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Duplo Creative Sorter
( Lego Systems, Inc. $20 Score: )

Although all the bricks are big enough for toddlers to handle with safety, this 23-piece bucket is jazzed up with three different shape sorter lids that are way too hard for most toddlers, yet the package is marked 1/2-5. First of all there are as many as 6 openings in each lid. They are supposedly color coded-which would have helped some-but there are green shapes that fit in the red lid and blue shapes that fit in the yellow. All very confusing if you want to talk about matching and establish color concepts with beginners. Besides, the pieces have to be turned just so in order for the peg fittings to match the cut-out opening. This kind of precision matching calls for visual acuity as well as fine motor skills that are way too challenging for most little ones. By putting such a broad age range on the product, the label seerve no purpose. If you get this as a gift and you have a toddler, put the lids away for now and use the pail and blocks for a fill-and-dump toy and for open-ended building set to stack and snap. That alone will be more than enough for anyone under two. Before you start pressing kids to fit their bricks in the right opening, keep in mind that little children are learning about themselves as learners and toys that are beyond their developmental level can undo their confidence. It is far more important to build their sense of competence than to rush them with toys that are frustrating. Sorry, the age label on this keeps it from being a winner.

Age: Toddlers, Preschool, Early School Years. Review Published: Click here to purchase the product on

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