“ Manufacturer: Chad Valley / Type: Alphabet / Age: 3+ Years „
We used to own one of these frames when my eldest was little but she never really bothered with it so I got rid of it and then low and behold my youngest was bought one for her birthday!! I have only ever seen this frame on sale in Argos and it was selling for £10 and in the 2 for £15 offer, I tend to like Chad Valley toys as they are generally fun and robust so I wasn't completely disappointed when I saw it.
The frame came inside an open fronted box so that you could touch the toy inside, the box made it clear the item was a Chad Valley toy and it stated on the box that it was suited for children aged 3 and up although I don't understand why this is and it was her second birthday that my daughter was bought it for.
The toy is basically a wooden abacus frame which has 6 square across each wooden strut of dowel which means that they can turn around freely. There are 36 wooden blocks, on the first 26 blocks you have the letters of the alphabet on one side of each block and then on the other side you have pictures which all begin with the corresponding letters, the final 10 blocks are the numbers from 1-10 which are written in words on one side and then the actual number is pictured on the other side.
The frame is really well made and very robust, Emily has thrown hers a fair few times and there is no damage to it at all, the frame stands with triangles at either end to make it really sturdy for standing up. The frame is all brightly coloured, the ends are red in colour which is a nice bright red and then the pictures are all nicely coloured too, the letters in each row are all on the same colour so that you can use these to teach your child colours too.
Emily likes to sit next to myself or my husband and go through naming the pictures with us, we use the blocks for counting from 1 to 6 with her, she is actually able to count to 13 but has started to get a bit mixed up again so we are concentrating on a few numbers at a time which is why we don't actually use the number blocks on the frame to do this. Although Emily does like to play with the frame she gets fed up after about 10 minutes so it isn't a toy which will hold her attention but then really for a child that is nowhere near knowing her alphabet and insists that every colour is pink there is not really much to hold attention for much longer than this.
The toy is a fair price and is educational, it is nicely coloured and certainly robust for use with little hands. I have no idea why this toy is for ages 3 and up as there are no sharp edges and no small parts, I would recommend it and would say it is suitable for under 3's.
I brought this Chad valley alphabet learning frame when it was reduced to just £2 in my local Argos store. I like wooden toys so thought this was a real bargain. I like Chad valley toys they are always of high value and quality and lower prices so I had no doubt this would be just as good.
The frame is made out of solid wood and on each row of the learning frame are 6 wooden squares which are attached to the frame. Each small square has a letter of the alphabet on each one and they can be turned round where on the other side you will find the picture that matches the letter.
The first brick is A and on the other side of that square is an apple, second is B which you turn to show a picture of a ball and so on from A-Z. On the 5th row after the alphabet has finished it then begins with numbers 1- 10. On each of these bricks it has the number written in letters one side with the matching number on the other side of the brick.
Al l the blocks have bright attractive colours on them and cute little animations to match the corresponding letter and word together. Each row of letters also has a block colour on the letter side so that you can also teach little one couloirs with this lovely little frame.
The whole thing is very well made we have had it for over a year now and had no problems the pieces still turn, they have not become loose in anyway and over all there are absolutely no signs of wear and tear at all. It can be washed very easily with a damp cloth which is handy when 3 toddlers use this toy as it can become very messy.
All 3 of my children get use out of this toy from my youngest boy at 18 months that just likes to spin each square, My daughter who is two likes to say the colours and numbers out loud while my little boy who is 4 likes to copy and write the letters down and draw the matching picture for each letter. It can be used for little one to occupy them or mummy and daddy can sit with little one helping them along.
My only problem is I can not see it on the Argos website anymore so maybe it has been discontinued and that is why it was reduced in my local store which is a shame as all my children love this and it would make a nice Christmas or birthday gift for someone.
I would definitely recommend this toy it usually retails at around £8-£10 we got a real bargain at £2 so do shop around. It is a basic yet interesting toy. The wood is very good quality nice and soft so there are no rough patches for little one to hurt them and over all is a solid well made interesting toy for all age ranges for pre schoolers.