Customer Reviews: Manhattan Toy Counting and Sorting Farm
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on November 4, 2005
My 21 month old daughter loves animals, farm animals (especially chickens) and loves to count. When I came accross this toy I knew that she would love it.

There are for main parts in varrying sizes. A large barn for 4 cows, a medium barn for 3 pigs, a small barn for 2 sheep and one nest with one chicken.

The numbers appear on the top and bottom of the barns (which are round soft cyllinders with flat tops and bottoms for stacking) or in the inside and bottom of the nest for the chicken. When you open the barn doors with the hook and loop closure the inside of the door shows what belongs inside, 4 cows etc. Then inside are the different numbers of animals belonging to that barn. They are soft little pillows great for chewing, tossing and squeezing. The animals are all very cute and loveable and the colors used are bright and stimulating.

This will be a toy that my daughter can play with for quite some time then will be a great toy to share with younger babies as well since it is made so safely.

If you have an animal lover or one who loves to count then this is a great toy to get them.
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on October 5, 2007
The Counting and Sorting Farm is a great concept. However, the material it is made of is hard for stacking the "cups", especially for very young children. The young children love putting the items in and out of each container but, like most toys, to get the best "learning" out of the toy, it requires one on one with an adult or older child. You can use this toy in a variety of ways, however. Language/vocab development, positional words, matching, of course counting/sorting. Having the "cups" different sizes allow for some problem solving to take place. (For example, there are 4 cows and they won't all fit into the sheep container so it must not be the correct container.) It helps with the development of fine motor skills as well as object permanence with the younger children. With older children you can introduce the concept of even and odd, while counting. I personally would put the suggested age at about 18 months. Depending on a preschooler's development, you may find that it doesn't hold their interest or challenge them because the numbers only go up to 4. In general, this toy has potential.
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on September 1, 2008
My 2 year old son really enjoys this toy. I got it to work on sorting like-items which was really easy to do with all the visual aspects of the toy. Once he gets done sorting, he has fun just playing "farm" with the cute animals and stacking the containers. I think even our younger child will enjoy this toy's soft containers and animals. Great toy for a child to grow up with as it is great for a wide span of ages.
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on August 28, 2013
I'm finding it rather complicated to rate this toy appropriately and want to emphasize up front that my review is somewhat lengthy, but ask everyone to please read it, as it does contain what I consider important info on this product................

OK, first off, upon receiving this item I was pretty surprised at how it was packaged. The cloth animals that go in each block/cylinder were attached inside each with string and each animal was strung together. I immediately cut them loose and pulled the strings out of each animal. However, I have 4 children and my mother owned a daycare when I was growing up, so I have been purchasing children's toys for many years now and have plenty of child safety experience in general. Without any instructions stating that the strings were to be removed, I am none the eager to imagine what could happen if a younger, more inexperienced parent, or perhaps just a parent having a "Duh?!" day or possibly in a rush, which are both scenarios that happen to the best of us, were to leave the strings, thinking maybe they are supposed to stay attached, as some toys are made this way. These were literally strings, like thick cross stitching thread, strings. So, I wasn't too impressed with the packaging and felt if they were packaged this way then there should have been a sticker attached or an instruction pamphlet, something cautioning the removal of these strings prior to play. That said, I tend to be somewhat paranoid about children's safety issues and its not as though its the worst safety hazard I've ever seen, so moving on.

The next thing that I noted was the size of some of the animals. If they were plastic, rubber or maybe even a hard foam, then they would be fine. However, they are cloth with cotton stuffing or batting fill. That being the case, they are squishy and can be mushed flat and compacted in a tight little ball very easily. The chicken, lambs and even the pigs are too small in my opinion and with a baby or young toddler chewing and slobbering on these, I feel they could become lodged in the throat rather easily and would be hard to expel because of the material.

I have also found several loose threads hanging around the edges of both the cylinders and animals I had to cut and pull off.

The last issue I have with this set is the cylinder construction. The cylinders are cloth covering cardboard, this is how they maintain their shape. I realize many children/baby toys are made with cardboard and have no problem with that. My complaint however is the quality of the cardboard used. It is very thin and makes durability an issue.

I am actually very shocked by the issues I have found with this set, as Manhattan toys has always been one of my faves. We own MANY toys by Manhattan, Baby Stella and tons of her accessories, whoozit toys, and many more. I have always been very pleased with all Manhattan purchases and consider them one of the best sources of fun, educational, safe toys at a reasonable price.

Negatives aside, my baby girl does truly love this toy set. She has had this for a few months now and plays with it alot. This is an accomplishment, as we own 2 homes and she has a massive assortment of toys at both places, I do not even attempt to make excuses, she is flat out spoiled rotten. This combined with the fact that she is in the 1 and 1/2 age yrs bracket, makes it difficult for any one toy to keep her attention longer then 5 min.

I'm not sure whether it is the bright colors, the put in take out factor, the cows ( I gave her the cows and cylinders and put the rest away), the flaps she can close, or what, but for whatever reason, she adores this toy set. She will grab it over tons of other toys available and sit and put the cows in all 3 cylinders and take them back out for long periods of time. When she tires of it and moves on to play with other things she always returns to pick it up again very shortly.

For us, this toy is still an excellent value and was money well spent, as my daughter loves it. However, others may find that having to remove much of the set for safety purposes makes this set a less then stellar purchase.. You are essentially paying $25-$30 for 3 cardboard cylinders and 4 stuffed cows.

I realize my review is rather lengthy and thank those of you whom took the time to read it. I wanted to make sure that I mentioned the safety issues I found with this product, as this is the most important factor in choosing children's toys. I feel strongly that the construction quality of toys has rapidly declined with companies and parents alike focusing so much recently on the toxicity of paints, chemicals and plastics. Not to say that those things may not hold merit, but our children have been using bottles and other plastic items made with BPA for years and have been chewing on painted toys for even longer with no ill results.
I am personally much more concerned that my child not have a toy constructed of materials causing choking and injury hazards that I KNOW CAN happen now, rather then focusing on something that MAY pose risk later.

Based on my experience, I could not really recommend this toy for others. While it worked out well for us and was worth the effort taken to make necessary adjustments, I feel it may not be a good purchase for others and may be dangerous in some circumstances.

I give this product stars for design concept, educational value and general play-ability, but had to remove stars for the negative issues. If this product were packaged and constructed differently with larger animals, it would definitely be a 5 star product.

Please take these points into consideration before purchasing this for a baby or younger toddler. Thank you!!
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on January 26, 2010
My son got this for his 1st birthday. He is now 19 months old and he plays with it all the time. The little animals are soft, like little pillows, and they are fine for chewing. We mix up all the animals and put them in different 'barns' and then he loves to take them out, sort them and put them all back in the correct 'barn.' We practice counting and matching too. This is a very cute toy set, and I get it for friends as a gift too. Great price for a toy that a baby can just chew on and play 'peek a boo' with the animals in their houses, and great that the toy grows with the child and offers more educational things for them to do as they get bigger: counting, sorting, matching, stacking.
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on November 20, 2011
I have to admit, we had this toy sitting in it's box, in plain sight for almost 2 months before I was compelled enough to open it. I had been looking for a quiet, light, portable, travel toy for a toddler but when it arrived I wasn't very enthused. That being said, it's not that compact, but it IS light, portable and quiet. AND, even tho when I opened the package I was somewhat disappointed I realize that was simply due to my lack of creativity.

One morning, when we had run out of toys to play with I finally succumbed and opened the packaging. And discovered a world of fun! My son (18 months), although completely dis-interested at first, found it fun to play peek a boo with the "doors" on each cylinder - open and closing. Of course the "putting in & taking out" phase increases interest as well. As another reviewer mentioned - the pig and the sheep are quite small - not quite the right size for the cylinder they fit inside of.

However all the being said - I would highly recommend this toy. It's quiet (good for early mornings when everyone else is asleep), and it opens all sorts of possibilities - sorting, counting, stacking, rolling, hiding/unhiding, matching, (even throwing since that's bound to happen sometime or another). It would be even cooler if there would be a way to open the cylinders from the top and have them all stack inside each other as another level of fun (and increase the transportability of the toy as well. If you really squashed all the animals inside it might work... (they are soft and easily compressed if necessary anyways I guess - they feel like little pillows basically).

In the end, happy we purchased it. (lucky there was a fee to return it - that's what stayed my hand!)
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on September 8, 2008
Well constructed. Two year old son enjoys taking out and putting back, opening and closing, letting animals visit each other and stacking. I like that the animals all have a closable home when play time is over so the parts don't get lost or seperated (I have learned to keep chicken and nest in with the cows when not in play so that they are neater). Son loves animals and farm animals are a favorite. We have learned that farm animals live in different homes (barn, pigstye, sheep pen, nest), sing old Mcdonald, let the animals visit each other, pretend they are hiding in the wrong home just for fun, etc. Play together or play by himself toy. He can really use his imagination with this toy. And also learn hand eye co ordination, opposites and sorting and catagorizing (which belongs, which doesn't etc.). Both Mom and son love this toy!
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on December 26, 2013
I didn't read very well so i bought this for our 8 mo old. It is soft and she likes to play with it, but she isn't quite developmentally there yet. The toy will be great when she grows into it. It is a lot smaller than it appeared in the pictures. Largest piece (4 cow barrel) is about 4x 5". Animals are about 2x2" give or take. Each section houses a different variety of animal (cow, pig, sheep, chicken) they can be sorted by animal type. Each section is numbered, so the largest section is a bigger cylinder with the number 4 on it and the 4 cows fit inside, 3 has 3 pigs, etc. the sections are concentric si they can stack on eachother. The rooster is number one and there is just one that sits in a nest. It is not enclosed like the rest of them.

There is a velcro attachment on the door of each section, which is a very good feature. The chicken doesn't velcro in place to the nest. I wish it did. The sections do not attach to eachother securely and there is no overall combination for storage, other than each animal in it's bin. I wish they all fit inside a big barn. Or something to help avoid losing pieces.

The whole toy is soft, but the animal pens feel stiffer like they are upholstered cardboard or something. Not that they are poor quality, just that they are stiff and won't lose their shape. Pleased with toy, but i think we'll have to grow into this one.
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on June 15, 2011
Who knew counting and sorting could be so much fun with the children. I purchased this item to use with some very gifted infants and they loved the toy. Not only were the children able to count the number of animals, but also knew where to store them. I could not use the sheep as they were a choking hazard (too small) but the others were just the right size. The children did place them in their mouth which was fine because they could easily be washed. The items are smaller then they appear in the picture. The children even enjoyed playing peekaboo with them. This item was a great buy I would recommend it especially since it is considerably cheaper here then anywhere else I had priced it. Only wished the exact size of the individuals animals was disclosed before purchase.
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on June 13, 2013
I was looking for a toy to keep my almost-two-year-old son quiet in church. This set is great. The animals do not make any noise when you squeeze them (or throw them ...) and it is a lot of fun for him to put them into the containers and take them out. Also nice for its intended purpose - practicing counting and sorting.
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