Monday, April 1, 2013

Lacing Sheep by Plan Toys

If you are looking for a puzzle toy for an older child (2 ½ years and up) that incorporates skills like matching and sequential ordering this is a wonderful toy to check out. The body of the sheep consists of five separate wooden rings that are held together by a strong elastic cord covered with colourful wooden beads. The head and tail of the sheep are attached to either end of the cord. The beads correspond in colour to small painted rings on each section of the body of the sheep (green yellow, blue, red, and orange). The wooden rings that make up the body can be taken off the cord so the child is able to rebuild the sheep. Children are able to rebuild the sheep in several different ways. First, they can match the colours on the inside of the rings to the beads on the elastic cord. Second, they can match the colours of the rings with one another (e.g., red to red, blue to blue, etc.). Finally they can rebuild the sheep according to the size of the rings moving from small to large and back to small. Strengths: This is a simple but versatile toy. It can help children learn basic concepts like colours, matching, and sorting based on the size of an object. I have found that children at many different levels of development enjoy the toy. Some like to chew on a ring, some like to match, some like to count the beads, and some actually use the toy for the intended purpose! Whatever they do with it, they seem to enjoy it. Weaknesses: The elastic cord that runs through the middle of the body of the sheep is strong and needs to be pulled with a very firm grasp to attach the end of the sheep to the rest of the body. The last piece just slides over the elastic cord, but the cord can be difficult to pull out. I snapped my fingers with it once and it really hurt. I can’t imagine how it would feel on little fingers.

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