on November 22, 2007
As my 14 month daughter works on getting the right shape in the right hole. It's true that sometimes she just gets frustrated and picks up the lid and throws the shapes in the bucket instead of sorting them, but when I play with her talk to her and ask her where each shape goes she really focuses and we get them together. She looks so proud of herself when she gets them right, too! But even when she is playing by herself and taking the lid off, it's still a very fun toy for her to put them all in, take them out, and do it all over again!
on May 11, 2009
My son received this toy as a gift for his 6-month birthday. At the time, I remember hearing about how some plastic toys (often made in China) contain harmful chemicals that are known to cause cancer and feeling concerned that this toy might be one of them. I didn't do anything for awhile, seeing how my son enjoyed playing with the toy and thinking (stupidly) that if this toy were truly harmful, it wouldn't be sold in the U.S.
One day, I came across this toy on Amazon and noticed the warning to CA residents under "Product Details." I couldn't believe it when I read this toy is made with harmful chemicals known to "cause cancer and birth defects or other reproductive harm." I bet a lot of people who are giving this toy 5 stars are not aware of the warning.
UPDATE TO REVIEW ON 10-28-09: Amazon has removed the warning about the harmful chemicals, and in response to an inquiry I sent them told me "Product information from the item detail is added or deleted upon manufacturers information." Amazon suggested I contacted FP, which I did, and the FP rep said he couldn't find anything in their records indicating the toy's manufacturing had been changed. The toy's production has not been altered since 2007. He suggested that perhaps the warning wasn't accurate, and that's why it was removed. That may be, but it seems like a pretty big mistake for Amazon to make on multiple FP toys. I see now that none of the FP toys that previously had this warning have it now.
As for my son's reaction to the toy, he liked to bang the pieces together and put them in his mouth, but he never bothered to try to sort the shapes since the top doesn't stay in place, as others have mentioned. My son always removed the top and took out all of the pieces, no matter how many times I showed him how to sort the shapes with the top in place. Talk about poor design! I should have given it 1 star for the "educational" rating in hindsight, but I figured that theoretically it could be of some value if a child didn't remove the top. Also, Amazon wouldn't let me go back and change my ratings.
I just got another shape sorter for him from Amazon (the Tolo Rolling Shape Sorter), and within minutes he tried to put the shapes in the slots because he couldn't remove either the top or the bottom of the unit. Now that's an educational toy!
on July 25, 2007
This is a basic, durable, inexpensive toy. However what I don't care for is the fact that the lid doesn't snap on. I'm sure this is that way so babies can take it off, but I prefer the sorter that the child has to put the shapes through the holes. My baby figured out that it was easier to take the lid off! I like the Smartronics cookie jar sorter much better.
on December 8, 2012
So this sorter is okay, but has a MAJOR PROBLEM, fortunately, it is easy to fix.
The major problem is the lid won't stay on, at all. Here is how you fix it:
You will need: 8" of twine or cord, 1 elastic hair band.
Cut the twin in half. Tie one length into a loop with a knot going through the triangle and circle holes.
Loop the hair band in on itself through the twine so they are now connected.
Put the other length of twine through the hair band and blue plastic handle of the base box, and tie it into a loop going through the square and plus holes.
Now the lid is held securely to the box by the tension of the elastic, and can easily be pulled open to removed the shape toys after the child puts them in.
on September 22, 2011
With all the recent news about lead, BPA and other harmful chemicals being found in many children's toys, I've been investigating any toy my child has been given. Someone gave my 7 month old this as a gift. It doesn't say "BPA Free" or anything on the box, so I decided to call the company.
Fisher Price has only issued this statement (here's my paraphrase): that BPA is a known carcinogen, and that it is dangerous when food products come in contact with it. Since Fisher Price does not sell any "food storage" items like bottles or nipples, it is not as much of an issue. They do not put BPA in their high chairs, but do use it in their toys.
So, I'm not going to let my son use it....as EVERYTHING ends up in his mouth :)
One good thing I can say about Fisher Price is that it was easy to get ahold of a customer service rep. If this concerns you at all, give them a call, too! The more people who call and say it's important, the more likely they are to change their practices and produce safer toys for our children.
on March 26, 2011
I bought this when my daughter was 6 months old. She loved to chew on the blocks. Occasionally, I would try to get her to put the blocks in the bucket and yes she would just rip the yellow lid off. My thought process was she's just a baby and she doesn't have to know her colors and shapes and learning shouldn't be a chore at that age.
Now that she is 2, she likes to put the shapes in bucket with the lid on. She knows the names of all the shapes but doesn't really know the colors just yet. She absorbs so much by interaction and by people saying the words to her. Not drilling her on a formal level, just by playing. You'd be suprised how much better kids will learn if you gave objects a name instead of saying "Pick that up over there, go get that. No not that, that!" Calling objects "that" does not allow children to learn that objects have different names and especially what those names are. I have said, "Where's the triangle? Go get the triangle. Let's put the triangle in this hole." When she was 13 months, half the time I'd have to go pick up the triangle because there were too many things and she didn't know which object the triangle was but eventually she learned it and now she knows which hole the triangle goes in. I'm sure if I was more vocal with colors she would be there too. I'm not too stressed though. She'll learn her colors eventually.
on July 6, 2011
Although my baby has not mastered the concept of putting the shapes in the correct openings, she loves the shapes on their own as well as with the bucket. The pieces are easy to grasp, which is great for challenging her mind with how the shapes feel different. She will soon understand how it works. It is definitly worth the money, because it is a toy that will continue to teach her new things as she gets a little older. She really seems to enjoy this toy and baby is learning!!
on December 21, 2009
My husband & I love this toy. My 10 month old plays with it everyday & has since she's been 7 months old.
Although I agree that the lid comes off easily, I don't see it as a problem. Infact, I actually like that about the toy because it can be used to hold other toys. There is no way a 6 month old has the ability to fit the shapes in the correct holes anyhow- that is a much more advanced skill that my friend's 2 year old is just learning now with the same exact toy. So I would argue that this toy is good for children of all ages because it can be used for many different stages of development. When she first started playing with the toy she'd just put the blocks in her mouth & knock the container over to spill them all out. Within the last few weeks we've noticed she now is much more deliberate and will take the blocks out & place them back into the container without knocking anything over. We can really see her development with this toy more so than with any other. Perhaps this is because she plays with them everyday. We also like this toy more than any other because it allows us to interact with her so much more. We can play with the blocks with her such as building towers for her to knock down, showing her the colors & shapes & how they fit, even tossing or rolling them back & forth to get her used to the idea of rolling, catching & throwing. The 2 biggest complaints I have are that 1) they are easy to lose, and 2) they are impossible to find in the stores. Toyrus doesn't have them in their stores or online as far as I can tell, and I could only find them in an actual target store, not online at all. So if you want this toy I suggest you order it from Amazon.com and don't even bother looking for it anywhere else.
on June 17, 2008
My 8 month old has been playing with this for 2 months, and she LOVES it. She feels the shapes, chews on them, throws them, bangs them together, etc. However, she doesn't actually put the shapes through their correct hole. The lid comes off way too easily! She rips the lid off, bangs it on the red box, throws it, chews it, but never uses it as it is intended. Perhaps if the lid snapped on somehow she would learn how to put the shapes into the holes.
I do use this toy to say the name of the shape and the colors, and I try to show her how they fit into the holes, but she's not interested.
One good thing is you can wash them in the sink with soap and water very easily. You can't do this with a lot of toys.
There's only one reason I'm rating this nice little sorter set a "4" rather than a "5"... I think the age range of 6-36 months begins a bit too early (possibly Baby's SECOND Blocks?), not because a 6 month old is not going to yet be able to sort (as with most toys in this bracket, their skill set increases quite quickly so you typically buy them knowing that they're fun teaching tools that they'll gradually grow into), but because the blocks are such stiff plastic. We'd purchased this as one of our oldest grandson's first Christmas gifts (he'll be 7 in less than two weeks... I swear I only blinked twice... how'd he get to be this old?!), when he was 8 months old and not yet crawling. I babysat him while Mom worked, and since it was just he and I at the time (we've had 2 more grandsons since), I was able to fully focus on him (which was a delight!) Well, I couldn't wait to start playing with all of his new toys with him, and I scattered the little blocks around him so he could reach for them. The first one he latched onto was one of the red triangles, he was enjoying putting the edge of it in his mouth (as babies do with everything), but he got a little too excited with his new toy and poked himself in the eye with one of the tips! Great amount of wailing ensued, and a great amount of guilt felt by me! There are a lot of nice cloth blocks out there, usually larger than these (which are 1-1/2"), easy for a baby to grasp, that you don't have to be concerned about them injuring themselves with.
Having said that, we REALLY enjoyed this set, once he got a bit older! Love the bright, primary colors of red, green, blue, orange and purple... sometimes it seems their trying to introduce colors in baby toys that are more in line with whatever the current designer color palette is, and I've just always felt it better (and less confusing for an infant/toddler) to wait until they've grasped the primary colors prior to going into variations of them. (But what do I know?) I think you just want to take it at the child's own pace with these types of toys, because the various skills it promotes (learning colors, learning shapes, then matching color and shapes, as well as skills that require more advanced hand/eye coordination like being able to put the block through the correct space in the lid, or attempting to stack these different shapes) arrive at different times for different kids... we want to challenge them, but not frustrate them TOO much to the point they're no longer interested - takes all of the fun out of learning!
The bucket itself is a very sturdy piece (@ 7"L, 5-1/2"H when the lid's on, 5"W), and when I say sturdy, I mean it's been "accidentally-on-purpose" stepped on countless times by our middle grandson without cracking, which is pretty amazing! The lid's been used to play peek-a-boo, and the bucket's been extremely useful in transporting other items (like Thomas trains, or Disney's Cars and Planes diecasts, or plastic dinosaurs) without trying to scoop a bunch up and having them falling through arms and hands on the way to their destinations. We recently used it at our middle grandson's 3rd birthday celebration as part of a game, where the boys stood on a chair with the bucket beneath them, dropping Lego pieces and attempting to get them into holes in the lid from that height (quite a few stray Legos to pick up, but they had fun!)
Bottom line, this is a really nice, multi-purpose toy (as long as you don't let baby test it out too soon.)