Product Added : September 16th, 2012
Category : Toys & Games
"This Best Selling Melissa & Doug Wooden Shape Sorting Clock Tends to SELL OUT VERY FAST! If this is a MUST HAVE product, be sure to Order Now to avoid disappointment!"
3 years & up. Time to Block the Clock! Combines shape sorting and learning to tell time. It's two toys in one. Place the colorful numbered shape pieces in their proper places on the face of the soundly built clock and move the hour and minute hands to make learning time fun!
I recently bought this toy for grandchildren, ages 3 and younger, for when they are at my house.
Previous reviews complained that the shapes of numbers 5 and 6 might be confusing, and so I avoided this purchase for a while. BUT, the one I bought is NEW and the 5 is the pentagon shape and the 6 is the hexagon shape, so that is no longer a concern. Look at the picture of the product above – today the picture I am looking at on this page shows the correct shapes for 5 and 6, so it appears that Melissa and Doug have corrected this problem! If you were to purchase an older or used version of this clock be aware that it may have the wrong shapes – but the newest ones I would presume are correct. Mine is.
I rate this toy 5-star. It is certainly not a bells and whistles toy, no noises, no lights. Thank goodness. But I think there is a lot of value in this toy.
This is a concrete hands-on way for children to begin learning about not only clocks, but also shapes, order of numbers, and more, depending on the age and stage of the child. It is a toy that can grow with a child, one to be taken out and used for a while, then as interest wanes, put it away for a while, and then bring it out later for a child to explore at a different stage.
Please keep in mind that children will probably get more value out of any toy, where a parent, grandparent, teacher, sibling, babysitter, etc. first sits down and talks with the child about the toy and maybe models how the child might use the toy. Then expect them to try using it for different things – like stacking, or pretending that one piece or another is food for a doll, or whatever – and that is OK too – keep in mind kids learn in different ways than we might expect. (Of course keep an eye on younger children to make sure they are not putting pieces in their own mouths, pretending it is their own food!)
There is obvious shape-matching value for younger children.
A child might take the shapes outside of the “puzzle” and line them up – in numeric order, or just to compare shapes, colors or whatever.
With an older child, you might introduce time-telling vocabulary, in relationship to where the clock hands are.
We got this as a gift from the grandparents, and it just sat in the toy box with nobody having interest in it.
Then recently I dug it out of its grave and resurrected it with this game I made up: 1) I got my 4-year-old boy to dump! all the numbers out onto a table. 2) He shovels them all into a cloth bag off the edge of the table. 3) We take turn taking out a number from the bag without peeking. My saying “no peeking” always generates more interest in peeking. 4) The person who got the block reads the number on the block and puts it in the correct slot. 5) The person then points the long-hand to 12 and the short hour-hand to the number that has just been put in.
My son who is otherwise very academically challenged as a 4-year-old learned to tell time in no time — two days. We also learned to use our sensory nerves to psyche out the pieces. When he puts his hand in the bag he knows how to pull out number 12, his favorite number on the clock.
I think some people are just expecting too much. I bought this for my three-yr-old and am very pleased. My daughter has a TV program that comes on at one o’clock and I wanted to teach her how to recognize that particular hour. The shapes were a bonus for us. And I can teach her at a later time to count minutes. She’s having fun recognizing numbers and matching them with the shapes. She also likes stacking them and making towers and watching it fall (an added bonus)! She’s too young to know the five has six sides and the six has five sides. And if she did figure that out, then I’d praise her for noticing, not be negative about the product. It is, after all, a toy. Toys aren’t perfect, and after a while they fall apart. But if they’ve accomplished the purpose for which you bought it, then it was money well spent, in my opinion.