How to choose the right shape sorter?

A must have for every one year old is a shape sorter, but how to choose the right one?

Cubed shape sorter: not convinced !

shape-sorter-ELCWhen little our little one was about 9 months and we did not have the shop yet, we purchased one from a high street chain, after a month of banging, the paint had chipped off and the plywood – which is rather soft – had lots of marks from banging the blocks on it and from rolling the cubed sorter around. I  found this rather disappointing. On top the lid would come off that easily that she did not see a point in actually putting the shapes in the right holes, but just put them in and out the blocks. As mentioned before the shape sorter did not last long enough to get to her actual sorting stage. Don’t get me wrong this is great for those on smaller budgets, but perhaps one should close the top in some way.

Noah’s ark or farm shape sorters: it is not a shape sorter!

Noah ark shape sorter ToysRUs When she was one she received a beautiful shape sorter Ark from Noah from a friend. One of those typical animal ones where you put the animal through an animal shaped hole. But does anyone ever notice that they don’t sort shapes and nearly any animal fits in any hole? Let’s put the crocodile with the elephant… sure. These are great toys to be used as play worlds, or to talk about animals and increase vocabulary but as a shape sorter they just will not do.  It frustrates me, that animal blocks are never chunky enough (money saving exercise on the toy brand’s sides) to fit in only 1 hole, so don’t sell them under the name shape sorter please!!!

Noah ark shape sorter

Almost perfect shape sorter, but not enough play value.

wonderworld-shape-sorterWith our shop we saw this great shape sorter, chunky blocks and sturdy wood. And loved it, but with me working numerous hours I soon got bored of getting the blocks out for the little one, like every 5 minutes!  So it is out the range! We love toys the kids can play with others and by themselves to. As we all know, we all need some time to do work and the household.

We found him: the P’kolino Robot Geared Shape Sorter

On our quest for the perfect shape sorter we came across this Pkolino one. The pieces are chunky, the Pkolino wood is sturdy (we tested the multi-solution Pkolino puzzle for a few weeks and it has no scratch at all), and the original way this Robot Geared Shape sorter is build, makes it fun for the kids to watch the blocks come out the back and makes it less intriguing for them to use a shape sorter as an in the box, out the box, filling and tipping exercise.

The Best Shape sorter in our opinion

The gears that have to rotate in place and the blocks that slide through back to the child, personally give me that feeling of engagement like those plastic toys with lot’s of buttons and functions that go over and over and over again, without a stop and start. But  – hooray – the shape sorter comes without their noise.

So in short we love our P’kolino shape sorter:

  • for being a real and functioning shape sorter
  • for colour recognition
  • for the extra tricky gears that need to be lined up
  • for the blocks that slide back to your child, and thus make them do the shape sorting excercise over and over again. However it is never the same as the gears will be lined up differently!

Another reason why we loved to stock this item is the review by TheBrickCastle. We have seen several of her reviews and we trust her opinion.

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