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Butterfly Alphabet Puzzle / Stack and Sort Geometric Board / Geometric Shape and Size Puzzle Review by Lisa Stanfield

Explearn Toys
2500 Merchants Row Blvd.
Tallahassee, FL 32311
1 850-345-5162
http://www.explearntoys.com

Wooden puzzles have always held a particular fascination for me as I love the sturdiness of them and they are usually pretty kid-proof! Explearn Toys sent in three such wooden puzzles for review: Butterfly Alphabet Puzzle, Stack and Sort Geometric Board, and the Geometric Shape and Size Puzzle. They were exactly what I was hoping for.

I have a three year-old and I was eager to use these with him to see how he'd do. I gave him the Stack and Sort Geometric Board to start. This sorting board is flower-shaped and contains five different shapes with coordinating posts to hold the wooden shapes. The shapes correspond with a sorting post that increases in number. So the circle has one post, the rectangle has two, the triangle has three, the square has four, and the pentagon has five. Each of the five shapes has four stacking colors: blue, red, yellow, and green. I wasn't sure how well our three year-old would do in sorting, but much to my surprise, he deftly sorted and re-stacked all the shapes and told me the colors to boot! He really liked this one and I was thrilled he was so engaged with it. The Stack and Sort Geometric Board sells for $34.99.

The second puzzle I tried was the Butterfly Alphabet Puzzle. This is a recatgular base with a large open butterfly with all the letters on differently shaped pieces. It is a rainbow of colors within the butterfly shape that you remove with little plastic handles glued into the pieces. My little guy was really drawn to the puzzle for the colors and enjoyed taking the pieces out. Removing the pieces was very easy for him, but I definitely had to help him put the pieces back. I can see this will be a better fit for him when he is a bit older with better spacial awareness, but for a child learning his letters and sounds, this would be a great choice! The butterfly is a rainbow of colors with clear block uppercase lettering on the outside and once you remove the piece, the inside has the lowercase letters. The Butterfly Alphabet Puzzle sells for $16.99.

The last puzzle we used was the Geometric Shape and Size Puzzle. This is a square base with three rows of gradually increasing shapes. So the top row is four squares, in different colors, that gradually increase in size. The second row is four triangles, in different colors, that gradually increase in size, and the last row is four squares that do the same. They all have the same little plastic handles that are glued into the wooden puzzle pieces. He enjoyed this puzzle too and was able to do it. The only thing I'd encourage the company to change would be to make sure all the sides of each of the triangles and squares holes to be measured and cut exactly the same so the puzzle pieces fit no matter which way you try to put them in. Since they are squares and triangles, I felt this could be improved. Little Man was able to do it even though they bases were not cut exactly the same. He loved the colors and enjoyed being able to put the small ones into the larger sized holes. The Geometric Shape and Size Puzzle sells for $24.99.

The quality and colors of the puzzles are top notch and we can see these will last a long time. I was thrilled our little one was so drawn to them and wanted to do each one of them more than once. This is always a great reaction for me when it comes to selecting educational toys and products. The website has a huge selection of all sorts of quality wooden toys and puzzles. I'd definitely recommend this company.

-Product review by Lisa Stanfield, The Old Schoolhouse® Magazine, LLC, June, 2018

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