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Not Useful: Babies Can Easily Short-Circuit The Learning Process.
on December 12, 2015
This toy belongs to a class of educational baby toys collectively known as "sorting toys". What do these types of toys teach? A few things:
* hand eye coordination and fine motor skills: physical learning
* sorting based on geometric shape and/or color, cognitive learning
* object permanence
In reverse, this type of toy can be used as an "object removal" type of toy, which makes this useful for some babies around 6-9 months, although sorting itself probably won't happen until 9-12 months.
This particular toy has quite a few things going for it:
1. Five very distinct shapes and colors.
2. Hard #5PP plastic, one of the most safe plastics.
3. No painted surfaces
4. Two blocks for each shape which will only pass through its respective hole.
Seems perfect, except it has a fatal flaw. The top comes off with zero resistance. I wish I could enter the minds of the designers at Fisher-Price to understand this outrageous design decision.
The first thing most babies will do is remove the top. Once the top is removed, the baby will quickly learn that it's MUCH easier to put the shapes into the box by lifting the top instead of figuring out which hole to use. This completely short-circuits the sorting task, making this toy useless from an educational and developmental viewpoint.
I won't give it 1 star because the toy is very well designed in all other ways, as I noted above. If you wanted to, you could duct tape the top onto the box, but I do not recommend that since I don't know the relative safety of duct tape to people who put everything into their mouths.
I returned the toy since I want my baby to actually learn how to sort. Not how to cheat by lifting the lid.