“ Brand: ELC / Age: 18 months+ „
This is a review of the ELC wooden shape sorting caterpillar, released November 2011 according to Amazon, so we're bang up to date with this toy (not that my one year old appreciates that!).
We were bought this toy as a gift for my daughter's first birthday and when I opened it I thought it was lovely. A mix between modern and traditional toy it seemed the best of both worlds.
My daughter immediately took to this toy and began playing with the shapes and sort of piecing them together. It's something she has just gotten into, the whole shapes and holes game.
There are a lot of parts to this toy. First the wooden base is a sort of worm slash caterpillar shape. Then the wooden pegs in shapes like heart, triangle, star and hexagon, all of which are removable. The wooden head is removable too, a sort of pleasing half and apple shape and size to hold. Then each peg has two shapes that fit perfectly over them. Are you still with me? I make that 4 +1 + 8 plus base = 14 pieces. I suppose you can guess what I will say next
For a small toy this has a lot of pieces, most of which are currently residing under our settee until I get the energy to move it so I can fish them all out. My daughter was also bought a giant teapot and tea party set (plastic) which she was playing with at the same time as the caterpillar so most of the shapes went in the the teapot and out again and in and out (you get the picture).
Priced £10 it is a robust toy and will last generations so I think it is worth this price.
The wooden toy comes in a box with a cut out front and my daughter has had just as much fun playing with the box and putting things in and taking things out (mainly my pens, no wonder I can never find one).
Final say so
In hindsight, whilst it looks cute, I would not buy this as a gift for a young baby. Although it is suitable for 12 months plus, you need to be supervised to get this one right as there are just too many combinations and places for the pieces to go. It looks nice sat on the hearth with all the pieces in place but it's just too tempting for my daughter to send them to all four corners of the house. It's a nice idea but I think it'd be better if the wooden plug shapes were glued in place rather than loose. I think we'll probably get a few years out of this toy though as long as the pieces aren't all AWOL!
PS> Maybe I am just a little intolerant of all the mess a child creates in your house and I've had it too good for too long. I seem to spend half my day picking up bits of toys and toast crumbs. I am definitely banning jigsaws in my house when she gets a bit older!!!