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I purchased the ELC Shape Sorter bus as a little present for my son for his first Christmas this year. We had brought him a Smart Trike as his main present but wanted just a few little things as well for him to open. As he hadn't got any kind of shape sorter toy I started looking around and found this one on the ELC website in November with 25% off at the time. At full price it is £16.00 so we had it for just £12.00, and as it was an ELC product we knew we could trust it for safety and quality. The shape sorting bus is bright red and measures around 16 x 27 x 13 cm. It is a nice strong but light plastic material so is quite light and easy to push round the floor which in turn encourages crawling. On the roof of the bus is 6 colour coded different shapes slots which coordinate with the 6 shapes. Each of the size shapes is colour coordinated to the matching slot on top of the bus, and has a variety or rattles, mirrors etc in each one. The Shape Sorter Bus is great for developing a number of skills on your youngster. As it is suitable from 6 months plus it helps develop hand-eye coordination and problem solving when shape sorting, encourages crawling by pushing the bus along and helps with thinking skills by allowing them to think for themselves. Children can sort the shapes, empty and fill up the bus using the rear door and stack up the shapes. For £16 the ELC shape sorter bus is a nice chunky toy, with plenty to keep kids entertained and help them learn and develop. Although suitable from 6 months it is a toy that I am sure they will still play with through the toddler stage. It's fun for them to sort through the shapes, each shape is a different design, and the bus itself is great to push along and chase after. Our son loves playing with it and has already figured out that the shapes go in the top - despite getting them all wrong at the moment, and he does love to push the bus and go crawling after it!
BUYING This shape sorting toy was bought for my 9 month old son. It is available from Early Learning Centre and Mothercare. I'm sure you can also pick it up from Amazon or eBay. The price is around £16 unless on sale and is suitable from 6 months plus. PRODUCT AND USAGE So, what you get is a bright red, colourful, plastic double decker bus suitable for either a boy or a girl. There are various doors, windows and lights incorporated to fit the bus theme. The wheels are moveable so children can enjoy pushing it along the floor (which my boys love to do with anything that has wheels). The top of the bus is where the holes are situated to push the various shapes through. The shapes themselves are nice and chunky, easy for little hands to grab and hold and each one makes a sound as they contain small beads inside that rattle when shaken. As this is predominately a shape sorting toy, the back of the bus pulls down as an opening to get the shapes out once you have inserted them in to the top holes. However, the back of the bus does not stay on, it is a very poor design, and the opening does not clip in to place correctly meaning that it constantly falls open and the shapes just fall out. Therefore, the bus that I bought has mainly been used as a bus for pushing along rather than a shape sorter. My son namely enjoys rattling the different shapes and pushing it along, which is a shame as for £16 and being from the Early Learning Centre I expected it to be a quality toy. I much prefer the cheap shape sorter that I purchased elsewhere for £4 unfortunately and would not recommend this bus.
We bought our daughter this shape sorting bus for Christmas and I'll be honest, I ordered it online from Boots as part of their 3 for 2 deal and hadn't seen it for real until it arrived at my house (I then sent it straight off to Father Christmas for him to wrap and deliver on Christmas Day obviously). The description and design of the bus really appealed to me and a shape sorter was one of the definite items on her Christmas list - I remember using them as a child and I think they are very educational and help massively with co-ordination, problem solving and learning to identify shapes. This bus is available in different colours, there is a red bus and a pink bus - I chose the pink one. It says on the Early Learning Centre website that it measures 28cm x 27cm x 16cm but I think it's a bit smaller than this to be honest, I don't think it's as tall as they say (although I've not got a ruler on hand to check). Either way, it isn't huge, just a nice size to store we find. The toy normally retails for around £16, although I have seen it since Christmas on offer at various times with 20% off so it's worth a look before buying. Obviously I managed to get it as part of that 3 for 2 special offer. Packaging The bus comes in the most annoying packaging - it was one of the toys we opened to play with after Christmas so luckily it didn't take up time on the big day! I just remember it had endless ties to undo to get to the toy out to play with and by the time we'd finished the moment had gone and she'd moved onto one of the other toys she'd got for Christmas! The Bus The bus is very cute I think, it's similar to an old double decker bus in design. It comes with moveable wheels, so it can be played with as just a moving toy on the floor, putting it's shape sorting feature to one side. It has a cute little face on it, with the eyes being it's headlights. It's mostly made of plastic, making it easy to wipe clean from dribbles and mess. Across the plastic at various points are stickers, one features the driver of the bus, there's letters 'abc' and numbers '123' too. These stickers are in my opinion, no good for babies - our baby has already started to scratch some of them off with her new teeth - she's done this on most of the toys she has with these stickers on and to me they are such a silly thing to use as I assume most babies will do the same. The windows of the bus are also cut out shapes, but these are not where the 3D shapes can be slotted, they are just for show. These are designed to be similar shapes to those of the 3D shapes. The 3D shapes are slotted through their designated slots on the roof of the bus. The bus has an opening at the back of it that will release the six shapes from it whenever you want, all it needs is to be pulled downwards and once removed, it just clicks back up into place. The Shapes The bus then comes with six 3D objects, all of a different shape. They aren't easy shapes, there is a square and a triangle which I suppose are pretty basic but there is also a flower, a heart, a hexagon and a trapezium shape which I think are quite advanced considering the recommended age for the toy is 6 months and upwards! My view is that it can never be too advanced as she will need to learn these shapes at some stage anyway, why not now? The 3D shapes are made of plastic, some parts being clear and some being coloured. The coloured part co-ordinates with the colour of the shape on the roof of the bus where the shape slots. Two are yellow, two are pink and two are light blue. Within the clear part of some of the 3D shapes, there are little balls, rings, mirrors and other plastic parts for baby to look at and shake to make rattle noises. This is where I get a little concerned - some of these bits are tiny and every time my baby uses the shape sorter at the moment, her main aim is to put these shapes directly to her mouth rather than sort them. These bits are enclosed within the plastic but I am very worried that the plastic may crack with her continuously chewing on it with her little teeth and that these tiny parts may enter her mouth. I therefore watch her like a hawk whenever it comes to playing with this toy. Direct supervision in my opinion is definitely needed. The shapes also have a bit of a hygienic issue. Some of the shapes have little holes at the bottom where air can get into the plastic. This also means that when my baby chews on them, dribble ends up making it's way into the shape and as it's enclosed for the most part, it is impossible to clean properly. Our Experience My daughter is now 9 months old and has played with this toy quite a lot over the last 3 months although she is still limited as to what she can do with it, she certainly doesn't use it the way it is intended at the current time. It's a great toy to catch her attention, even the noise it makes with the shapes inside when you pick it up makes her immediately look up to see what's going on. I tend to sit with her on my knee and show how each shape fits into it's corresponding slot in the bus although she is still more interested in chewing away at the remaining shapes still to sort and doesn't really care that the pieces disappear into the bus. There has only been a few instances where she's peered into the bus as though she is thinking about where the shape has gone. I'm sure that in time she will learn how the shapes sort as she improves with her co-ordination and learns how the difference shapes each have their own special slot and I suppose that just means that the toy will last quite well - apart from the issues I've raised above, it isn't showing many signs of wearing. It is also good that the shapes come in pairs in terms of colour, as she will also be able to learn to sort by colours instead of the shapes themselves eg I can ask him to putt the yellow shapes in. Conclusion Overall, I rate this toy 4 stars but if there was an option for 3.5 stars, I'd have gone with that. I think it's definitely an eye catching, loving looking toy and holds her attention well, although the 3D shapes could be better designed. At 9 months, she's more interested in the shapes themselves than the bus, although I suppose they are part of the toy too. The recommend age seems fair although not really for it's intended purpose, just as a toy. We've been able to have limited use from it though at this stage and I assume as time progresses, she'll get more from it as her co-ordination develops. Thanks for reading :o)
This shape sorting bus is a fantastically fun toy suitable for girls and boys! Bought from The Early Learning Centre this bus has become one of my grandson's favourite toys. He likes anything he can push along and so instantly fell in love with this and now when I'm looking after him it's hard to part him from this toy! It is a big red bus with lots of detail on. It has holes cut out of the top in six different shapes and 6 shapes to go within these holes. These are three different colours and each colour is the same as the colour of the hole in the top of the bus so it helps to give children two ways to match the shapes both by shape and by colour. Inside each shape are different things. In one is a mirror, in a another little balls that create a rattle, a little bus inside another etc. This makes the actual shapes toys and pieces of interest in themselves. My youngest grandchild just likes to shake the rattly one! The shapes fit in the holes at the top and then fall into the bus. To get them out you need to open the back end of the bus. This is my only criticism. This back end easily comes off and it's quite fiddly to put back on again. My grandchildren keep opening it too heavy handed and it ends up coming off. You would think a product aimed at very young children would be more robust. The bus's wheels work so it can be rolled around the floor. My grandson likes to shuffle along whilst he pushes this and enjoys playing with it as a bus. He tries to do the shape sorting side of it but at the moment struggles and just prefers to use it as a bus. My older grandchildren are a little too old to appreciate the shape sorting side of it yet although they do like to look at what is inside the shapes! I really like it and love how attached my grandson is with it. It is quite large so not the easiest of things for him to push around but he doesn't seem to mind, I think he quite likes the challenge actually. Lovely toy.
This chunky pink plastic shape sorting bus was bought for my daughter for her first birthday from Early Learning Centre. It is still on sale now for £16. If I was to buy it again I would try and wait for an offer to come up such as 20% off Event which taken place recently. Size approx: Length 27cm x Width 28 cm The recommended age range is six months plus. In my opinion, this is a average toy. It is sturdy and quite ardwearing (it needs to be in our house!), it is made out of chunky plastic and has six activity blocks to post through the different shapes in the roof of the bus. The blocks have rattles, mirrors or beads inside which makes them interesting for your child to play with. There is a door on the back of the bus which opens up to enable you to get the blocks out and start again. The door has come off our bus but can be re-attached although it doesn't seem to stay for very long, this is the most annoying issue with the bus. I have a friend who has the same toy and the same problem so maybe this is a common fault. As well as learning which shapes go into which hole, my daughter used to push it along the floor, put other toys inside the bus like plastic animals and people. As times gone on she has gone onto more advanced toys but this is still in her bedroom and is sometimes played with. This is a fun toy which has had alot of use, so was worth the money paid for it. I would've preferred the red version of the bus as at times our house is 'too pink'.
The Early Learning Centre Shape Sorting Bus is suitable for babies from 6 months of age and my son has had it from 8 months. It is priced at £16 and is available in red or pink versions. The bus itself is quite large and made of a sturdy plastic. The dimensions are Length 27cm x Width 28.7cm x Depth 16cm. The wheels of the bus revolve freely, so it can be pushed along the floor and used as a bus by baby and, being so large, it is easy to grip hold of. The movement can also be used to encourage crawling and, later walking. My son has the red variety and this is a lovely bold red, like a London bus. There are six different holes on the roof of the bus, each a different shape and outlined in plastic of a different colour - two green, two blue and two yellow. The shapes are triangle, heart, hexagon, square, star (or, rather a flower) and a four sided shape that I am unsure of the name of (and thus not something a baby can learn!!). There are six windows too, three on each side of the bus. These are blue in colour and have shapes cut out of too - hearts and flowers. The shapes for posting into the slots are really lovely and well made and thought out. These are, for me, the best feature of the toy and what sets it apart from other shape sorting toys. Each shape is made of clear plastic apart from one end which is made from coloured plastic that is the same colour as the plastic outlining the corresponding hole on the roof of the bus. Inside each shape there is a different thing to explore - rattles, mirrors, even a miniature bus! My son loves to explore these with his hands and mouth. This helps with his manipulation skills as well as co-ordination as he shakes them to make them rattle. My son lacks the co-ordination and precision at 9 months to actually match the shapes to the correct slots and post them, but he enjoys to watch me do this - especially the noise that they make as they hit the bottom of the bus. The major flaw in this toy is, for me, how you remove the shapes from inside the bus. This is by a hinged door at the back of the bus. This is very flimsy and stiff to open - not a good combination. I can see this getting pulled off the bus very easily once my son figures out how this works and this will detract greatly from the toy. At £16, I would expect this to be of greater quality. Whilst it's nice to have some baby toys that don't make a noise, this toy does feel very simple and like it could be a little more entertaining for the child. Simple toys can be fun and entertaining but my son loves his shape sorter that is a cookie jar and plays tunes - it may be that is more to do with his age and that once he uses the shape sorter function he will be more amused with this toy. Even just the inclusion of a bell sound would add to this toy. Overall, this is a nice toy and the shape pieces are well made and stimulating to baby. The bus could be better made and, I think £16 is a little bit pricey given the very frail door at the back that is almost certainly going to be broken by rough little hands.
Mother and Father Lools are very generous when it comes to buying gifts; when it comes to their grandchildren anyway. My two boys regularly receive "little presents" especially when my mum and dad have been via ELC. One of the presents they received in the early days was the ELC Shape Sorting Bus. ***What Is It*** The ELC Shape Sorting Bus is a bus shaped toy with a shape sorting feature on top of it. The bus is bright red and quite large (around 30cm long by 20cm high) with six shape holes cut out of the roof of the bus with six different shaped blocks to put into these holes. The bus is made from quite a hard plastic and has four wheels which allow the bus to move when pushed. The back of the bus has a hinged door on where you can take the blocks out from when they have been put inside the bus. The six activity blocks are all different shaped, (triangle, square, heart, rectangle, circle and a hexagon). There are two yellow shapes, two pink shapes and two green shapes. The shapes are made from coloured and clear plastic which inside have mirrors and rattles to make the shapes attractive to babies. The shapes are very easy to hold for small hands and have no parts which could come detached and cause a danger to babies. ***Suitability*** The ELC Shape Sorting Bus is stated to be suitable for children from 6 months to 2 years old. I feel that from six month this is a great toy for helping with a child's hand eye coordination and motor skills by encouraging children to pick up the shapes and put through the correct hole. Because the bus can be moved along it is also good to encourage children's mobility as they can push it along and crawl or walk along with the bus. For older children nearer two years the shape sorting feature is probably less attractive however this is quite and imaginative toy that they can push around and play with. ***Availability*** The ELC Shape Sorting Bus is available from ELC stores and online at www.elc.co.uk . It is also available in Mothercare stores. The RRP is £16.00 from ELC and Mothercare however it is often in the sale with 20% off this price so you can pick it up for around £13. The Shape Sorting Bus comes in red or ELC also offer this toy in pink. ***Playing With It*** Once removed from the packaging the bus is ready to be played with. My boys were immediately drawn to it because of its bright colours. When they first started playing with the toy they were only six months old. So just sitting unaided and had very limited mobility. I found myself giving them the plastic shapes to hold which they then usually chewed on or waved about in their hands. The boys loved the plastic shapes as they were easy to hold and because they had beads inside of them they made a rattling sound, encourage them to shake them about more. As they got to about 7 months they were attempting to put the shapes inside of the bus by banging the plastic shapes on the roof of the bus. I usually guided the shapes into the correct holes as they were holding these. Now at a year old, they are able to put some of the shapes in the correct hole themselves. This toy is a fun toy for children but has a lot of learning features for both young six month old babies to toddlers of two years old. For younger children just getting them to hold the shapes, attempt to put them in the correct slot and tap the shape blocks together helps with their motor skills and hand eye coordination. My boys were playing with this toy from six months old and I seen a great improvement in their ability to hold the shape and attempt to put it in the slot over a couple of weeks. The shape sorting bus is also a great way to encourage a child's physical development. Parents can move the bus along and encourage children to crawl or walk over to it. In fact I used to push the bus along and both my boys used to follow where it was heading when they were first starting out crawling. The toy also has many learning features. The shape blocks are different colours so you can teach your child about colours asking them to pick up a certain coloured shape. You can also teach your child about different shapes and ask them to pick up a certain shape. Your child also may be able to recognise the different shape slots on the top of the bus and be able to put the correct shape block into the shape slot. Something Mr Lools disliked about the shape sorting bus even though we had purchased it in the red multi-coloured version was that it was "girly". When questioned on this he felt that the pink shapes made this look more like a girl's toy. Personally I feel that the six shapes that came with the toy should maybe all have been different colours to make this a better learning tool and teach children a range of colours rather than just having three different coloured shapes (2 of each colour). Something I was very disappointed about was the durability of the product. My boys are rough but at 8 months old (the toy was about 2 months old) one of them dropped the bus from kneeling (so the bus fell less than 1 foot onto laminate flooring) the plastic hinged door on the back of the bus smashed off and could not be reattached. I found this extremely disappointing as ELC toys are usually able to withstand rough play. I found this even more disappointing as this is not a "cheap toy" for £16.00 I would have expected to be made to a better quality. The shape blocks have however taken some chewing and been gnawed for six months now on and do not have any marks or damage to them. ***Overall*** My boys do like playing with this toy and even after receiving this over 7 months ago they still play with the bus, both as a shape sorter and as a toy bus pushing it around the floor. I like that this is a colourful toy and for young babies the shape to put in the shape sorter are attractive as they rattle and are very easy to hold. However I think this is quite an expensive toy and I feel there are much better shape sorters that you can buy in this price range which have much better learning features for children. A very disappointing toy from ELC which surprisingly is not up to the usual level of durability and quality standards.
We already had 2 shape sorters for our daughter and were not looking for another one. However, we received this as a present for her first birthday. The Early Learning Centre Shape Sorting Bus comes in a box with a clear front with 6 shapes for putting through the holes on top. I got the red bus but it also comes in pink as well. The bus has six holes in the top and a door at the back which opens to allow the shapes to be removed. There are shapes of heart, flower/star, square, hexagon, triangle and trapezium. There are also shapes in the side but there are no shapes to go through these. The shapes themselves each have things inside them to make them more entertaining for babies. Five of them have things that make them rattle including one that has a mini replica of the red bus inside. The last shape - the flower/star - has a smiley face on top of it and has mirror in the bottom so baby can see them selves in it. The age range given for the shape sorter is 6 months to 2 years. I got this when my daughter was aged one. The first problem was the amount of packaging on this and so it took me a long time to get into it. Eash shape was individually packaged with plasic and the bus was fixed with wire ties. Once I had got into the packaging, the bus was good fun to play with. My daughter liked being able to push it around and I played with her showing how to put the shapes in the top. She quickly learned that once in, she could get them out of the back of the bus - she then tried to put them back in there as well! The overall bus is quite sturdy as she likes to climb on top of it and it takes her weight (though I wouldn't recommend this!). She likes playing with the shpaes on their own as well and enjoys shaking them so they make noises; I don't think she has noticed the mirror though. I have two main problems with this toy. The first is that after my daughter played with this for two days, the bus back door fell off and although I put it back, it would not fit properly again. The other problem is that one of the shapes is a star on top, but is a flower shape when put into the bus so it is hard to give the shape a meaningful name when telling them to my daughter. Other than that, I am pleased with the product. It has taken the abuse my daughter gives it and survived her staning and riding on it. It is nice and bright and colourful and has lots of different ways it can be played with. The bus costs £16 new from ELC and I think it is a little pricey as it is a basic toy. I would probably not have bought this myself, but it is a nice present to receive.