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112 of 113 found the following review helpful:
Challenging Shape Sorter, Great Toy, Manage the Frustration!Jan 23, 2004
By Colorado reader & parent
My 22 month old daughter plays with this toy, but there are 2 major sources of frustration.
1) The lid doesn't stay on well - whenever you try to put a shape into the side with the lid, the lid flips over. An older child could probably figure out that you have to hold the lid (or just drop the shape neatly into the hole without touching the lid) - but a younger toddler just isn't going to get that. It is very frustrating. Other people have pointed it out as well - perhaps the designers will respond in version 2. It's needlessly frustrating.
2) Some of the shapes are very similar /complicated - it is frustrating for a young toddler. BUT!!!! my daughter is slightly younger than the recommended age, and, it is a learning toy - it isn't supposed to be immediately easy. Just know that for younger toddlers, you should play with them and help them select the right hole.
A bit of guided play is called for while they are learning and it will increase fun/decrease frustration. My daughter has learned some of the shapes on her own, and is getting 'closer' on some of the others, but I frequently play with her and talk to her about the shapes and help her find where they go.
All in all, it is a good toy. We have several Melissa & Doug toys, and have been pleased with them all. They are safe, high quality, and nice looking. And you can never have too many small, brightly colored pieces of wood underfoot. :)
96 of 101 found the following review helpful:
Great idea, but poor designMar 08, 2005
By Henry K. Cookson Jr.
We bought this shape sorter for my older son when he was about 18 months old. He'd already been playing with a lightweight plastic one for months, but we liked that this one was wood and had more shapes -- in addition to the basic oval, circle, rectangle, triangle, square, etc., this one has a flower shape, a heart, an octagon, a couple of different triangles, a wedge, parallelogram, etc.
Unfortunately, the shapes fit through any hole in the sorter, so the child isn't really learning much of anything. Plus, the lid is impossible for a small child to keep on while they're playing with it -- even my older son (now 4) has trouble with it!
I've also found that it gets so crowded in there that the shapes don't always fit well when you're fitting in the last few. You need to shake the sorter so that the shapes settle to the bottom. Another issue that I have with this product is, several of the pieces are small enough to fit INTO a small child's mouth -- our younger son, 18 mos, has proven that on several occasions! The plastic ones we have from the other shape sorter are all a bit larger than these pieces, and I think safer. We keep this shape sorter up on a high shelf, to be played with on a rainy day with supervision. It's not a toy I'd leave out for everyday play.
38 of 39 found the following review helpful:
Looks good, but poor design for actual useAug 31, 2004
By Kelly R. Stanaj
I commend Melissa and Doug for the nice variety of shapes this cube offers as well as its classic wooden toy appearance, but that being said, actual use of this cube is cumbersome and faulty. A bit too heavy for tiny hands to turn and look for the appropriate hole, it also becomes frustrating when the lid falls off (no latch or hinge to keep it on) or it is almost full with blocks and you are trying to push in one of the shapes in the lower portion of the cube and it won't go in because there are blocks inside sitting on the bottom. If the lid latched, you could turn the sides facing up and easily insert the shapes, but not so. I sold my daughter's on ebay and got her the classic plastic Playskool one that has a snap lid and that is lighter weight so she can turn and tumble, looking for the right hole for the shape she has.
38 of 41 found the following review helpful:
Imperfect, but interestingNov 03, 2003
By Richard L. Nelson
My daughter has warmed to this toy over time. It's not a huge favorite, but she finds it challenging and interesting, and she's learned a *lot* more from it than she did from the simple plastic shape sorter she got bored with.
One of the things I really like about this toy is that it's not just about the One Right Answer. My daughter (now 2-1/2) experiments with different ways to insert the same shape, and learns something about generic versus specific solutions. There is much value in the notion that only the star can go through the star-shaped hole, but the star and many other blocks can pass through the rectangular one.
Similarly, the fact that the lid can fall off used to annoy her. But it also taught her to adapt to it, and now she either holds the lid on or turns the box in such a way as to not drop it off.
I admit she found this toy frustrating early on. But it is one of those toys that she revisits every few months, and she plays with it differently over time. Her "plain" shape sorter was a good first lesson for her, but it doesn't have anything new to offer once she figured out how to get the three different shapes into the three different holes. This toy has a lot more to offer over time.
18 of 18 found the following review helpful:
Not Well DesignedMay 11, 2004
I bought this toy because my daughter is really into sorting shapes right now. She has several shape sorters that work really well. This one, however, is not well designed. First of all, the lid cannot be fastened to stay down. When your child needs to turn it over to put in the different shapes they all fall out. Secondly, once you have a couple of shapes in the box they block the way for the others to go in. I have always loved Melissa and Doug toys up to this point but I would love to get my money back for this one.
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