“ Manufacturer: John Lewis / Type: Baby Toy „
My son received the John Lewis Caged Shape Sorter for his first Christmas. I really like traditional wooden toys as I think it is nice for my son to have a few 'simple' toys that don't require batteries and also I think they look really nice too. I was probably more excited than my son when we unwrapped it! - The Shape Sorter - For those of you who don't know the principles of a shape sorter the idea is that you have a variety of shaped blocks and then a container with holes to match the shapes. You then match the shapes to the holes and put them through. This shape sorter has a traditional wooden design. In this case the container is a wooden cage. The bottom is a wooden circle with four shaped holes and the top is the same. Joining the top and bottom are wooden spindles which make it look like a cage. One spindle can be slid down so that the wooden shapes can be taken out. The spindle can't be removed completely because there is a blue wooden ball preventing this. There are eight different shapes all with a different colour: red pentagon, yellow circle, orange semi circle, purple rectangle, light green triangle, dark green oval, light blue cross, dark blue square. I love the look of this toy as it is so simple but the quality is great and I really like the traditional feel it has. - Throwing Some Shapes - My son was only six months old when he received this and didn't have a clue how to put the shapes through the correct holes! However he instantly liked holding and playing with the shapes. He liked it if I built little towers with the shapes and he could crawl over and knock it down. Of course he also liked throwing the shapes and as a result we were missing one shape for quite a while! When he was about one year old I decided we should use it as a shape sorter as it was intended so since then I have been teaching my son how to put the shapes into the holes. He hasn't quite mastered it yet but he is learning and will sometimes get it right. He plays with this quite often as he really does like the coloured blocks whether he is sorting them correctly or not. I think this is a really educational toy as it helps improve motor skills concentration as little ones try to figure out how to get the shapes inside the cage. It is also a great way of teaching colours, shapes and counting. I think it is really good that it isn't immediately obvious that one spindle slides down to open the cage so my son has no idea he can cheat and put the shapes inside this way! It also makes it easier and quicker for mummy when tidying up! Another feature I really like is that if the shape sorter is on its side it can be a wheel. My son loves it when I roll the shape sorter across the floor with all the shapes inside because they make a very satisfying clunky noise. It complements our wooden hammer bench and musical instruments very well and I think it looks lovely on the shelf in my son's room. Overall I think this is a lovely toy with quite a few uses other than shape sorting. - Age Range - This toy is suitable from 18 months. My son is nearly 14 months and has been enjoying it since he was six months, even if he hasn't been sorting the shapes all that time. I don't see any reason why it can't be introduced before 18 months as there are no hazards, just don't expect a six month old to be sorting the shapes straight away. I think this will probably be played with until my son is at least two years old. - Price and Availability - This is available from John Lewis and is priced at £14. I think this is a little expensive for such a simple toy but then again the quality is great, it looks great and my son really likes it so perhaps it is worth the price. I think it makes a lovely gift. - Would I Recommend? - I would definitely recommend this Caged Shape Sorter as it is fun, educational, great quality and looks great. It is a little pricy but I think you are paying for the quality.