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on November 30, 2011
While I semi-agree with other posters that the toy was a little difficult to pull apart to get the shapes out, it didn't deter us from loving the toy. An adult does have to pull apart the ball and get the shapes out for the child. Actually the string inside ours that keeps the two sides attached actually broke after using the toy for about a month, but it was the best thing that happened to the toy. The two sides are now easy to pull apart and still easily stay back together.

The thing that I love about this toy over other shape sorters is that the shapes go into their holes easily and the holes are the same color as their corresponding shapes, making it easier for young toddlers to find where the shape is supposed to go.
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on January 7, 2014
I have several different shape sorters in my classroom and was looking for one that was a little more advanced, and this one fit the bill! I especially like that I can pull it apart to get the shapes out, but my students aren't quite strong enough - so I can see if they have completed their task (put all the shapes in) before giving it to another child (they discovered that lifting off the lids to my other ones they could "finish" and move on to a preferred task). This is the same principal as the Tupperware one, but not quite as many shapes! We can talk about the both the shapes and colors as they're working.
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on December 31, 2013
This toy is great for building circles of communication with your child. I have used it with kids ranging from 1 to 5 years old, including some with special needs, and all of them have enjoyed it. For younger kids, you can have them point to the shape in your hand and help them put it in the proper hole. For older kids, you can ask them what shape you are holding or give them a wrong guess on purpose to help build their reasoning skills (make them tell you that it's a green square, not a yellow circle). Once you give them the shape, they can manipulate the ball themselves to find the right hole to put it in.

It is difficult for kids to open the ball by themselves. Some reviewers have given this product low ratings because of that, but I think it is a good thing. Make your child ask you to open it! Non-verbal kids can use sign language for "open" pretty easily.

Use this toy to develop your child's problem solving and communication skills. But if you just want a toy to give your child so you can ignore them, buy something else.
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on September 5, 2011
i dissagree with the other reviews, i have had absolutely no problem getting any of the shapes out of the ball. its very simple, even my 16 month old daughter can do it! i think this is a great toy and my youngest loves it, she can play with it all day. i love the brightness of the colors and that it can be used in so many different ways as well.
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on August 28, 2012
I had to hunt to find one of these. My daughter loves it. Unlike other shape sorters, the edges are beveled a little so it makes it easier to get the pieces just right to go in. I like that it has both shapes and colors. And anything shaped like a ball is a hit with toddlers. As for the problem people mention about it not coming open far enough...this is not a problem for us. What is happening is that if you twist the handles on the ends you are twisting the connecting string in the center. This shortens the string and makes it not open as far. Just be careful and dont twist the string. And if it does get tightened up just untwist it and it will work just fine. We have no problems with this item. It is a huge hit at our house! Love it!
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on January 15, 2011
Great concept but next to impossible to get the shapes out of the ball. Generally requires one adult to pull the ball apart and another adult to pry the shapes out because the ball barely opens. The child then puts the shapes back in within a minute and the cycle begins again. Don't waste your money.
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on February 27, 2012
Do not buy this toy. It is impossible to use. Shame on you Garanimals! The shapes do not come out when you pull apart the ball or even when you shake it. You literally have to wedge your hand in there and shimmy them out. Totally a pain.
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on July 12, 2011
The box says it's for 18+ months. My son is 19 months old. He can fit every single piece into his mouth! He then sucks on it because there is tiny hole in each peice and it creates a funny sound. TALK ABOUT GIVING ME A HEARTATTACK! I had to take this toy away and threw it in the garbage! VERY DANGEROUS! Shame shame shame on you Garanimals! Very dissappointed in your lack of product saftey!

And yes, it's near immpossible to get this thing open!
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on August 4, 2011
I love the idea of this toy, different shapes and colors, but it is impossible to pull apart to get the shapes out once they are put in. My kids are constantly asking to take the pieces out, but it is very difficult. I would never suggest this to any of my friends. Don't waste your $$.
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on June 5, 2012
It is really hard to get the shapes back out. Another reviewer said the string holding theirs together broke, making it easy... I've tried breaking the string in the one I have (no luck). I usually hide it from my son, I'm just going to get rid of it.

My son likes it, and actually uses it (unlike the ones that just have a shape sorting lid sitting on top of a box... just can't win with these things).

Update: The string (or rather, the plastic it was attached to) broke! Now with a little tug the two halves of the ball come completely apart. Five stars for the (actually useable) broken version, two stars for the toy as it's made.
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