Product Type: ELC baby toys
Newest Review: ... bus suitable for either a boy or a girl. There are various doors, windows and lights incorporated to fit the bus theme. The wheels ar... more
A not so sorted bus!
ELC Shape Sorting Bus
Member Name: Lools_24
ELC Shape Sorting Bus
Date: 14/02/11, updated on 15/11/11 (101 review reads)
Advantages: Brightly coloured bus, easy to hold shapes
Disadvantages: Not so durable, door on bus has broken, quite expensive
***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.
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.
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.
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.
Summary: A poor quality ELC toy and a very average shape sorter
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