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on September 26, 2016
Bought this as an activity for my 1.5 year old on a trip, as I was looking forward to the hand-eye coordination that was required. Usually toys that are for age ranges more than a year older than my child, I try anyway, but do believe that she will benefit more from this in a year or so. To use the magnetic wand for the balls, it does take a little finesse, so it can be frustrating for a little kid. I really like the concept, and I will bring it around more frequently in the upcoming months.

It is a little heavy, so it adds some weight to your activity bag. The size is fairly large making it slightly difficult for lap play especially with the weight, but it is manageable.

The clear plexiglass seems to have a "trail" from the balls moving against it on the back side. This bothers my Type A personality, but my child doesn't seem to mind.

I'd buy this again, but wait until a kid was 2 or older for sure. I am excited to use this for more counting activities and as she can manage the size/weight of it better.
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on January 2, 2018
When I was teaching at an academy with 3yo students, they really enjoyed the Lakeshore Magnetic Color Maze. However, I wasn't ready to fork over $40+, so I bought this one which is much more reasonably priced. However, my daughter is only 2yo, so the concept of putting the appropriate number of apples is beyond her, but she does have fun moving the little red balls around. My one gripe is the magnet is not nearly strong enough to keep the apple, especially for little hands. If she drops too many, she throws the maze to the ground in frustration.
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on January 8, 2011
I generally love Melissa and Doug toys and would have to convinced to find something 'bad' with any of the products. However, this product has a lot of potential - but falls short of being what it could. As others have stated, it has to be absolutely flat (no car trips). It is a fairly weak magnet. Also, I think there should be one large 'basket' on the puzzle to hold all the apples to move them from over to the individual baskets. It is hard also for kids to actually count the apples separately in the 10 baskets -- they move around and are close together - so they give up counting - and head to another puzzle. A few design modifications could make this puzzle a winner too!!
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Top Contributor: Petson July 12, 2016
I had high hopes for this product since we love all Melissa & Dough items, but was left disappointed and my child frustrated. The first thing I did not like is that there is no "home" basket to store all the apples. This makes it really challenging for just learning to count because they pretty much have to also figure out how to subtract! The magnets are also not strong enough to carry an apple from basket to basket without "dropping" it. The concept of this maze is awesome, but it just doesn't deliver.
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on December 25, 2009
I was racking my brain for another Christmas present for my toddler (she's 2-yrs, almost 8 months)...and I saw this magnetic puzzle game. We've always loved Melissa & Doug products, and I thought this seemed a great value, and a good educational opportunity for her.

It is, indeed, very cute & well-made. The magnetic wand controls the balls well IF it is held flat against the acrylic cover plate. Another important requirement is that the board be laid down completely flat (as in, NOT held on the child's lap) or the balls just roll right out of the number areas. (This was a frustration expressed somewhere by someone, I believe). It has the potential to be good counting practice, IF a child is at that level.

All this to say that this is a fun toy, but is not exactly fitting for my toddler. She can play around with it, making the little balls move around, enjoying doing that for a short time, but I would say that it doesn't really become a great educational toy until the child is around 3-1/2 to 4 years old and really starts to grasp counting. My older daughter (just turned 6) can play with it and fully appreciate the learning potential: hand-eye coordination & counting (though she's definitely beyond learning how to count at this age, it's fun for her to manipulate the correct number of balls to their corresponding number area).
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on March 12, 2016
I love Melissa and Doug and my daughter LOVES the magnetic toys at the library so I thought it would be fun to have her own, especially for car ride entertainment. For the most part the quality is fantastic, as usual...nice thick wood and plastic over the top, bright colors, good educational concept with counting and matching beads to the number, and cute pictures; however, the magnets are lacking. She is 3 and becomes very easily frustrated because the pen magnet just is not quite strong enough to consistently move the beads around. I love the concept but it either needs a stronger magnet or thinner plastic on the top to allow easier movement of the magnetic balls.
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on April 7, 2015
The magnet is too weak to move the balls through the plastic "pen". When laid flat the balls roll back out of the circle on their own. When tilted slightly, the magnet isn't strong enough to move the balls in place. My 4 year old granddaughter lost interest in it within minutes. We had to modify the magnet to make it even work. This COULD HAVE BEEN a perfect toy, if the magnet was just stronger, and the area where the balls lay had a slight depression to make them stay in their "basket". IF it could be used on the child's lap, and worked, it would have been perfect.
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on December 1, 2017
As always with Melissa and Doug products GREAT QUALITY.... I purchased this for my 2 1/2 year old grandson and he likes it, but pretty sure he will like it more when he gets older. Dexterity of moving the apples thru the maze is too much, but I will hold on to it until grandson is a smidgen older. Recommend for a 3 to 4 year old.
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on February 24, 2016
I really want to love this item. The idea is great and the graphics are cute but that is where it ends. Its a little on the small side, then pen does not come off so its hard to reach some of the apples ( I understand this helps to not loose the pen but the string needs to be a bit longer). The board must be perfectly flat such as on a table or the floor otherwise the pen can not pick up the apples. All in all its just ok!
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on May 10, 2017
We've bought plenty of Melissa and Doug toys and love em but this one failed it our book. The magnet was weak and required the pen to be flat against the board to even slightly move it. My son was greatly annoyed by it and he was so happy when he first saw it because there was one at his dentist that he loves. I wished they added more to the maze as well and maybe different colors for variations.
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