The Vtech Sort and Soar Rocket is an interactive shape sorter toy. It is reasonably priced at around £20.00 and can be purchased from Mothercare, Argos, Smyths and as well as many more toy shops. In the box you get the Shape Sorter Rocket, and 5 different coloured shapes. The Rocket takes 4 AA batteries, but these are supplied when purchased.
The rocket sorter itself stands at around 30cm tall and it blue and yellow in colour. At the top is 5 windows, each framed with a different colour and shaped as a square, triangle, circle, moon and a star. These correspond with the 5 shapes provided and each coloured shapes matched the colour on the shaped window.
The shapes themselves are chunky and easy to hold for little hands and very tactile. The rocket is durable strong plastic which has lights that go off as you sort the shapes. On its base is a variety of options allowing you to change the settings. For instance, you can pick for the rocket to produce different sounds every time a shape is pushed through, or it can say the colours, numbers, and shapes amongst others. It also has a free play option. Once all 5 shapes are entered the rocket then 'blasts off' and releases the shapes from the bottom.
The Rocket is designed for 9 months up and I feel this is about right though I think most children will get over 1 before they will play with this without help. Our 11 month old son is fascinated by this toy, and loves the colours, lights and sounds. At this age he can't quite manage the shape sorting himself but understands the idea. We tend to pop the shape onto the edge of the window and he will happily push them through. The Sort and Soar therefore helps them understand shapes, colours, and learn cause and effect. The toy also helps improve dexterity and concentration.
The Vtech Sort and Soar is a great educational toy that helps teach toddlers many skills whilst they have fun. A great design, excellent price and well worth buying.
My son received the Vtech Sort and Soar Rocket for Christmas from his Uncle after receiving a brief from myself instructing him to buy something educational with lights and sounds, as, at the time my son was only 10 months old and would only give toys the time of day if they took at least 2 batteries. Typical!!! Anyway, the Vtech Sort and Soar Rocket coldn't have answered the brief any better.
The rocket is plastic with 5 slots and corresponding coloured shapes to fi through. The surround of each slot is coloured to match the colour of each shape, e.g the orange triangle fits through an orange triangle shaped slot. Once all 5 shapes have been placed through the appropriate slots, the rocket will "blast off" which involves the rocket shaking from side to side and then launching upwards, releasing the shapes from the bottom in order to start again. This is accompanied by lashing lights and rocket sound effects. You are able to choose from 6 learning themes by using a slider at the bottom of the rocket. Each theme determines what the roctet will say as the shape is placed through the slot. So, for colours, the rocket will tell baby the colour of each shape. For shapes, it will tell baby the shape and so on.
Vtech recommend that this toy is suitable for babies aged 9 months upwards. My son at 10 months enjoyed carrying the shapes all over the house with him but showed little interest in the rocket itself. I have continued to get it out every couple of weeks to gauge his interest in it and now, at 14 months old, he loves it! He has learnt to put the shapes through the correct slots and to press the big red button on the top of the rocket which will allow it to blast off if all the shapes have not been inserted. He loves the flashing lights and sound effects and it is lovely to see him concentrating as he tries to put the shapes in. It does take batteries, however, I have never had to change them and he has played with it regularly since December. It does make noises, however, I do not find them irritating like some others.
I love that this toy is both educational and fun for my little one. He plays with it regularly and I am able to see him developing each time he does. Definitely one of our favourites!
My boys have mountains of toys, not only at our own house but at my parents' house where we visit often. I'm very keen when buying toys to minimise duplicates where possible, so because we have an ELC shape sorter at home I wanted to find a different shape sorter for my parents' house. In this search I came across the VTech Sort and Soar Rocket.
***What Is It***
The shape sorter is rocket shaped. This is made from brightly coloured yellow, red and blue plastic. It has five different shaped slots, each which have a different coloured rim around them which lights up as inside each slot there is a sensor when a shape is pushed through the slot. There are 5 different coloured plastic shapes which correspond to a slot.
The shape sorter has a slide button to set which "mode" it is on, and there are 6 different modes or activities to choose from. These include colours, counting, shapes, music, sounds and free play.
The toy requires 4 size AA batteries. These are not supplied.
The toy is suitable for children aged 9 months and over. We bought this rocket for our boys to play with when they were 6 months old. Obviously they were a little too young to understand that the shapes fit in the slots, but did enjoy looking at the colours, holding the shapes and watching me put the shapes in the rocket and watching it pop up and "blast off". This toy is fine for young children as there are no detachable parts and the shapes are rounded and easy to hold. You would need to supervise a young child playing with this and ensure they are sitting up, as it they are lying down it is very easy to pull the shape sorter on top of them which could cause some tears.
For older toddlers this is an excellent toy and is probably a little more advanced than traditional shape sorters because it has six "learning modes" which should keep the interest of older children for longer. There is also the attraction that the rocket pops up and "blasts off" once all the shapes have been put inside.
The VTech Sort and Soar Rocket is available from a number of toy retailers including ELC, Mothercare, Toys R Us, Argos .
VTech states the RRP is £19.99 and this is generally appears to be the price most retailers sell this toy at. ELC often have 20% off this price which means you can purchase this toy for £16. Personally I think this is excellent value for money as the toy is packed with features and in comparison with other shape sorter toys from other manufacturers this appears to be an average price.
***Playing with it***
This was a toy which I found quite difficult to remove from the box, as the rocket and shapes were held in the box with lots of plastic packaging and ties in a number of places. Luckily at 6 month old my boys were not eagerly awaiting this toy to be removed from the packaging but for parents with older children it might be worth removing from the box before you give this to your child as it takes around 10 minutes to fully remove. You also need a screwdriver to screw off the battery cover on the base of the rocket and insert batteries before use.
Once (eventually) out of the box and batteries inserted, the rocket shape sorter is ready to be played with. It is switched on using a slide switch on the base of the rocket. There is the off setting and six different settings depending on what "mode" you want to have the rocket in. These include colours, counting, shapes, music, sounds and free play. There is also a switch which has two volume settings, meaning you can have full volume, or half volume. Half volume in my opinion is preferable as your child can easily hear sounds without causing a disturbance as full volume is quite loud. The switches are quite easy to slide but for younger children under 2 years old a parent will probably be needed to control these.
The rocket is made from quite a hard plastic as are the shapes which come with it. The rocket is brightly coloured, a blue circular base, with a "pole" which the yellow body of the rocket sits on and has a red button on top. To get started you push the red button down which sets the rocket to play position. Your child can then insert shapes inside of the correct shape slot. There are 5 shapes each a different colour and each has a different number written on them. Each slot has a sensor on it so when a shape is pushed through, depending on what mode you have the toy set to, the colour, or name of the shape etc. The rocket moves side to side and plays music once a shape has been pushed through. Once all of the shapes have been inserted, if you press the red button on top of the toy there is a countdown, music is played and the rocket "blasts off". The rocket body moves upwards on its centre pole and the shapes fall out from the bottom of the rocket. At any point once a shape has been inserted you can activate the blast off function to release the shapes.
Pressing the red blast off button is very easy even for a child of 9 months, as it is sensitive to touch and is large so does not require accuracy. Although the shapes are very easy for little hands to hold (my boys could hold these easily at 6 months old), they are quite difficult to press into the correct slots. This is because of the sound and light sensors which stick out of the slots slightly, meaning you need to push the shape into the slot with quite a lot of pressure to ensure that it falls through. Now my boys are 13 months old they are able to do so, but often need some guidance. For younger babies and children, it is unlikely that they will be able to recognise the correct shape slot but will take great pleasure in watching parents push the shape in the slot and listen to the sounds and watch the lights on the slot flash.
For older children this is not only educational but lots of fun compared to traditional shape sorters. My boys love the music played by the rocket but also the "reward" that once the shapes have been pushed inside of the rocket it "blasts off". The blast off and surprise of the rocket popping up and the shapes falling out of the rocket is always a surprise that my boys always giggle at. My friends children who are slightly older than my children (2 and 3 years old), always seem to play with this toy and enjoy the "blast off "feature.
The Sort and Soar Rocket has a number of developmental and educational features. This develops a child's fine motor skills required to pick up the shapes. It also develops hand eye coordination so a child can pick up the shapes and put the correct shape slot. The lights and sounds made by the toy also helps to engage children and develop their attention span. The shape sorter feature helps children with recognising shapes and colours but the learning modes that this toy has furthers this by teaching counting. Depending on the mode once a shape is pushed through the slot, the rocket will state what colour, shape, or number this shape is in a clear English male accent. This is repetitive but helps children learn.
This is a very durable toy and is very easy to keep clean. It simply requires a wash over with a damp cloth. The toy has been pulled over and battered with other toys by my boys and after 7 months of regular use it still looks as new with no visible marks or scuffs. The plastic shapes have also been chewed on lots and have no visible bite marks on them. Although this toy requires quite a few batteries, these lasted six months before they needed replaced which with other toys we have it is monthly.
This is definitely one of my boys' favourite toys and I feel as a parent it is excellent value for money. It is an excellent quality toy, which is fun and has a lot of learning features and most importantly keeps my boys entertained. For younger children the music, colours and easy to hold shapes make this an attractive toy, whereas for older children the six different learning modes makes this a fun toy.
The only slight design flaw is the base of the rocket should be slightly wider to give the rocket greater stability. It is very easy for younger uncoordinated children to pull it over as they press the blast off button. This is not dangerous; providing your child is sat up playing with the toy it is more annoying as a parent as you regularly have to stand the rocket back into an upright position.
A great shape sorter in my opinion!
Lately I have accumulated more toys. When my friends children grow out of their toys they seem to pass them onto me and I am not one to say no I think I could open a shop now with the amount that I have got and are not played with.
This toy has confused me to high heaven. When this came it had no batteries and I had none to put in but assumed that they would still be able to play with it due to shapes could still be put in the holes. My baby daughter was the first to try this toy and put all the shapes inside with some help from me. Of course because there was no batteries this didn't flash or make any noises but then it came to getting the shapes out the top would not pull up to let the shapes pull out. In the end my eldest got all the shapes out the way that they went in so that she could play with it again. Everyday we tried to lift it up again with no luck. I tried, my partner and my friend also tried and still no luck. After talking to the friend that gave it me she explained that when it was on the blast off setting you push the top and it will pop up letting all the shapes fall out. I have never laughed so much and yet felt so thick.
Now we had figured out the basic I have put in new batteries so that this can be played with. It takes 4 aa batteries incase you are wondering. The first setting on this is off which you must ensure it is switched off when not in use or you will always hear blast off which is annoying when you are watching a program and you start to hear noises after. The second setting is a picture of a rainbow which will teach the child colours. The third setting is a picture of a funny blob sun picture that will play music. The fourth setting is numbers and will teach your child counting. The fifth is shapes and teaches your child the shapes that are in the toy. The sixth is a swirl picture which is the blast off and the last is a picture of a face which will also sing songs and talk to the child.
This is a spaceship shape sorter. I have many shape sorters and this one isn't my childrens favourite the prefer the cookie jar I think this is because it is easier to use with interesting music. The shapes on this are a circle, a moon, a square, a triangle and a star. Inside the holes are little buttons so when you push the shape in it will play the music or talk to the child to teach them things. The shapes that are inserted are a solid plastic but look cheap compared to the quality of the toy. The button on the top is easy to press and remember will only work when batteries are inserted.
Vtech is a well known learning toy manufacturer and I have always liked their toys and have bought them for them but I am not impressed with this particular toy and would advise that you search for a better model of shape sorter.
I think that my children have found this as annoying as I have and I am considering taking the batteries out and putting them inside something that they do play with. I think this is an expensive toy too that is not worth the money. It is not the best product form vetch.
This is one of the more innovative and interesting shape sorters on the market. The addition of sound and movement adds to the engagement and is enjoyable for kids in a wide age bracket.
My daughter was given this when she was very young, but probably only started engaging with it from about 6 months. Although V tech recommend it for children over 9 months I do think that they can enjoy it before then- they will just need more guidance i.e. I would put the shapes into the holes and then help my daughter push them through. The rocket will then jiggle around and make a sound. The sounds can be chosen by using the slider on the bottom of the rocket and can be set to say shapes, numbers, play music etc. This is one of the features that make it a great toy for growing with your child. Younger children will enjoy the music settings but older children could benfit from the shape and number settings which help them develop early numeracy skills.
The rocket pops up to allow the shapes to fall from underneath, which again is very engaging for young children and much better than an adult having to take it apart which often happens with shape sorters.
I would definately recommend this product and intend to keep it for future children of mine.
Vtech rocket shape sorter. This was purchased as a gift for my son back in xmas 2007. At the time it was on offer around £15 from what was woolworths. It has been one of the few 'baby toys' that have never been packed away for baby number 2. Baby number two is now 6m and she too loves it.
With 5 shapes a star, moon, circle, triangle and square as well as being a shape sorter there are other features too. As baby puts the shapes in it has buttons which will be pressed as the shape enters the rocket. As this happens the rocket will say a phrase and shake around a bit. You choose what it says by a slide along bar on the bottom of the sorter. You can choose from colours, a tune, numbers, shapes, sounds or just random. With numbers shapes and colours whichever u choose it will tell you what colour you have put in or what shape it is. Numbers is counts as the shapes are put in.
Once baby has put all 5 shapes in the rocket dances and says 3,2,1 blastoff! and pops up. Very amusing at first when my son first got he jumped everytime it popped it.
Even now my son is playing with it as he has seen me with it. What i especially like is you can put the shapes in the hole without it dropping in then baby can just pop it in. My daughter currently loves that. Although it is recommended from 9m my son had it first at 7m and enjoyed it then and soon learnt to put the shapes in.
It has been a very durable toy with stood being dropped sat on etc. The batteries last well too. It is all plastic so easy to wipe down if it gets dirty!
I love this toy!
My son got this for his birthday when he was 1 (he is now 5). I know it sounds sexist but after having 2 girls I wanted to get him something that was, well, for a boy!!
I was so pleased when I bought this. My son was pretty chuffed too. Just watching his face rip off the paper to reveal this brightly coloured object was lovely.
I personally reckon he was more interested in the box it came in, i, on the other hand was untwisting those ties and diving in my kitchen drawer to find the right batteries, just to see what it did. Anyone would think it was my birthday, not his!
Anyway, batteries in and turning it on, a pretty sweet melody came on and I had to flip the switch the other way to make the sound a little less loud (a very good idea is the loud and quiet switch).
I sat on the floor with my son gently putting the perfect sized smooth and round edged shapes in his hand and guided them to the correctly shaped holes to put them in. It made me laugh to watch him squeal with triumph as the toy either said the name of the shape, the colour of the shape or counted as they were passed through. There is a switch on the base of the rocket where you can slide to which function you want your child to LEARN for want of a better word. Colour, number, shape, etc.
He wasn't too chuffed when all the shapes went in and he couldn't figure out how to get them back out again though! But after being shown once - by a quite over enthusiastic mum, yes me, who hit the nose of the rocket and it sprang up to let the shapes fall from the space at the bottom, it didn't take long for him to pick up the idea of what to do. It was hilarious, as the first time i did it, we both jumped, which resulted in my son giving a look like he was not sure whether he was about to laugh or cry - yes, you know the one.
But it was fine, after the initial shock, he had more fun posting the shapes and smacking the top of the rocket than anything else.
Six months later and he was still playig with it, but as time was goign by he was slowly learning the shapes and colours and things, BRILLIANT.
There are lots of learning toys out there that bleep and buzz with flashing lights and i don't like a lot of them but this is an exception.
This little rocket kept my son occupied for at least 2, nearly 3 years and I have since passed it on to my best friends son, who has fallen in love with it also.
The Vtech Sort and Soar Rocket was bought for my little boy at Christmas and he has recently started to play with it (sort of).
This toy costs around £19 depending on where you buy it from, and the box says it is suitable from 9 months onwards. My baby is ten months and has started to show a little interest in this toy, but is still too little to really play with it properly. Hopefully he will grow into it.
What this is, is a plastic colourful rocket ship with five different shaped holes around the top. You also get five colourful plastic shapes which fit through the holes.
When the shapes get pushed through the holes, the rocket will either play a tune, name the colour, count the shapes, name the shapes or play an unusual sound. There is a sliding button along the bottom to change the mode.
Firstly, I think that the price of this toy is very reasonable considering that is is made of good quality, hard wearing materials and will probably last for a long time.
I really doesn't take any setting up - you just take it out of the box, insert the batteries and you're done. That will be a big advantage and save you some time on Christmas morning.
At the moment, my ten month old just likes to listen to the music and sounds and look at the lights flashing - occaisionally hitting the top of the rocket. He has no idea where to put the shapes yet but I am hoping that this toy can be educational and will help him to think and figure out what to do.
The only real disadvantages that I can think of are that the shapes could be easily lost and that the noises can be a tad annoying for mummy.
Overall, I would reccommend giving it a try to occupy and educate at the same time.
My son was bought this for his first Christmas, and straight away, the entire family loved it.
the rocket is brightly coloured, with five shapes and relevant holes. As soon as it came out of the packaging, my son was quite happy to play with the bricks individually or press the buttons which trigger responses from the rocket. Once all five blocks have been inserted (or in my sons case, all five buttons have been pressed) the rocket "blasts off" with a rumbling sound, so the shapes can fall out of the bottom. The design is different to most shape sorters on the market, and I'm sure it will be appreciated for years to come.
The shape sorter teaches aspects such as shapes, number and colour, and gets a delighted reaction from both my partner and son every time it's brought out. If you're stuck for a birthday or christmas present, then this is worth a shot.
I believe that every baby should have a shape sorter of some kind when they are growing up. There are so many to choose from that it's often difficult to see which is best for your child and which toy they will get the most satisfaction and use out of. The vtech sort and soar rocket covered everything for me.
******What is it******
The Sort and Soar Rocket is a fantastic little shape sorter that mixes shapes, counting, colours so the fun will last a lot longer than your average shape sorter. It is also possible to change the shape sorter mode so it can do music or numbers or shapes and so on. There are six different modes altogether.
The shapes themselves are a great size for little fingers to hold and big enough that they can't choke or swallow them, believe me this is a must if your little one is like mine and puts everything in their mouth! There are five different shapes, each a different colour: a red moon, blue square, green cicrle, purple star and an orange triangle. These colours are a great choice in my opinion - different enough to make learning the colours easier. Some shape sorters i've seen tend to use similar colours to each other, making it harder to learn.
An important point i should mention, it has volume control! You can turn the sound up or down depending on where you are and what you're doing. It also has an off switch, a must for any toy.
There are six different activities or modes for this shape sorter. These activities are chosen by a slider at the front on the toy and i doubt they could have made it any easier. The activities are represented by pictures so your little one will soon learn which activity is which picture.
To put the shape sorter onto colour mode, you turn it to the rainbow, music is represented by a musical note, counting by 123, shapes by pictures of shapes, sounds by a whirlpool and the last option is free play and is shown by a smiling face. When you select free play, whichever piece you put in first determines which mode you'll play. (Each piece has a symbol on one side).
When all five of the pieces have been inserted into the rocket it sets off the sounds and a melody. I think there are 6 different melodies and the ones i've figured out are twinkle twinkle little star, this old man, pop goes the weasel, sing a song of sixpence and he's a jolly good felllow - if you know the last please let me know!
When you press the button at the top it will set off one of three phrases, usually 3,2,1 blast off. This shoots the rocket up and the shapes come spilling out the side. The fun can then start all over again. I should probably also mention that as you put in one piece the rocket rotates from side to side and tells you the colour, number etc.
******Why is it different?******
There's a very simple answer to this question. Shaped like a rocket it not only rotates, talks to you, plays tunes but it helps a child to understand colours, numbers and shapes from an early age. Some of the shape sorters we'd looked a previously were just bits of plastic with beads on the side and i'm sure my daughter would have tired of this easily.
I can't really think of that many but the button being where it is can be set off accidently but then i'm sure my daughter does it when she gets stuck on the moon shape. For some reason the moon seems to be harder to push through than others but she still manages most of the time. Other than that, i can't think of anything else that could have been improved.
We bought this from Woolworths in the sale for £9.99 but i think the usual price is around £14.99. This is worth every single penny, my daughter has had hours of fun with it and i'm sure she'll have hours more. I don't think i'd pay anymore than about £17 for it though, as it is a shape sorter and there are basic ones around for about £4. Definately value for money.
This is suitable for children from 9 months plus and i can see my 1 year old playing it for a good year yet. I don't think i would give it to a child any younger than 7 months though as the point of it would be wasted.
A must buy! Hours of fun that helps to teach your child some of their basics at a young age.
Vtech Sort and Soar Rocket.....
Vtech sort and Soar Rocket is a child's toy for the ages of 9 months and over. It costs around the £10 mark give or take a few pence from shop to shop and is a wonderful toy. The basic idea of the toy is that is primarily a shape sorter with five different shapes to poke through the corresponding shape hole.
The shapes that are used are a triangle, circle, square, star and moon. These different shapes are all different colours. So the Triangle is orange, the circle is green, the square is blue, the star is purple and the moon is red. These five different coloured shapes are wonderfully chunky in size and this makes it easy for smaller hands to pick them up and push them through the holes.
Inside each hole of the toy there is a small button which is activated each time a shape is passed through the hole. Depending on which mode of play is currently selected this buttons states the colour or shape of item passed through the hole. There are 10 different modes of play with this toy and this gives it a good range compared with most and seems to keep Jack's attention for longer than some of his less adapting toys.
The modes of play are things like colours, shapes, numbers, music and so on. Each mode gives a wide variety of things to listen out for and things the correspond to the shape inserted and this gives the child using it tons of learning potential.
The fact that the whole toy is shaped like a space rocket also has meaning whereby the top of the rocket is a button that once pressed makes all the shapes that have been pushed through the holes fall out on to the floor so you can start all over again. This is useful of course, for once all the shapes have been pushed through but it can be annoying when Jack pushes it by accident when trying to get some of the shapes in and the couple that he had previously put in come out before he has completed the whole thing. This really is the only downside to the toy and apart from that, I do think it is truly brilliant.
Jack has picked it up very well and he can actually put in around three of the shapes into their correct holes straight away. He has more difficultly with the moon shape one as this is the only one that is not symmetrical and I think that is where he gets a little stuck. Jack also enjoys the different music that the toy plays and often has a little happy feet dance when the music is playing. The music is not particularly clear of CD like but it is not so annoying and toy like than other music toys Jack has. There is a section that plays nursery rhymes and Jack loves it when we sing along to those!
All in all I think this toy has been a valued member of the ever increasing toy collection. It was one of Jack's better gifts he received for his 1st Birthday and it just goes to show that you don't have to spend a lot of money and get a big fancy toy to make the child happy and able to learn a lot (unlike the awful bounce and spin zebra I have wasted money on!).
I think this is a great toy and would make a lovely Christmas present for a lucky child. A 5 star award and a HIGH RECOMMENDATION for this product a great toy from vtech!
I got one of these for my daughter from a charity shop, all the pieces were there and it has proved to be such a fave toy with her that i would happily go out and buy a new one of this one was to break as she's had so much fun with it and it's been educational too. She quickly learnt all the shapes, their colours and which hole they fit into. She learnt some numbers listening to it count down and that by pressing the red button on the top made it blast off! This amused me at first as she jumped out of her skin everytime it blasted up and sent the shapes scattering out all over the floor but she now finds this the best bit. Its very sturdy too, as she's got bigger she likes to carry her toys around with her and this has been dropped a few times. The only thing i dont like about it is that the music is a bit annoying-but that seems to be the case with most childrens toys, well the ones we have!
Hi, My daughter has had this Vtech Sort and Soar Rocket for over a year and I am very impressed with the amount of different things it does, it teaches, colours, numbers, shapes, plays music which my daughters loves to dance to (It does have an off switch for us adults though for the times when any more kids music will drive us mad). It has been very sturdy and has had a lot of use. There are a couple of small issues, first is that some of the shapes have to be pushed quite hard to get them through the holes, so when my daughter was younger she didnt have the force behind her without the rocket being pushed over aswell. Second would be that the shapes arent all in view when playing with it - so if my daughter had the green shape and the hole was around the other side for a while she didnt realise she had to turn the rocket around. Other than those 2 things she has enjoyed playing with many many times. Overall I would recommend for the money, however I think there are better shape sorters out there.
What a fantastic toy this is. The Vtech sort & soar rocket is a shape sorter, which claims to be suitable for toddlers 9 months and up. Now, I remember having a shape sorter ball you know, the one where you posted the shapes into the ball and when it was full you had to pull REALLY hard on the handles to separate the two halves of the ball and shake the shapes out? Well, kids toys have come a long way since then, and this rocket is no exception. It still has sorter slots, but also does so much more! Unfortunately, as with many modern toys, it does need batteries (4 AA). The good news though is that there is an OFF switch.
The rocket itself is made from colourful plastic and seems very robust. It has five slots, each one a different shape (naturally) and surrounded by a coloured ring, which can light up. Someone kindly bought it for my six months old son for Christmas, but his older brother, who has just turned 3, has had the most play out of it so far. It comes with 5 colourful plastic shapes, which baby so far has enjoyed turning over in his hands and banging together - hes a little too young for sorting yet! But the bright colours of the rocket also grab his attention, especially when his older brother does something to make it move or play music, so I am sure that this toy will continue to be played with for a long time.
There are 6 different activities to choose from and you select these using a sliding switch on the front of the sturdy base. As soon as you turn the unit on, the rocket rotates back and forth with its lights flashing and plays a jaunty tune. It then announces which activity you have chosen for example, learn colours. Fortunately for parents there is a volume control switch on the base.
The activities available are: colours, music, counting, shapes, sounds and free play. These determine what the rocket does when your child pushes one of the shapes through the appropriate slot. Most are fairly self-explanatory, for example, in colours mode the rocket announces the colour of the ring that the shape was pushed through. Likewise, each slot has an associated shape, funny sound or piece of music. The musical gems are For Hes a Jolly Good Fellow, Au Claire de la Lune, This Old Man, Pop! Goes The Weasel and Sing a Song of Sixpence. Vtech even helpfully supply the lyrics in the instruction manual, which is very helpful for a 9 months old oops, I guess they expect parents to be involved after all. After every tune or announcement, there is the obligatory rock back and forth and digital music to indicate that the rocket is getting ready to blast-off. This is the piece de resistance. When every shape has been successfully inserted, the rocket shouts, blast-off and gives a round of applause; it then shoots upwards on the central pole, which enables the shapes to come tumbling back out. My 3 year old loves this, although he has worked out that you can get the same effect by pressing the button on the top of the rocket as well.
Overall, I think that this is an excellent toy. Children seem to stay interested in it because of the different activities, and because it rewards them for their efforts by doing something fun. From my own experience, it seems to appeal to a broader age range than some of the so-called educational toys. Most importantly, it doesnt get on my nerves (yet?).
As I mentioned, this toy was a gift, but it appears to be widely available in the usual suspects including Early Learning Centre, Argos, Index and Woolworths, priced around £19.
For more information, you could visit www.vtechuk.com.
3, 2, 1 Blast off! Innovative rocket-style shape sorter rewards childs actions with lights, sounds and fun phrases. Each shape triggers the curriculum responses according to the selected activity, teaching colours, shapes and counting. Plays music, fun sounds and silly phrases with dancing lights and rocket sound effects! Blast-off feature drops pieces out to start playing again once all shapes have been inserted or when the button on the top of the rocket is pressed.