Saturday, June 18, 2011

Timberdoodle Lace-A-Shape review

I've loved Timberdoodle for years and have purchased many of their homeschooling products and toys. I was so excited when I was accepted to their review team, and I'm excited to be doing my first review for them today!

I received their Earlyears Lace-A-Shape in the mail, and it attracted the attention of my little girls right away. It comes with 12 over sized (and very colorful) lacing beads. There is a stopper and threader attached to the string for easy threading. We've been playing with them off and on for a few weeks now, and the girls still get excited when I pull them out. I've even taken them to the doctor's office to play with (their larger size makes these fairly easy to transport without much worry of losing some)!
These are part of the Timberdoodle Core Curriculum Package intended for ages 18 months through 3 years, and both of my little girls fit into that category. Miss C (20 months) was attracted to the fun shapes and bright colors and the larger size made these very easy to handle. These shapes are hollow, which is intentional to encourage fine motor skill development, however it seemed impossible for her to get the threader all the way through. She tried (she is very persistent and wants to do everything her older sister does), and I tried to help her, but eventually she would lose interest (but would have renewed excitement for them each time I brought them out). My guess would be that in about six months or so she may have more success. Miss J (3 1/2 years) was very successful with these, but they still provided enough of a challenge that I could tell they were helpful in developing those fine motor skills. We enjoyed naming the shapes and the many colors on the shapes as well as lacing in patterns with these.

The package these came in states the recommended age as 18+ months, but I think Timberdoodle has it right on as listing it as 3+ years. While the size, shapes, and colors (and even the concept), make them appealing to younger ones they will most likely lack the needed skills to be able to accomplish the task leading to much frustration. They were perfect for our home though, since we have two kids in the age range. My little one did have fun playing with them while her big sister was actually able to use them for their intended purpose.

As I mentioned these are part of the Timberdoodle Toddler Core curriculum Package; I received the Core Curriculum folder with these, and enjoyed reading through it. This is not some "make your toddler a genius" sort of curriculum. Instead it has been developed to provide a nurturing way to help parents along in developing appropriate skills and abilities for this age. Much of the focus is on relationship as well, helping parents who either just want to make sure their little ones are involved in school along with their older kids or parents desiring a bit of direction in helping their kids. I like that it comes with a simple weekly checklist to help remind you to use the various components as many of those types of things tend to slip through the cracks.

*As a member of Timberdoodle's Blogger Review Team I received the Lace-A-Shape set and Toddler core curriculum folder free of charge from Timberdoodle in exchange for my honest review of the products.

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