I am an elementary teacher who has been nannying for the past 15 years. I think this shape sorter is excellent for beginning understanding of shapes. Each of the shapes is a different color, however the plastic background is white. This is good because then they have to match the shape not just the color. If you would rather it be color coordinated, you could always stick a sticker matching the color onto the plastic background. There is one thing they could do to improve it. The circle and triangle each also fit in the hole for the square, and this confuses the toddlers. If they had made the square slightly smaller it would have solved this problem. As long as they start with the square, there should be no confusion. Oh well. It's the best I've found yet for a first shapes puzzle. After they master this, then they can move onto the ones where the shapes are parts of different objects. (Melissa and Doug has a fabulous puzzle that can also be found on Amazon.)
I work with children with developmental delays, but put off purchasing this puzzle due to its cost. Well I wish I hadn't! I love this puzzle and my kids love this puzzle. The fact that it is plastic makes clean up and disinfecting it between sessions a piece of cake. I've used wood puzzles, but this plastic just glides across the surface which really helps it to find the proper spot. I've seen dramatic improvement in some of my kids that couldn't place the three shapes before and I have been able to move back to the wood puzzle.
I'm kinda disappointed. 1st off I searched for simple wooden puzzles. So when this shapes puzzle popped up, naturally I ordered it thinking it would be wood. It's not. It's plastic. And second the square piece is big enough that the circle fits in it. If the square had been made smaller I would have been happier. But, in the end I gave it 3 stars cuz it's the closest I have found to what I've been looking for