“ Brand: ELC / Age: 3 Years+ / Type: Math „
This was a second birthday present from Granny to one of our girls. It's an Early Learning Centre toy. Now I am big fan of wooden toys, of toys that don't need batteries and of toys that do not make too much noise (there's enough noise in our house at the best of times...) - if they have an educational element then that is an added bonus. This toy ticked all the boxes.
It's an all wooden toy consisting of a stand with five poles and fifty coloured sorting pieces.
The sorting pieces come in five colours - red, orange, yellow, green and blue - and in four different shapes - circular, square, triangular and flower-shaped - all with holes in the middle.
There are ten of each colour and ten each square, triangular and flower-shaped pieces and twenty circular pieces.
The poles are attached to the stand with elastic so they bend over and will not impale your little one if someone falls (or is pushed!) onto them.
It is recommended for ages 3-6 as the pieces are small enough to be put in the mouth and could constitute a choking hazard.
Identifying colours and shapes
Sorting by colour
Sorting by shape
Building big towers and little towers
Balancing the pieces without the use of the poles (and knocking them over)
And in our house - the "tidy up game" and "hunt the missing bits"!!
This is not one of these toys that is played with everyday but it is pretty popular and probably played with twice weekly on average. I don't know what it is about wooden toys but they are so tactile and great to handle.
They are also very robust. We have had this toy for over a year now and there is no evidence of any paint being chipped off the pieces. It is a bit of a faff rounding up all the pieces at the end of the evening (we currently have one red circle missing so if anyone sees it...) and the box is looking a bit worse for wear but it is still in decent enough condition to be used to store the abacus. Long term I think alternative accommodation will be required!
I think this will also be a useful toy to use when our girls start school and are learning simple arithmetic.
Availability & Cost
This was originally bought from the Early Learning Centre for £8 - however I was unable to trace it on their website so it is probably best to ask instore.
They do crop up for sale second hand on both Ebay or Amazon from time to time, so keep looking there too.
(This review has also been posted on Ciao by me under the same username carcraig)
Five-pronged wooden sorter, with five different shaped and coloured beads to count, sort, mix up and rearrange.