and its accessories is made from tough plastic, its incredibly durable, after all my second hand one has lasted for 4 years with barely a mark to be shown, hows that for proof! It requires no batteries which is every parents joy, and there are no small bits to be choked on. It has a door on the post box which can be opened though small hands may struggle a little until around the age of 3.
~ Personal Opinion ~
There really couldn't be a better purchase than this toy, if you have a little one. Relatively cheap compared to the toys of today, very hard wearing, no batteries to replace, imagination inspiring, it really has it all. As a parent there is so much you can do with this toy to help your little ones get the most out of it. I used to get out some soft toys to join in the fun, sending letters to each other, and create full stories out of the little notes within. With younger babies you can point out the animals, name them and make the noises. You are probably wondering if there is a downside to this toy and I have found just the one for you. For children under three, they really may struggle getting the door to open once they have posted all their letters. So expect to be harassed to open the door every five minutes. That's all I can come up with though, so make sure and add this one to santa's list!
~ Stockists ~
The Early Learning Centre sell the toy for £12.00 but do look around the net and on ebay, or even like I did and check out your local car boot sales, I would not be surprised to find you can buy it cheaper than its retail price these days.
Match up the letters, envelopes and stamps, then post them in the post box. With two dice and instructions for different games to play.