Haba Smart Fellow Review by snowingindoors
The concept is really simple, there’s 18 tactile wooden blocks and the kiddos have to use them to make a 3D representation of the picture on the card.
I love the look on concentration and determination in these photos. She worked through all the cards one by one like a machine, pausing at the end of each build for us to admire her handiwork before starting on the next challenge.
Ez Bear loves playing with this too. He is obviously too young to make the pictures on the cards, he just has fun making shapes and improving his hand eye coordination through pegging. He also enjoys stacking two blocks and trying to thread a rod through them.
He is also learning about cause and effect with this play, he puts one of the smaller rods into a block and pushes it out from the bottom until it falls out, he thinks it’s hilarious and now expects it to happen rather than looking shocked.
Wooden toys and games always look lovely and inviting and this one is no different. The paint is bright and the blocks are nice and sturdy, which is lucky as Ez has a habit of catching them with his elbow and sending them crashing to the floor! The blocks are smooth and weighty and feel really nice in the hand.
I like the added level of difficulty that comes from matching up the decorations on the blocks, for example the silver one has different patterns on two of the sides. The solutions for the shapes are on the back of each card and show which rods connect the blocks, and how.
The two blocks with heads on are the favourites for both kiddos, Annie likes to make a stage for a puppet show, while Ez likes kissing the faces and talking to them.
It can be used as an absorbing way to spend an hour or more, or to fill the 5 minutes waiting for dinner to be served up to distract the whinging masses!
I really wish there were an add-on pack for this, maybe some more cards and additional blocks, though, saying that, the ‘re-play’ value is high. Annie has gone through all the cards a couple of times and shows no signs of being bored with it. If anything it’s encouraging her to make up her own shapes and towers.
The price for this on The Toadstool is £27.20 which seems just right, the blocks are really well made and the cards are still in one piece despite Ez trying to eat one of them which suggests how well made they are!
This is one of the few toys I plan on keeping until we (hopefully) have grandkids so they can play with them too, I don’t foresee beautifully made, wooden pegging games going out of fashion any time soon.