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Wooden Multi-Activity Cube
Member Name: kat1234
Wooden Multi-Activity Cube
Advantages: lots to do, stores well, lasts different ages
Disadvantages: may need weighing down with younger children, paint flakes a little
The cube is made from wood and is fairly large - dimensions are 34 (h) x 34 (w) x 34 (d) cm. It sits ot the floor on it's bottom surface and the remaining surfaces each have a different activity to stimulate the child. The top surface has a metal wire like structure with wooden animals on that can be moved along the wires and along the surface. This can be removed from the top and turned inside the cube and fastened to give a solid cube shape - great for easy storage.
On one side of the cube there is a white board that is wipeable, with this there are four different coloured shaped magnets - red, blue, yellow and green - that stick to the board and can be moved around. Another side has a xylophone on it and there are two wooden mallets contained for playing with this (these can also be stored inside the cube). There is also an abacus with rows of coloured beads. The final activity is a maze, with coloured wooden pegs that are attached to the cube that can be moved along the cut out course.
The edges of the cube are painted in bright colours and the lid is bright green once overturned - it is quite an eye catching toy.
From the instant my son received this, he loved it. His initial intrigue as to what each side did quickly turned to genuine interest and concentration as he tried to figure out how to move pieces etc. This is a great toy for him to sit at and play with - encouraging posture and muscle development. He used to also use this to pull up to standing with as the metal wires on top are good for grabbing on to. Whilst I was pleased that it encouraged him to get to his feet, the cube is quite lightweight so I felt I needed to put something inside it to weight it down in case he did this and pulled it over. It was therefore useful that the top could be removed and something put in there for this purpose. This may be why it is recommended from 18 months but, as long as we watched him with it, I was happy for my son to have it from 12 months of age.
My son's instant favourite section on this was the top wire section where he can pull the wooden animals along. I think he is trying to pull these off so that he can grip them in his hand, but it doesn't seem to frustrate him that he can't. There are lots of different shapes for him to move about and he really enjoys this. He also enjoys the magnets on the white board, pulling them off and placing them back on - he can't seem to understand at the moment why they don't stick like this on the other sides of the cube though!! At the moment, he has had less use from the abacus and xylophone sides. He flicks the beads along their wooden poles occasionally but has shown little interest, the same with the xylophone as he is not yet ready for the wooden mallets. He does enjoy the noise this makes when I play it with him though.
The activity cube holds his attention for quite substantial lengths of time - usually around 15 minutes at a time and then he will keep returning to it throughout the day. At 14 months now, this is longer than any other toy will hold his attention for. He doesn't seem to get bored with it at all and, as he gets older, I would see him getting even more use out of it.
The cube is great for encouraging him to develop his manipulative skills and hand-eye co-ordination as there is so much for him to grab hold of and move around. It will also be a useful tool to help my son to learn to count and, later, perform basic maths as the abacus will simplify this for him. It is generally well made although I am disappointed that a little of the paint has come off from the corners of the cube and also some from the magnets. The rest of the cube has stood up well to pulling and pushing etc so it seems pretty durable.
The activities are generally quite stimulating and each quite different to one another. The top section in particular could be quite a nice toy for encouraging imaginative play as my son gets older as there are various animals to play with. I think the toy will last my son for well over a year as he will get different things from it as he grows and develops. By having the activities on a cube like these rather than having them separately it also suits us for storage purposes as it sits nicely in the corner of the room.
I would definitely recommend this for parents of children from 12 months (although closely supervised play at this age is probably required) as it offers a lot of stimulation and development opportunities. It certainly keeps my son occupied and happy!
Summary: nice activities
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